Pauline Greaves has announced she will run for mayor in Surrey. (Submitted photo)

Surrey election

Pauline Greaves joins mayoral race in Surrey

Greaves says she will run as an independent, but ‘joining a slate is under consideration’

SURREY — Voters now have four mayoral candidates to choose from in the upcoming Oct. 20 election.

Pauline Greaves, a professor in business and management at Langara College, says she will run as an independent but noted that “joining a slate is under consideration.”

Her platform focuses 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 calls for an empty house tax to be implemented to help with the latter goal.

“We need a different lens in terms of future of the planning of the city,” Greaves told the Now-Leader.

“My view is this: I think the management and the operation at the city is still going on the basis that it is a small city and in fact it’s a big city, with big city problems, and therefore requires a big city vision.”

Greaves’ bio describes her as an educator who “brings experience in management, administration and leadership in education while placing great emphasis on inclusion and equal opportunity for all children and young adults.”

She also served as Deputy Director Head of Education for the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Her responsibilities included strengthening and developing educational policies for a social development program.

“My job there was to work with implementing the UN development program, that was, primarily, for many of the countries, getting girls in schools… and to improve and strengthen their public education system,” she noted.

Greaves — who is a member of the city’s Diversity Advisory Committee — said she decided to take the leap into politics and run for mayor in Surrey for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is what she sees as a lack of inclusion, an area in which she believes the City of Surrey is “missing the mark.”

“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.”

According to Greaves, policies and programs in Surrey haven’t kept up with the fast-growing city.

She said she also feels “development has become a priority over effective infrastructure.”

“We have seen a lot of housing development. None of them, or not many, include affordable housing and not many include assisted housing,” Greaves noted, adding school infrastructure, health care and emergency response is also lagging far behind.

“It becomes tiring to say plans are on the books. We need to be more proactive in moving them,” she said of new school projects. “It’s good to have development, but we need to go back and revisit. Without the schools we cannot educate our kids. Without the schools we can’t ensure our children can go on to become contributing citizens. We have to wait a lot longer to get responses from our first responders.”

When it comes to transportation, Greaves said 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,” she said. “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. “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.”

Elaborating on her vision for policing in Surrey, which includes a municipal force, Greaves said she believes a regional police force would be more effective “because we can then control the governance and placements of individuals or teams as we need them.”

“What that looks like, there are different options, and I think we need to look at all of them,” she said.

She added there are “certain expertise the RCMP currently bring, such as integrated units, gang units, things like that. But, we need to revisit the type of training the officers have and whether or not it adequately addresses the needs of Surrey.”

Greaves joins three other mayoral candidates in Surrey, including Surrey First’s Tom Gill, Surrey Integrity Now’s Bruce Hayne (formerly Surrey First), and Safe Surrey Coalition’s Doug McCallum.

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