Surrey’s new provincial riding is also the city’s most contested, attracting seven candidates for next Tuesday’s election.
To keep up with the population, the size of Surrey-White Rock, Surrey-Panorama and Surrey-Cloverdale ridings were reduced to make room for Surrey South in 2015.
The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission reported that 57,746 people live within the 125-sq.-km Surrey South boundary – the largest geographical riding in Surrey.
Voters in the area have shown a history of voting for the right-leaning BC Liberals. The last time a BC Liberal was unseated in one of the three ridings was when Jagrup Brar (NDP) won Surrey-Panorama Ridge in 2004.
The BC Liberal candidate eyeing the new Surrey South seat is Stephanie Cadieux, elected as Surrey-Panorama MLA in 2009, and Surrey-Cloverdale MLA in 2013. She is currently the minister of children and family development.
For the new riding, the BC NDP nominated Jonathan Silveira, a Realtor and mortgage broker and founder of Surrey Kids Matter. He ran for Surrey School District trustee in 2014.
According to his campaign website, Silveira successfully negotiated the UPAS, a universal transit pass for students. He sat on SFU’s board of governors and served with the Canadian Federation of Students and Simon Fraser Student Society.
Pascal Tremblay will represent the BC Green Party. His BC Green Party webpage says he has been working in technology, design, communications and entrepreneurship for 15 years.
A news release says he’s the co-founder and creative director of The Good Kind design strategy agency, which helps organizations amplify their impact and outreach efforts.
Paramount Computers president Gary Hee is running as an independent. He named removing tolls from the Port Mann Bridge as a key reason to run.
He was a Block Watch captain for approximately four years in the Clayton area. Hee also expressed a concern about area hospitals and homelessness.
Fabiola Palomino hopes to take the seat under the Your Political Party of BC banner.
Originally from Peru, she worked as a TV and radio journalist in her home country. Moving to B.C. in 2005, Palomino has been the host of Shaw TV’s The Immigrant’s Magazine.
She describes honesty and transparency as two virtues that can define her personality. She enjoys reading, cooking, writing and running.
UBC political science student Josh Barrett is running as a Libertarian in the riding. He said he was inspired to pursue politics was after Ron Paul’s 2012 U.S. presidential campaign.
He says he was compelled by Paul’s message of individual liberty and limited government.
Independent Peter Njenga defines himself as a “liberal at heart,” and announced he would be running as an independent after being “rejected” by the BC Liberals.
In 2015, he ran unsuccessfully for nomination in the federal election as a Liberal candidate for South Surrey-White Rock, but was then named Liberal candidate for Abbotsford and finished second.
For the 2017 election, Njenga said he applied for nomination with the BC Liberals for Surrey-Panorama riding, but his application was denied.
In a Facebook post Jan. 26, Njenga took issue with the BC Liberal party’s nomination process. In the post, he says he wrote a letter to BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark, asking to be a candidate for Surrey-Panorama.
“There should be no discrimination for party members seeking election offices,” said Njenga’s online post. “I also question why you did not reply to my letter. I need your advise (sic): If there is no chance of ever been (sic) given a chance in our party as a black candidate, should I then go to another party. Somebody told me there is no chance and I want to here (sic) from you publically (sic).”
The boundary riding includes Mud Bay and follows 24 Avenue to Highway 99 where it jets south to the border. The riding follows 0 Avenue to 196 Street where it goes straight north to 76 Avenue. The northern chunk of the riding zigzags southwest to 188 Street, then south to 56 Avenue and lines west back to Mud Bay.