Surrey city councillor Dave Woods. (Photo: Now-Leader).

Woods joins Hayne’s Integrity Now slate as Surrey council candidate

Councillor Dave Woods split from Surrey First last week after Tom Gill said he supports a federal handgun ban

After splitting from Surrey First, Councillor Dave Woods has revealed to the Now-Leader that he will join Bruce Hayne’s Integrity Now slate for the upcoming Oct. 20 election.

It’s a decision, Woods said, that was about “integrity.”

“It’s a good fit for me. (Hayne’s) thinking is very similar to my thinking,” Woods said on Wednesday. “The (hand) gun issue has come to the forefront, but it’s much more than that. He assured me that if I came on the team, I would have my independent stance, like I’ve had in the past with Surrey First.”

Current councillors Bruce Hayne and Barabara Steele also split from Surrey First this year, with Hayne as the newly formed Integrity Now slate’s mayoral candidate.

Woods followed suit and split on Aug. 22 after Surrey First’s mayoral candidate Tom Gill said he supports a federal handgun ban in an interview the previous Friday, something Woods claims he wasn’t consulted on and doesn’t agree with.

“In that story, when I was interviewed, they asked me my personal opinion on handguns,” said Gill, who responded to the split saying it was “unfortunate” Woods chose to leave the party, but that he had been invited to a platform discussion meeting including the gun topic meeting that lasted three-and-a-half hours.

“Dave chose not to show up, for whatever reason,” said Gill, noting Woods resigned the following day.

For his part, Woods said at the time that he had “no confidence the movement towards a more open, collaborative, and transparent culture within the party will exist and, therefore, I will not be seeking re-election as a member of Surrey First.”

See also: Handgun ban issue fires up Surrey candidates

See also: Councillor Dave Woods resigns from Surrey First

Now, Woods says his thinking aligns with Hayne.

“I’ve always respected Bruce. I knew him well before he was on council,” said Woods, a former police officer. “And I’ve respected Barbara.”

Woods said he and Hayne are “committed to doing the right thing for our city and current citizens.”

“Is there a need for us to build housing for the overall general public? Yes, there is, but our citizens have to come first — our current taxpayers,” he added.

Woods pointed to his voting record when it comes to development, saying he voted “over 115 times” against developments he thought weren’t appropriate for a given community.

“Development is good for the city but it has to be done in a smart, sustainable way,” Woods said. “I’ve been very concerned with developments where there hasn’t been the infrastructure there, in particular with the schools.”

Woods elaborated on his split from Surrey First.

He said the “last straw” was when Gill spoke publicly about supporting a federal handgun ban, but added that Gill hadn’t been “walking the talk” previous to that.

“What Bruce says in public, he says in private. That is a huge point with me — walking the talk,” said Woods. “I spoke up quite a bit behind closed doors… I’m a strong independent thinker.

“I think quite frankly, if you look at Vancouver and you look at Surrey, they have had the same sort of prominent political parties for the last 10 years and I think this is a natural evolution. I think it’s time for change.”

Hayne said he’s glad to have Woods on his team.

“I don’t always agree with him on some policy issues, and we have certainly voted differently on many occasions on council but I really respect his integrity and his moral compass,” Hayne said, adding that he’s “intentionally” not running a full slate, because he wants to have “other voices, opinions and ideas at the table.”

Other candidates on the Intregity Now slate are Honeybee Centre founder John Gibeau, engineer and business owner Avi Dhaliwal, and small business owner Rina Gill.

With Surrey First councillors Judy Villeneuve and Mary Martin announcing they are not seeking re-election that leaves incumbent councillors Mike Starchuk and Vera LeFranc on the Surrey First slate at this point, with Gill as the party’s mayoral candidate.

Other slates running in the fall election include former Surrey mayor Doug McCallun’s Safe Surrey Coalition, People First Surrey, and the “left-leaning” Proudly Surrey.

The Surrey Community Alliance party seems to have been dissolved after founder Doug Elford split to run with McCallum. Council candidates on that slate (Asad Syed, Saira Aujla, Bernie Sheppard and Imtiaz Popat) are considered independents for the time being.

Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20.

Click here to read more election stories.

Other election news:

See also: Handgun ban issue fires up Surrey candidates

See also: Surrey Honeybee Centre founder to run for council with Integrity Now

See also: Councillor Dave Woods resigns from Surrey First

See also: New independent school board candidate in Surrey

See also: Dr. Allison Patton joins Safe Surrey Coalition slate

See also: Downtown Surrey BIA announces all-candidates meetings

See also: Retired teacher Julia Poole to run for Surrey school board

See also: Pauline Greaves joins mayoral race in Surrey

See also: Avi Dhaliwal joins Surrey Integrity Now as council candidate

See also: Proudly Surrey wants to build a Rita Johnston statue, rename the Pattullo to Bob Bose Bridge

See also: McCallum keeps ‘Safe Surrey Coalition’ name, announces new candidate

See also: Rina Gill joins Bruce Hayne’s ‘Surrey Integrity Now’ party

See also: Doug Elford resigns from his Surrey party to run with McCallum

See also: People First Surrey announces first two candidates

See also: Doug McCallum running for Surrey mayor

See also: Former Surrey First Councillor Bruce Hayne to run for mayor

See also: Tom Gill is Surrey First’s mayoral candidate

See also: Hayne splits from Surrey First: ‘It’s just not open and transparent the way I’d like it to be’

See also: Surrey First’s Mary Martin not seeking re-election this fall

See also: Surrey First Councillor Judy Villeneuve not seeking re-election this fall

See more: New civic slate Proudly Surrey aims to offer ‘sharp, strong, left-leaning’ candidates

See more: Proudly Surrey introduces two more candidates for Surrey council, schoolboard

See more: Surrey Community Alliance announces intention to challenge Surrey First in civic election

See more: Surrey Community Alliance unveils civic slate, but no mayoral candidate

See more: People First Surrey party reveals intention to run in upcoming civic election

See more: Five Surrey First councillors now reveal interest in mayor’s chair

See more: With Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner out, who is mulling a mayoral run?

See more: Hawthorne Park crusader to run for Surrey council

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