Monthly Archive:: September 2014


Linda Hepner is swinging back at her opponents today. Photo: Evan Seal/Surrey Leader

After launching what can only be described as a limp, sleep-inducing promotional video, Saturday morning, Linda Hepner came out hours later swinging hard at her opponents for politicizing personal tragedy in two recent killings.

I awoke to a tweet by Surrey First entreating me to check out this video, which is a three minutes and 15 seconds of her team members voicing unconditional support for her.

Team support is kind of assumed. A lot of people in social media wanted to know what the city thought of her.

After taking some heat on Twitter for dodging the crime issue, Surrey First, and Hepner came out swinging. Blogger Esmir Milavic also tore into her on Battleground Surrey.

“Frankly, our community and our citizens deserve a more serious conversation about crime and public safety than the one I’m seeing these days on social media,” Hepner writes on “Right now, we’re seeing a lot of people jockeying for position, taking shots at one another, trying to score political points off family tragedies, or making wild and unsubstantiated claims that are only aimed at scaring people.” Read more…

Beau Simpson

Time, I think, to address the elephant in the room.
There’s a fair amount of rumbling in the community about Now newspaper editor Beau Simpson pairing up with former Mayor Doug McCallum to run for civic office this fall.
Candidates from other camps are crying foul, suggesting that at least the potential for slanted coverage may have been under way prior to Simpson’s announcement.
Here’s the nut of it.
In journalism, as in politics, credibility is everything.
The real estate of trustworthiness is gained in inches and lost in miles.
Also like politics, in newsrooms it’s not only paramount to be unbiased, but to be seen as being even-handed.
It must be noted that the staff at The Now are consummate professionals. I’ve worked beside them all and every one of them is skilled and in this business for the right reasons.
I also consider them friends.
I feel terrible for them and the position in which they now find themselves.
Simpson told staff at the paper just before he announced to the public he was taking a leave of absence as editor and running for public office.
He could have greatly mitigated some of the optics problems by taking his leave a couple of months earlier. Stories during that time would be in less doubt, and if they were questioned, it would be far earlier in the electoral process.
I’m told when he left, he urged his staff to treat him like any other candidate.
Easily said. Read more…


Doug McCallum announced this morning he’s running with four council candidates in his bid to regain the mayor’s chair.

They include Surrey Now newspaper editor Beau Simpson – who is on leave from the paper to run for council – lawyer Justin Thind, business owner Rina Gill and community advocate Laurie Guerra. (Information about the candidates can be found at

Even some of McCallum’s detractors say the news is big for him.

Read more…