Doug Elford confirms he has resigned from the Surrey Community Alliance party he formed to run alongside former mayor Doug McCallum in the upcoming civic election.
Elford was president of the newly formed political party that aimed to challenge the reigning Surrey First party in the Oct. 20 election, before deciding to run with the former mayor instead.
“Surrey is at a crossroads,” Elford told the Now-Leader. “We cannot continue down the path of special favours for developers to the detriment of affordability. No more closed door meetings, overseas junkets and financial mismanagement.
“It’s time to get this city back on a path of affordability, crime reduction, increased transparency and financial strength,” he added.
“The best way to do that is getting rid of Surrey First and the person with the best chance is Doug McCallum.”
The former mayor garnered 28,010 votes in the last 2014 election — or 26.88 per cent of total votes — coming second only to current Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.
A release dated Aug. 11 was sent to media by former SCA campaign managers Gord Savard and Sharon Goldberg. It said the party is withdrawing from the municipal election and cited funding as a “major reason” for the decision.
“We had excellent candidates,” the release stated. “In previous campaigns under the old legislation, the old group Surrey Matters already had $30,000 in donations to take care of pre-election expenses like signs, leaflets and office space. This time around we are not even near that amount, to run a reasonable campaign.”
But, a release sent to the Now-Leader by a member of the Surrey Community Alliance, Imtiaz Popat, said Elford’s split was what really caused the “demise” of the party.
That Aug. 12 release stated an emergency meeting of SCA candidates was held last Friday (Aug. 10) to announce Elford’s resignation and that “the campaign was being dissolved.”
Popat said other members of SCA were also approached by McCallum but said they “refused to jump ship because we understand that some of the issues we were raising such (as) gang violence and homelessness were ignored by Doug McCallum when he was mayor.”
“We are not giving up,” Popat added. “We are looking at other options to continue our campaign and we are confident we can raise the funds in the coming few weeks to run an effective campaign for City Council and School Board.”
Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20.