Monthly Archive:: April 2014


Winning the mayor’s chair will be a challenge, however, it may pale in comparison to governing afterward.
There are two people we know of that have publicly stated their wish to be mayor of Surrey – Coun. Barinder Rasode and local realtor and businessman Vikram Bajwa.
There are also three people considering a run with Surrey First: Couns. Linda Hepner, Tom Gill and Bruce Hayne. In the next two weeks, seven Surrey First members will meet and six will vote on their candidate for mayor. (Outgoing Mayor Dianne Watts said she will absent herself from the vote).
Read more…


I just got off the phone with a well-moneyed political organizer who wants to see Doug McCallum running for mayor this fall.
McCallum told The Leader last year he had no interest running for council, but I’m told he’s working the campaign trail.
It comes now, that some in this city want to see him run for mayor.
The abiding question is, could he win?
Read more…


While she leads the pack in overall name recognition, Coun. Barinder Rasode isn’t doing so well with the younger voters.
Rasode is tied with Coun. Linda Hepner, who both share a 28 per cent name recognition, according to an Insights West poll conducted in March and released this week.
The poll was conducted before Mayor Dianne Watts announced Saturday that she wouldn’t run for mayor this fall.
The councillors tested in the poll, including Barinder Rasode, Tom Gill, Linda Hepner and Bruce Hayne are widely believed to be interested in the position as mayor.
Read more…


In politics, the old yarn goes, it’s all about name recognition. A variant of that truism, is there’s no such thing as bad publicity (unless its in your own obituary).

With those things in mind, Surrey First Couns. Linda Hepner and Tom Gill will have some talking to do as the civic slate chooses who will be the group’s next mayoral candidate.

(Mayor Dianne Watts said Saturday she would not run in the upcoming election, meaning her coalition must pick a new leader.)

The two councillors  are in a virtual dead heat for name recognition, according to a poll released this week.

Read more…

surreyfirst copy

Soon, six people with Surrey First will sit down and select the group’s next mayoral candidate.

And as of Sunday night, the votes appeared to be swinging toward Coun. Linda Hepner, who has been checking the community for mayoral support for some months.

As of Sunday, three people were interested in the top job, including Couns. Bruce Hayne and Tom Gill as well as Hepner.

As per the Surrey First constitution, only the elected members of the “coalition of independents” will choose the team.

Read more…

Hepner, Linda

Expect Surrey First to allow Dianne Watts to enjoy her ride into the sunset, without any distractions on who from the slate might take her place.

I’m told the slate is in no hurry to usher the next mayoral candidate forward.

“This is Dianne’s time,” I was told Saturday afternoon.

Also expect Surrey First to gather, rally behind the new mayoral candidate, and perhaps select the new council candidates.

Common wisdom has Coun. Linda Hepner as the heir apparent to the Surrey First mayoral throne. Read more…


Surrey’s popular mayor, once eyed for the provincial Liberal leadership, told me Thursday she will not run again for civic politics.

She made that news public on Saturday at the grand opening of the new city hall.

In her interview with me, Watts was circumspect about her plans moving forward, but always told me she wanted to make some big changes on the international front. “Working with the U.N., something like that,” she said.

Whether she has anything like that lined up is not known.

I asked her about the widely held rumour that she’ll run with the federal Conservatives in the South Surrey riding being left by Russ Hiebert at the next federal election.

She evaded the question in our interview, and said there were several levels of politics, of every stripe, making her offers. Read more…

Welcome to Post Deadline.

Now seemed to be as good a time as any to start a reporter’s notebook blog.

Politics is getting extremely interesting,  and there’s always more to add about Surrey in general.

What you’ll find here is what might not have fit into a story. You’ll find context and history.

You won’t find off-the-record comment or the names of sources who have spoken to me on the condition of anonymity (heavy sigh of relief from many).

Please feel free to comment, but keep it fair and legal.

Comments found to be otherwise will be deleted.


Photo courtesy of Evan Seal/The Surrey Leader

Many of you will remember the high-profile departure of Barinder Rasode from the Surrey First team, reported in The Leader earlier this month.

She told me she felt stifled, unable to do her job effectively, on what is supposed to be a “coalition of independent” voices called Surrey First, an invention of Mayor Watts nine years ago.

She told me in that interview, she would run for mayor if Watts stepped aside.

Well, on Saturday, Watts did just that. Read more…