During the election campaign, Doug McCallum stated, with a certain amount of pride, that he answered all of his phone calls. But since being elected, his evasiveness has proven otherwise. (Now-Leader file photo)

During the election campaign, Doug McCallum stated, with a certain amount of pride, that he answered all of his phone calls. But since being elected, his evasiveness has proven otherwise. (Now-Leader file photo)

Opinion

OUR VIEW: Mayor McCallum, Surrey needs you to pick up your phone

Make no mistake, readers, when McCallum ducks reporters, he is ducking you

Never in recent memory have we dealt with a mayor who so consistently spurns media requests for comment.

Former mayor Don Ross returned his phone calls, as did Bob Bose, Dianne Watts and most recently Linda Hepner, and we could count on them to do so in a timely manner.

Even Doug McCallum returned his, when he was first mayor from 1996 to 2005.

What’s changed? Has he been consulting some kind of Machiavellian manual for mayors? Ignore reporters long enough, and they will eventually go away?

Well, here’s the scoop, Surrey mayor: We will not go away.

Some might dismiss this editorial as whiny media navel-gazing, but it is not.

Remember, it is our business to keep a sharp eye on city council for you, our readers, while you are busy at your day jobs.

It is also our job to provide balanced news coverage, taking pains to see all sides fairly represented. This is particularly important in matters of significant consequence to the public.

On Sept. 26, during an election campaign debate at the Civic Hotel, McCallum told the audience of a couple hundred people that his style of mayoring is “open door.”

“I answered all of my phone calls,” the former mayor said of his nine years in office.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s mayoral candidates civil at the Civic in Whalley

But since McCallum was elected eight weeks ago, our reporters have lodged many dozens of phone calls with him that have gone unanswered.

The result is, instead of availing himself of opportunities to educate Surrey residents on the reasoning behind council’s initiatives, our readers instead receive – for no lack of trying on our part – an information vacuum in the form of “McCallum could not be reached for comment.”

This set of words, unfortunately, will continue to collect on our pages like grains of sand in the jar of time until this mayor starts responding to media requests.

Only he has the power to change this. We hope he does.

Until then, make no mistake about it – when our mayor ducks us, he is ducking you.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

SurreySurreyBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Surrey RCMP issue another warning about officer-impersonation scam

Calls demanding Bitcoin come “in waves” says Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

16500-block of 24 Avenue. (Google image)
Council pushes forward applications for 400-plus dwellings in South Surrey

Loss of trees, pressure on schools cited by public, council members as areas of concern

Protestors at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds show their support for farmers in India Dec. 5, 2020. Hundreds gathered at the fairgrounds before driving in a convoy to the Indian consulate in Vancouver to protest three new laws they say will negatively impact farmers in India. (Photo: Jason Sveinson)
Protest in support of Indian farmers planned for Cloverdale

Surrey Challo event described as ‘a cultural awakening & lively protest’

The Anti-Racist Coalition Vancouver started a petition calling on B.C.’s education officials to make Black Shirt Day official. The inaugural event in solidarity with Black and racialized Canadians takes place on Friday, Jan. 15. (Screenshot/Change.org)
Surrey students, staff to take part in first-ever Black Shirt Day

Special day in ‘recognition of the struggle for civil rights fought by Black and racialized Canadians’

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey, Langley twin brothers who own companies together battle in court

Presiding judge described Surrey resident Kerry Hawley and Langley resident Kelly Petersen as ‘self-made successes’

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

The route of the pink parade. The Record has blackened out the name of the teen. Facebook photo.
Pink-vehicle parade to be held Sunday in support of transgender teen assaulted in Mission

Teen and family to watch parade drive single file along waterfront at 3 p.m., Jan. 17

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Most Read