OUR VIEW: Cities like Surrey don’t elect mayors to defer tough questions

Not talking about a problem won’t make it go away.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner was the subject of an unusual headline this past week concerning her refusal to comment on recent shootings and deferring that task to the RCMP. 

Indeed, the mayor must be frustrated receiving calls from reporters seeking reaction to these crimes. After all, it’s not as though she is pulling the triggers. And yet, she is in a position of power and as the saying goes, the buck stops with her, as civic leader of this city.

And with that power comes not only the ability to set policy in place, but also to allay residents’ fears when the opportunity presents itself.

As her counterpart in Delta, Mayor Lois Jackson, rightfully notes, "People want to hear from the mayor…they also want to know we are determined to do whatever we can."

Of course there is a lot of good stuff going on in Surrey and it’s laudable that Mayor Hepner wants to champion that.

She’s not alone. Take this newspaper, for instance. We love to bring you stories replete with happiness and joy. Some of our favourite stories are those that leave our readers feeling inspired and uplifted.

But there’s more to the real world than that.

Our job is to mirror our community, its challenges as well as its triumphs. There is bad, along with the good, and it has to be addressed. It all comes down to credibility.

And so mayors, politicians of all walks, and yes, journalists as well, must address the state of the city, pimples as well as beauty spots, lest we be taken for ostriches burying our heads in the sand.

We, too, love Surrey and want to see it "evolve" into a safe place to live and invest, as Mayor Hepner does.

But sweeping our city’s challenges under the rug is just not the way to do it.

The Now

Just Posted

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

Fees ensure patients have access to parking at SMH, FHA says

Fraser Health Authority hasn’t heard yet from city hall about pay parking at Surrey hospital

Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

City considering task force to look at parking generally – Walker

Surrey memories: How the ‘IGUISBCSIR’ Facebook page became a hub for anecdotal history

Former Whalley resident Wes Mussato launched the group in 2011, 11 years after he’d moved to Ontario

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read