Monthly Archive:: August 2014


Mayoral candidate Linda Hepner during her interview with The Surrey Leader where she called for a ferris wheel at the south end of the Pattullo Bridge. Photo/Evan Seal

Coun. Linda Hepner wants a ferris wheel at the Surrey side of the Pattullo Bridge.

And despite her claims in the Globe and Mail and Province newspapers, there was nothing “flippant” about the claim she made to the Surrey Leader during her interview earlier this year.

The call for a ferris wheel wasn’t very popular among the public. A recent poll indicated 72 per cent of respondents thought it was a bad or very bad idea.

The most common response to problems like the one Hepner faced was to shoot the messenger. This case was no different, and probably came from the campaign brain trust for her mayoral bid.

These things usually work, save and except when the messenger has a tape of the interview, which Hepner knew all along was being recorded.

Hepner’s team previously suggested I broke an embargo when The Surrey Leader broke the story that she was running.

The audio of that interview puts that suggestion to a complete lie. Read more…


For grins, I cobbled together policing strengths in Surrey for the past 30 years.
The exercise was quite revealing on a number of  counts.
Firstly, as I expected, the worst police to population ratio in those three decades was one cop per 911 people. It was under former Mayor Doug McCallum’s reign, and the poor policing strengths came on the heels of a federal shut-down of the RCMP training facility in Regina.
During two years before McCallum’s low ratio, we only got four cops per year. I was covering council at the time, I know the city was asking for more.
But Surrey wasn’t requesting enough to bring us to the national average of one officer in 700 people at the time. Our poor police strength made headlines.
In 2003, Coun. Dianne Watts, then Coun. Dianne Watts told The Surrey Leader if she could, she would hire 100 cops right away if she could.
She told me at the time McCallum wasn’t happy with his rogue councillor. Read more…


Former Mayor Doug McCallum is taking another run for mayor, and one of the mallots he is swinging at opponents is their stance on crime.

On Aug. 1, McCallum retweeted a twitter post to Hepner saying “ridiculous for the city to continue to claim success on crime with current stats!! #surreybc Define success.” @LindaHepner.”

A look at the Leader archives shows McCallum’s record wasn’t that great either.

During his administration, we had the worst cops per population ratio in the country, and a far higher ranking nationally in violent crime.

At the time we had one officer per 902 population, when the national average was one per 700. Right now, we have one in 757.

Our cops were way more over-worked than they are now. In 2001, Surrey RCMP had a criminal case load per officer of 127, the highest around.

Last figures I saw from a few years ago, Surrey RCMP’s criminal case load per officer was 55.

In 2001, Surrey had the highest violent crime rate out of the nation’s 15 biggest cities, according to a 67-page document titled Police Resources in Canada 2002, prepared by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, (which culled the figures from the year prior).
Surrey’s then-RCMP Superintendent Randy Bennett was unsurprised by the figures. Read more…