Former Surrey First Councillor Bruce Hayne tells the Now-Leader he is running for mayor.
“The worst kept secret in Surrey,” laughed Hayne, who currently sits as an independent on council after splitting from the Surrey First party in late June, claiming his decision stemmed from a lack of transparency and a difference in “vision.”
Hayne told the Now-Leader on Monday his phone has been “ringing off the hook” since announcing his departure from Surrey First with people encouraging him to run for mayor.
“That really was the motivating factor that made me say yes. I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and I think we need to do things differently at city hall,” he said.
“I’ve been on council for seven years. The first three under Dianne Watts’ leadership which was a very different feeling and style than it’s been in the last four years. I think we need a city hall and particularly a mayor’s office that’s transparent and collaborative with the community on the decisions we make. And, above all, has absolute integrity to guide the city into the next 25, 30 years. I plan to do things differently.”
According to Hayne more “voices and people” need to be at the table.
He said he will run a slate – but not a full one.
“That’s an intentional move on my part,” Hayne said. “There’s a lot of people that would like to run with us. But the thing is, by no fault of Surrey First, Surrey First has held all seats on council. The criticism of that is there aren’t those opposing voices, those different ideas, the vigorous debate, that perhaps should occur,” said Hayne. “I will be running a slate, and if people like what we say and our platform, and if we’re all elected, we would hold a majority.”
Hayne joins Surrey First’s Tom Gill and former mayor Doug McCallum in the race for the mayor’s chair.
Hayne said he plans to “take the high road” during this campaign.
“I am not going to get down in the mud and sling barbs at my opponents but I fully intend to do things differently. Differently than the way they’ve been done,” Hayne said Monday. “I think I will offer, and do offer, a very, very clear alternative to how things have been done in the past.”
What about LRT?
Hayne said he isn’t against light rail transit, but for phase two of the Surrey project, “We need real and open consultation.”
“SkyTrain through Fleetwood and Clayton to Langley seems to make more sense but we don’t have the business case or the community consultation to make that decision yet,” he said. “Guildford to Newton is likely too far down the road to change but that route has always been about community building.”
Three other new slates — Surrey Community Alliance, Proudly Surrey and People First Surrey — have materialized in Surrey that intend to challenge the reigning Surrey First party in the Oct. 20 civic election.
Just over 100,000 people cast a ballot in Surrey in the 2014 civic election, up from 70,253 in 2011. Out of 287,940 eligible Surrey voters, the city saw 101,558 cast a ballot – a 35.3 per cent voter turnout. That is up from 2008 and 2011 elections, which saw a 24.1 per cent and 25 per cent turnout respectively.