Surrey MLA Jinny Sims has officially announced her bid to become Surrey’s next mayor.
“City hall is broken. You just have to watch us on the news, or read the news, and because it’s broken, we need someone who can go in and has the strength and the fortitude to fix it,” Sims told the Now-Leader. “The biggest embarrassment for all of us, I think right now, is we make international and national news and it’s about our governance being broken.”
Sims, who will be running under the Surrey Forward banner that was announced in April, said the slate will be releasing their official platform in the coming weeks, but she said it will fall under “three pillars.”
Those pillars, she said, are openness and transparency, fairness and affordability.
“Number one is to have openness and transparency at our city council level and our governance, but also to have democracy restored,” she explained. “Secondly, to build, going forward, fairness, so that everybody in the city no matter where they live or what their background, feels that things are being done fairly and openly.”
As for affordability, Sims said “everybody in Surrey now is struggling.”
“The affordability issues, whether it’s housing, whether it’s transportation, whether it’s childcare and in order to address some of those issues, we need to have stability at city hall.
“We need to have a functioning city hall, and then we need to work in collaboration with different levels of government, the public and private sector, in order to build the best city.”
So far, Doug McCallum (Safe Surrey Coalition) and Brenda Locke (Surrey Connect) are the only other candidates in the mayoral race.
Speculation for Sims’ run for mayor has been buzzing since late last year.
In December, Sims told the Now-Leader “never say never because that might jinx me or something.” But at the time, she said her focus was on her own constituency,” the provincial riding of Surrey-Panorama.
But her decision to run didn’t come until several months later, and Sims said she only submitted her papers to run a week ago.
“Quite honestly, I didn’t (submit earlier) because I wanted to finish the legislature and not distract from the work of government that I really value. That’s why I waited.”
The politician, who has taken a leave from her provincial duties starting today (June 9), officially announced her run for mayor with Surrey Forward on Wednesday, along with four council candidates: Jim Bennett, June Liu, Ramon Bandong and Theresa Pidcock.
Two other council candidates will be introduced in the next few weeks, Sims said.
“We are building a diverse slate that reflects not only the diversity of our city in its ethnicity so to speak, but also we’re building a diverse slate across party lines and for people who share our values in wanting this to be the very best city it can be.”