New citizen group pushes ‘for improvement’ in Surrey

SURREY – At least 50 of Surrey’s most involved citizens have formed an ad-hoc group in the lead-up to the civic election to encourage residents to learn about all the candidates and vote for change. “We’re the people that are the feet on the street, the people that work in the community that see the direct impact of city policies, enforcement, crime, etc., in our communities.

We’re the people who don’t have any axe to grind – we’re simply trying to make our city a better place,” said longtime community advocate Bob Campbell, who is leading the initiative, dubbed Surrey Citizen Leaders. “We have to be the most altruistic voices of our communities. Not just community groups, but environmental groups, a variety of volunteer and charity organizations, that are all just trying to make peoples’ lives better.”

The Panorama Ridge resident said about 50 people are involved so far, and it’s growing every day. So what message are the community-minded folks trying to get across?

“There’s lots of room for improvement,” Campbell said of the current state of the city. “To state that things are fine right now, most of these people would not agree…. Maybe the focus needs to be taken from rapid-fire development to making our communities more livable and safe and pleasant. That would be a change in focus.”

The group is concerned about a variety of issues that affect all communities, including crime, of course, as well as bylaw enforcement (or lack thereof), infrastructure not keeping up with development, loss of green space and the pace of development. The group is trying to encourage people to get out and vote, but is not endorsing any political slate or candidate. “Get out and look for candidates. Maybe independent candidates, maybe from slates, that are truly out there to address these issues and aren’t going to stick with status quo,” he said.

The group’s formation has “everything to do with the election,” Campbell noted. “It’s really been brought together to try to get this message out to Surrey residents that all is not completely well.”

Campbell said many of the community leaders involved regularly interact with the city, adding there’s a fear of speaking out. “There’s a perception that if you stand up and say I’m not happy with the way things are going, it will impact your ability to work with the city,” he said. “There’s a sense that if you get too vocal there’s going to be some retribution, or at a minimum, a lack of response.”

Campbell noted at the CBC debate held Tuesday at SFU Surrey, some said things are fine, referring to Surrey First mayoral candidate Linda Hepner saying “there is nothing the matter with Surrey.” “Simply put, what this group is saying is we don’t agree with that. We don’t think things are fine.”

Campbell noted how unique the initiative was. “We think this is pretty unique. When has there been groups concerned citizens gotten together in a non-partisan way to say we’re not happy with the way things are going? It’s not happening in Vancouver or any other city, but it’s happening here.”

Visit the group online at As of Friday, the group had more than 250 likes.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read