B.C. VOTES: Surrey-Tynehead candidates on the record

B.C. VOTES: Surrey-Tynehead candidates on the record

The Leader profiles Surrey and North Delta ridings leading up to the May 14 provincial election.

After election day on May 14, Surrey-Tynehead will have just its second-ever MLA.

Dave Hayer of the B.C. Liberal party has represented Tynehead in Victoria since the riding was created in 2001, but announced his retirement last fall.

RCMP Insp. Amrik Virk has been asked to keep the riding under the Liberal banner, while the B.C. NDP has nominated restaurant owner Avtar Bains as its candidate.

Barry Sikora, owner of the printing firm Classic Impressions, will run for the B.C. Conservatives, while the B.C. Vision party has nominated Sukhi Gill.

BC election logoThe Green party has not fielded a candidate in this riding.

The Liberals have won more than 50 per cent of the vote in all three elections in Surrey-Tynehead, but the margin of victory has decreased each time.

Running against Pat Zanon of the NDP four years ago, Hayer was re-elected with 8,814 votes to Zanon’s tally of 7,257. Hayer trounced the NDP candidate in 2001, with 61 per cent of the vote compared to 16 per cent for his nearest rival.

This year’s race in Surrey-Tynehead is expected to be the closest ever.

A young electoral district – only three ridings have a higher percentage of residents 18-and-under – Surrey-Tynehead ranks 10th among the 85 provincial ridings with roughly 21 per cent (according to the 2006 census) of the population having emigrated to Canada since 2000, well above the provincial average of 15.9 per cent.

Its percentage of single-family households ranks among the top 10 in the province, as does the percentage of families spending more than 30 per cent of its income on shelter.

It also has the third-highest percentage of single dads.


Surrey-Tynehead fast facts:

• 2006 population: 50,920

• 2011 Population: 58,160

• Increase: 12.4%

• Median age: 38.2

• Non-English mother tongue: 44%

•Average income: $70,547



The Leader asked local candidates in the May 14 provincial election to respond to the following questions:

1. What is your name, age, education and neighbourhood of residence?

2. Why should people vote for you?

3. What are the most significant issues facing your riding and what would you do about them?

4. What are the most significant issues facing B.C. and what would you do about them?

Here are the responses from the candidates for Surrey-Tynehead:


Amrik Virk1. Name, education, and residence:

My name is Amrik Virk. I am 49 years old and live in South Surrey with my wife Jatinder and three daughters. I have a bachelor of arts in economics from Simon Fraser University and have completed full training at the RCMP Depot Division. I also serve as vice-chair of the board of directors at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

My name is Harry Bains, I am 61 years of age and I have lived in Surrey for the past 35 years.

2. Why should people vote for you?

Public service has been an important part of my life. As a member of the RCMP for over 25 years, I have been dedicated to making our communities safer, stronger and healthier.  I understand the complex issues that are facing our community and I have a proven track record of delivering results. Through my diverse volunteer involvement, I have worked with community leaders to ensure that the people of Surrey have access to a world-class health facility at Surrey Memorial Hospital and I have served on the board of governors at Kwantlen to ensure we are delivering the best possible quality of education for the young people in Surrey.

3. What are the most significant issues facing your riding and what would you do about them?

What I have heard most often from people is they are concerned about the economy, first and foremost. They want a government that is committed to creating jobs and the B.C. Liberal party is the only party that has made a strong, stable economy a priority.  I will continue to be an advocate for a small business to ensure our children have the same opportunities we have had.

4. What are the most significant issues facing B.C. and what would you do about them?

This election is about which party is best to manage our economy. We are focused on growing the economy and creating jobs. We understand the need to strengthen international trade in order to secure new markets for goods produced in and by the people of B.C. India and China are emerging as economic superpowers and we cannot miss out on the opportunity to be at the forefront of showcasing our products in those markets.


Avtar Bains1. Name, education, and residence:

Avtar Bains, 49. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. South Guildford.

2. Why should people vote for you?

I have lived in this area since I came to Canada 45 years ago.  I have raised my children here and I own a business in North Surrey.  I know and deeply care about my community. In addition to electing a strong, local MLA, a vote for me is a vote for a change to a new government with better priorities.

3. What are the most significant issues facing your riding and what would you do about them?

When I’m on the doorstep, people talk about the need for better training for good jobs, better health care, more affordable post-secondary education, transportation and affordability. These issues reflect my own priorities and why I’m running for this position. But as we tackle these issues, we have to be realistic. Government can’t do everything at once. That’s why Adrian Dix and the NDP will take a prudent approach, working to make B.C. better one practical step at a time.

4. What are the most significant issues facing B.C. and what would you do about them?

I think the biggest issue is that people no longer trust the government to work to make things better for them. People are looking for a different approach – that’s why I’m proud to be running with Adrian Dix and the NDP. We are putting forward a plan that lays out what we are going to do and how we are going to pay for it – without any post-election surprises like the HST. I hope you’ll join us as we work to change B.C. for the better, one practical step at a time.


Barry Sikora1. Name, education, and residence:

My name is Barry Sikora and I have lived all of my 60 years in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. I am a graduate of Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School in Vancouver, and later attended both BCIT and Vancouver Community College. I have owned and lived in the same house in     North Surrey for the past three-and-a-half decades.

2. Why should people vote for you?

I’ve been a businessman for almost 40 years and for the past 26 years have owned my own company. We have approximately 20 employees, including my wife, daughter, son and     son-in-law. I know what it is like to meet a payroll, how to generate a profit, and how to  produce dividends. Not that the government should be run like a business – after all, it is not supposed to produce a profit – but it has to be run in a business-like manner.

3. What are the most significant issues facing your riding and what would you do about them?

The quality of life for Surrey-Tynehead residents is the most important issue. Wages and incomes have stagnated over the last 20 years, yet the cost of living rises higher and higher. It often seems like the provincial government is working against us – with increases in MSP premiums, BC Hydro and ICBC rates, and bridge tolls – instead of working  for us. We have to, first, foster an environment that creates high-wage jobs. Second, we have to  have a government that is sensitive to the cost of living for average families.

4. What are the most significant issues facing B.C. and what would you do about them?

The same issue facing B.C. also is facing Surrey-Tynehead – the quality of life and stagnant incomes. B.C. used to lead the country in average-weekly earnings but now we have fallen to fifth in Canada. B.C. used to be a magnet drawing workers from other provinces but over the last 18 months – under Christy Clark’s failed “Jobs Plan” – we are again losing families who are moving elsewhere. We have to increase wages, which only can be done by investing in post-secondary education.


Sukhi Gill1. Name, education, and residence:

Sukhi Gill, 49 years old, living in mixed population of sweet neighbourhood.

2. Why should people vote for you?

Housewife,  mother of teenage kids understands the social, educational, emotional, psychological issues of kids and family. Being family person understand how public face economic problems in this bad economic time.

I am always looking for solutions for my family problems I face in day-to-day affairs and I can raise the voice of my people in Victoria. I am common person so understand the situation of average families.

Being independent I become the voice of my people and never hesitate to raise the issues of my area. I believe in better economics and I understand poverty is the mother of all ill and evil forces of crime and violence.

3. What are the most significant issues facing your riding and what would you do about them?

Poverty in children is maximum in my area. Poverty means crime and crime promotes violence in family life and in the society. Loose network of transit mean more carbon footprinting.

No shopping complexes in the area it influence the less medical clinics so people travel long distance.

Toll on bridge is too high and I can try to convince Victoria to reduce it if not abolish it.

Promoting the small-scale businesses which creates more jobs in the community close to their residence/home.

Establishment of higher education institute in my area as all such facilities located in other parts of Surrey.

My Tynehead is a totally neglected area from last many years and it is the time for big change.

4. What are the most significant issues facing B.C. and what would you do about them?

Stable budget. More economic growth. Investment is education.

Save the environment.

Public servants spend more time in their area instead of Victoria.

Listen and implement their people’s will not their leaders, sitting in Victoria.


The B.C. Green party is not running a candidate in this riding.

SURREY-TYNEHEAD: If you live within these boundaries, this is your riding:

Surrey-Tynehead map

Surrey North Delta Leader