Independent mayoral candidate Pauline Greaves has joined the “left-leaning” Proudly Surrey slate for the upcoming Oct. 20 election.
“After a series of meetings and careful deliberation, I have decided that the Proudly Surrey team shares the values and principles I have sought to bring to the race through my mayoral campaign,” said Greaves in a statement released Wednesday (Sept. 5).
“In coming together, we are creating a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Our campaign is enriched by a diversity of candidates and perspectives,” she added. “We are united by a shared understanding of the need to democratize our city around the principles of inclusion and diversity.”
Greaves, an instructor in the Langara School of Management, serves on the City of Surrey’s diversity committee.
In the past, she has served as director of the UBC Women’s Centre, executive director of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and policy director of the Elizabeth Fry Society.
Greaves holds a MA in criminology and a PhD in education administration.
“My understanding of the barriers that low-income and vulnerable people face is not just based on academic knowledge, it is grounded in my experience in helping people,” said Greaves. “If we want to live in a prosperous, egalitarian city, we need practical policies, such as barrier-free youth and community services on which our slate is running.”
Proudly Surrey co-founder and council candidate Stuart Parker said in a release that this move is a “clear rethinking of the race at the strategic level.”
“However, we are still running on the same comprehensive set of policies we announced on April 26, which features a local police force, a South Fraser transportation authority and honouring the LRT contracts with the federal and provincial governments,” Parker added. “Pauline’s candidacy has already had a positive impact on our campaign. For example, we are adding an empty homes tax similar to Vancouver’s to our suite of policies to make housing more affordable and available.”
Greaves added that much of Proudly Surrey’s platform is “about restructuring our city’s relationship with senior levels of government. We want to bring more local control and oversight to our liability insurance, our transit system, our police force and our school staffing policies. We will reshape how Surrey conducts its own affairs.”
When Greaves announced her mayoral candidacy in mid-August, she told the Now-Leader her platform focused on the need for a municipal police force, “possibly aligned with a bordering community,” improved infrastructure to “meet Surrey’s explosive development,” the need for accessible and affordable housing, and she also called for an empty house tax to be implemented to help with the latter goal.
“We need a different lens in terms of the future planning of the city,” Greaves said at the time.
She also said the city is “missing the mark” in terms of inclusion.
“There’s a missing component when it comes to economic inclusion, access to health, and access to employment,” she said. “There’s a big difference, in terms of my perspective, around some of their social policy programs, their strategic plan, as well as their sustainable plan — they need to take a different perspective about what it means to be a resident of Surrey.”
Prior to joining Proudly Surrey, she told the Now-Leader she thinks LRT is the wrong technology for Surrey.
“Right now there isn’t a lot we can do about the current LRT plan because it’s already been approved,” Greaves said in August. “I have issues with it because I don’t think it will actually address the problems we have in terms of transportation and parking. I don’t think it adequately meets the needs of Surrey.
“It’s going in one direction and the first phase doesn’t really address the movement of people,” she added, noting it does nothing for connecting South Surrey residents to the larger system.
“We need more effective transportation,” said Greaves in her first interview with the Now-Leader. “We do need, I think, an extension of SkyTrain. The issue, of course, is always going to be money but I think we need to revisit, really, what is the most effective needs of meeting the transportation needs of people in Surrey.”
There are four other mayoral candidates in Surrey and they are incumbent Councillor Tom Gill (Surrey First), incumbent Councillor Bruce Hayne (Integrity Now), former mayor Doug McCallum (Safe Surrey) and Rajesh Jayaprakash (People First Surrey).
Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20.