Surrey First spent nearly $1.2M on election campaign

SURREY – Surrey First spent nearly $1.2 million on its successful 2014 municipal campaign, primarily from corporate donors, according to campaign disclosure statements.

The amount, which was almost triple the money spent in total by Mayor Linda Hepner’s two competitors, helped the party secure every seat on Surrey council.

Safe Surrey, with Doug McCallum as its mayoral candidate, had total expenditures of just over $92,000, while mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode’s One Surrey Coalition spent about $313,000 during the election campaign.

Contributions to the Surrey First campaign included $902,000 from corporations, $130,000 from individuals and $38,000 from trade unions.`

Many of Surrey First’s contributors were developers, including the Beedie Development Group ($8,000), Bosa Properties Inc. ($21,500) and Polygon Homes ($8,000).

Other large contributors included Surrey Firefighters Association ($32,700), Northwest Developments Ltd. ($15,000) and Great Canadian Gaming Corp. ($22,000).

Most of Surrey First’s expenditures went to salaries and wages ($302,000), with $163,000 going to research and polling and about $444,000 for advertising.

By comparison, the Surrey First council team in the 2011 election received about $676,000 in financial contributions for its campaign, which also resulted in the slate sweeping all nine council seats, including the mayor’s chair for Dianne Watts.

A total of $304,310 came from development, contracting and constructionrelated businesses in the 2011 campaign. Safe Surrey received $30,400 from corporations and $17,400 from individuals, with its larger donations including Crown Distributors ($5,000), Wendy and Rodney Cameron ($5,000), and Bill’s Development Ltd. ($7,725).

Rasode’s One Surrey had total expenditures of $312,668 and total contributions of $198,650, with individuals contributing $50,400, corporations contributing $83,700 and trade unions contributing $24,500.

One Surrey’s larger donors included United Steelworkers ($10,000), Bosa Properties ($14,000), B.C. Maritime Employers ($12,000) and Best Automotive ($15,000).

One Surrey’s expenditures included $49,500 in research and polling, $119,900 in “other advertising,” and $34,000 in wages.

Rasode said Monday that One Surrey received $198,650 in financial contributions, and the remainder of its total expenditures ($312,668) were through “services in kind,” including free ads in South Asian magazines.

“There were benefits we received in terms of office space, services and some promotional work in which there was no money exchanged, but because we received a value for it we wanted to declare it.”