Barb Steele in Surrey city council chambers. (File photo: Kevin Hill)

Barb Steele in Surrey city council chambers. (File photo: Kevin Hill)

Longtime councillor Steele quits Surrey First to run alongside Hayne

‘It has become clear that philosophically I can no longer be a part of Surrey First,’ she says

Longtime Surrey councillor Barb Steele is jumping ship from Surrey First to run alongside Bruce Hayne in this fall’s civic election.

In a release Tuesday afternoon (July 17), Steele said “it has become clear that philosophically I can no longer be a part of Surrey First,” citing leadership and integrity as concerns.

Following Hayne’s departure in June, she becomes the second sitting Surrey First councillor to resign from the civic party in less than a month. Hayne has yet to publicly declare whether he intends to run for mayor or councillor this fall.

• RELATED STORY: Hayne splits from Surrey First: ‘It’s just not open and transparent the way I’d like it to be’, from June 21.

Steele has been a councillor with the City of Surrey for two decades, and is a past-president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).

In the Oct. 20 civic election, she will seek an eighth term on Surrey council.

“I’m looking forward to running in the election this fall to continue the work I’ve started on behalf of the good people of this city,” Steele stated in the release.

“I joined Surrey First because I believed in the work, the values and the vision of my friend and colleague Dianne Watts. This is no longer the party that represents the ideals we began with, and in good conscience I can’t be part of it.”

On June 22, Surrey First announced Tom Gill will be its mayoral candidate in the election, following a decision by Mayor Linda Hepner to not seek re-election.

Judy Villeneuve and Mary Martin, current members of the all-Surrey First council, are also not seeking re-election this fall.

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