Surrey mayoral candidate John Edwards

Surrey mayoral candidate John Edwards

Election 2014: Former health professional joins the race for Surrey mayor

City of Surrey: John Edwards wants more police on the street immediately and a community court.

Another mayoral candidate has stepped forward, vowing that “change” will be his operative word.

On Friday, John Edwards, a former health care professional, formally announced he is running for Surrey mayor this fall.

Edwards, who has been a resident of Newton for 20 years, said the number-one issue facing the city is crime.

He also said Surrey can’t wait for the 95 officers being promised by other candidates; positions need to be filled now. He said that could be accomplished by reducing the number of officers away on leave.

Edwards also wants to see a community court up and running in Surrey as soon as possible. That way, the root causes of many crimes, such as mental health and addictions, can be dealt with quickly.

He wants to get drug and alcohol recovery homes regulated through the Community Care Facilities Act, as it was before their deregulation in 2001.

If homes are found in non-compliance, their licence to operate would be taken away, Edwards said.

He would also use public service announcements through firms like ICBC, BC Hydro and Telus to let people know how to better protect themselves from having their homes, businesses or cars broken into.

For transportation issues, he would create a “Surrey Transportation Authority” that would clearly express this city’s transit needs.

He also wants to see a trade and convention centre built in the city, preferably in Cloverdale.

Edwards will be running against former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum, Surrey First Coun. Linda Hepner, Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode and Surrey businessman Vikram Bajwa.

Former Surrey Coun. Judy Higginbotham is also considering running for the centre chair.

The civic election will be held Saturday, Nov. 15.

Surrey North Delta Leader