Surrey residents’ campaign to protect Hawthorne Park from city council’s plan to run a road through it presents yet another case study in what democracy is all about.
The group on Monday presented council with a 5,000-signature petition calling for the proposed 105 Avenue Road, between Whalley Boulevard and 150th Street, to “be cancelled as we do not want a road of any kind put through Hawthorne Park. We want Hawthorne Park to be preserved for community, for future generations and for the wildlife living there.”
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It left instead with a new challenge to gather, by Sept. 22, the signatures at least 10 per cent of Surrey’s electors opposing it, or council will take further steps to ensure the project gets done. The estimated number of signatures required is 30,372.
It’s a daunting task, but it can be done. Against similarly intimidating odds, residents of Metro Vancouver successfully rejected a TransLink plan to impose a 0.5 per cent sales tax to help pay for major infrastructure projects, in 2015.
Likewise, in 2011 British Columbians rejected the Harmonized Sales Tax, or HST, through a referendum.
Both of those were hard-fought battles, as the Hawthorne Park matter is proving to be.
It will be interesting to see if those campaigning against the Hawthorne Park road can pull it off.