Here’s a timely reminder for Surrey’s mayoral candidates to keep their eyes on the ball.
None are running for the office of prime minister or premier.
The mayor of a big city like Surrey has a lot of power and responsibility in matters of land development and transportation.
The mayor, however, is not in charge of Canada’s gun laws. Nor does he or she have control over what the courts do. On Oct. 20 we are not electing a chief lobbyist, we are electing a mayor.
And yet, creeping into local election platforms and press releases are positions beyond any mayor’s scope.
Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill’s campaign fired off a press release this week after high-risk sex offender Jeffrey Goddard was released into Surrey. Surrey is no place for high-risk sex offenders, Gill says. There’s something incredibly wrong with our justice system, and he wants it changed.
Don’t we all.
But what’s he going to do about it? Mayors have denounced the release of dangerous criminals into Surrey, and rightfully so, but it keeps happening all the same.
Gill also wants a ban on handguns here. This isn’t the Wild West, with ordinance signs posted outside city limits instructing visitors to turn in their six-shooters to the town sheriff. The feds are in charge of gun-related legislation.
For that matter, Surrey mayoral candidate Bruce Hayne, of Integrity Now, should be reminded that border security is the federal government’s responsibility, and yet part of his slate’s platform is to “work with the federal government to enhance border security…” Well, what’s he going to do, if elected mayor, hinder the federal government’s efforts in that regard? Of course not. Nor would he be able to control it.
Hayne’s platform indicates his slate, if elected, will “advocate for significant prison terms” for gangsters and possessing illegal handguns. Again, not the civic government’s jurisdiction. Oh sure, it can lobby, but it has no real say over what judges do within the framework of federal and provincial legislation.