The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a pair of upcoming all-candidates forums for both the Surrey and White Rock municipal races.
Both will include council and school trustee candidates, but the major focus will be on mayoral candidates.
The Surrey all-candidates forum will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Gracepoint Community Church, 3487 King George Blvd.
The forum is being presented in partnership with the Peninsula Homeless to Housing Alliance, and a meet-and-greet with the candidates will follow. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
“The greatest crisis in our region affecting the largest swath of people is the lack of affordable housing in our area,” notes Rick Bayer, lead pastor at Grace Point Community Church.
“It impacts people across the spectrum; from the homeless to those struggling to make monthly rent.”
While a recent point-in-time homeless count in Surrey revealed more than 600 unhoused persons, Bayer said that number is low.
The City of Surrey’s recent housing report estimates there are more than 2,500 “hidden homeless” in the city.
Another 11,725 households spend more than half their income on housing, putting them at risk of homelessness.
The White Rock all-candidates forum will be held Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Ave.
A meet-and-greet with candidates will follow the forum, which is being presented in partnership with the White Rock BIA.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Public pre-registration is not necessary, but candidates are asked to pre-register to confirm their participation.
Chamber executive director Ritu Khanna said the meetings are in keeping with the organization’s long-standing policy with regard to civic elections.
“As a bi-partisan organization serving the needs of businesses and the greater community, the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber always hold all-candidates forums for elections,” she said.
She also noted that the chamber has also created an election resource page, www.sswrchamberofcommerce.ca/2022-municipal-election, which includes links to all the candidates and other forums.