EDITORIAL: Political engagement grows on Semiahmoo Peninsula

Will visits from Trudeau, Scheer result in greater voter turnout for the Dec. 11 byelection?

Federal politics has been the talk of the town – of two towns, really – this week on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, as two of the country’s most prominent politicians made whirlwind appearances in both Surrey and White Rock.

On Wednesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer made two appearances in Surrey – at a board-of-trade meeting in the morning, and in the evening, at a campaign-launch event for South Surrey-White Rock byelection candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay.

Also Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in White Rock in support of the federal Liberals’ candidate in the byelection, Gordon Hogg.

While an appearance by a sitting prime minister is bound to draw a crowd – especially in a small community such as White Rock – Trudeau’s appearance, which was announced only the evening prior, seemed to harken back to the Trudeau-mania heyday of his father’s era, as residents waited for more than an hour to catch a glimpse – maybe take a selfie – of the country’s top politician.

A few hours later, Scheer’s appearance at the Pacific Inn – originally billed by the party as an event “to deliver remarks” to supporters and party volunteers, rather than a campaign launch – drew a crowd of nearly 300.

Social media was also abuzz with news of both leaders’ appearances, with many noting it unique to have both leaders in the community on the same day – especially considering the Semiahmoo Peninsula has not historically been frequented by the top dogs of either party.

And while the buzz has died down from its Wednesday heights, it’s worth noting that there was, indeed, a buzz. In an era when voter turnout is, by most accounts, still low, and political apathy is rampant, it’s encouraging to see interest spiked locally, regardless of which party you support.

Byelections, historically, draw even less voters than do regular elections. With the South Surrey-White Rock byelection set for Dec. 11 – with candidates vying for the seat left vacant by Conservative Dianne Watts – let’s hope this week’s interest is more than just a passing fad, or a chance to take a photo with someone famous, and instead results in strong turnout at the polls and a genuine enthusiasm for the candidates and the issues that affect our community.

Just Posted

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland

Ringette Canada says the sport has reached record registration numbers

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read

l -->