Wally Oppal responding to audience at Surrey Board of Trade event on Wednesday. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

OUR VIEW: Surrey politicians’ absence speaks volumes

Nobody wants their input to be met with silence or indifference

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition council mates look to have squandered an excellent opportunity Wednesday to perhaps build bridges – although, at this point, in some circles those bridges might as well be made of fraying rope – as well as maybe score some respect.

If only they showed up to a Surrey Board of Trade breakfast event on Wednesday, in which Wally Oppal absorbed the wrath of audience members who stepped up to the microphone to voice their discontent with the way the mayor is running this city, particularly in respect to its controversial plan to transition from the RCMP to a city force.

After the Q&A session, a reporter asked Oppal what he thought of the mayor’s absence, to which Oppal graciously replied, “Well, I’m sure the mayor has other things to do.”

READ ALSO: Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

It is, of course, perfectly reasonable for a mayor of a city this size to not attend a large meeting, covering a topic in which so many Surreyites have a vested interest, if he or she has other pressing matters to tend to.

But it defies common sense to believe that not one of the five Safe Surrey Coalition council members were able to attend, particularly when the other four councillors outside their slate managed to do so.

“They’re not here, and it’s a slap in the face of the citizens of Surrey,” one speaker said.

If even one of them showed up, if only to sit and listen, this would have demonstrated there is indeed a will on their part to listen to Surrey residents. Their absence, however, only served to support their critics’ complaints that there is not.

Ironically, Oppal congratulated Surreyites for their engagement on this policing transition matter, noting that this is the stuff democracy is made of.

Still, nobody wants their input to be met with silence or indifference.

Democracy cannot exist in a vacuum.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Surrey

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

April 7: Brewery starts making hand sanitizer, City of White Rock and Surrey lays off employees

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read

l -->