ELECTION: Two-person TeamSurrey slate joins election

SURREY — Brenda Locke and Stephen Gammer have created a new slate running for council dubbed TeamSurrey.

Locke said Friday morning the two-person team is about, “a safer city, a stronger city and an accountable city.”

After announcing her intention to run in April, she told the Now she wants to see a cohesive vision of Surrey as a whole, rather than a handful of community hubs.

“We’ve all become little silos,” she said.

She’s also concerned about the gentrification of Whalley, and wants to see more social issues addressed in Whalley and Newton in particular.

“I’m very concerned about what has been going on with Whalley and the inaction that I see, and the growth of the homelessness issue in Surrey. That’s a big problem to me. I do think we’ve left some of our more vulnerable people behind. And I think that’s a tragedy.”

She added that, if elected, she would fight for more ice arenas and opportunities for Surrey youth to participate in hockey, curling and other ice sports.

While this is Gammer’s first run for office, Locke said her running-mate has been involved in her campaigns in the past, and was also involved in the Surrey Electors Team

Locke served as Liberal MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers from 2001 to 2005. Among other duties, she served as Minister of State for Mental Health and Addictions Services.

Locke defeated NDP MLA Sue Hammell for the seat in 2001, but Hammell then returned the favour in 2005. After that, Locke twice ran for federal office as a Liberal, in Fleetwood-Port Kells, in 2006 and 2008, but was defeated by Tory MP Nina Grewal.

TeamSurrey is not running a mayoral candidate, and the two candidates hope to just be another voice at the council table.

“We believe we can be the voice of reason, especially in this campaign, which is going to get pretty wild, I imagine. Wilder than it already is,” Locke said. “We want to be that sober second thought on council as well. A council that is dominated by one slate is not healthy. There needs to be that opportunity for effective dialogue. Stephen and I, we have different views from each other but we are certainly true to our convictions.”

Locke said Gammer, while a commercial realtor, also has a background in the social services sector through involvement in drug and addictions issues as a director of a not-for-profit.

Gammer could not be reached for comment.

@amyreid87

areid@thenownewspaper.com

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