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BC ELECTION 2017: Surrey-Panorama riding like MLA musical chairs

Some 60,128 people live in this riding, which covers 24 square kilometres

This has been a riding of musical chairs, where MLAs are concerned.

Surrey-Panorama is a relatively new riding. Liberal Stephanie Cadieux was its first MLA, elected in 2009, before she moved on to Surrey-Cloverdale. She’s presently seeking office in Surrey South.

Jagrup Brar had been elected NDP MLA for the riding’s predecessor, Surrey-Panorama Ridge, during a byelection in 2004, and served as its MLA until 2009 when he became Surrey-Fleetwood’s first MLA with 49.29 per cent of the vote. Liberal Peter Fassbender defeated him in 2013 in that riding, where the two are engaged in a re-match this election.

Liberal Marvin Hunt, Surrey-Panorama’s most recent MLA, is now carrying his party’s banner in Surrey-Cloverdale in this provincial election.

Hunt, a former Surrey city alderman and councillor, won Surrey-Panorama in the last provincial election with 54.28 per cent of the popular vote, defeating runner-up NDP candidate Amrik Mahil by 4,359 votes.

This time out, Surrey-Panorama voters have four MLA candidates to chose from: Liberal candidate Puneet Sandhar, NDP candidate Jinny Sims, B.C. Green Party candidate Veronica Greer, and Liz Galenzoski of the B.C. Refederation Party.

Sandhar is a Surrey lawyer and serves on numerous boards in the community, including the Board of Legal Services Society of British Columbia, the City of Surrey’s board of variance, the Advisory Board of Resource Works, Board of Punjab Digital Library, and is a director of the South Asian Business Association of B.C. and the Mayor’s Business Advisory Committee for the City of Surrey.

Sims served as NDP MP for Newton-North Delta from 2011 to 2015 and before that was president of the BC Teachers Federation from 2004 to 2007.

According to the Green Party website, Greer has worked in public transit, construction and the food industry and is a transgender person who advocates for all identities and all human rights. Galenzoski is an executive member and financial agent for the BC Refederation Party, aka BC Refed.

Surrey-Panorama’s population, according to most recently available figures, is 60,128. It covers an area of 24 square kilometres and the average age of people living in this riding is 35 years old. All told, for 53.95 per cent of all residents, English is their second language.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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