Guildford resident Amrit Birring is Surrey’s seventh declared candidate for mayor and says he’ll be running with a full slate for council under the banner of People’s Council Surrey.
Birring, 54, said he expects his eight running mates will be announced “in about a week’s time.
“We are still on the lookout. We have some and we are looking for the rest,” he said Friday.
Birring was the People’s Party Candidate for Fleetwood-Port Kells in the 2021 federal election, coming in fourth place and capturing three per cent of the vote, with 1,284 votes.
“The issues I’m raising, they affect everyone in Canada. The lowest unit of administration is a city,” he said. “City of Surrey has powers, I believe that, to fight for our agenda.”
A software developer by trade, Birring said if elected he would use “data or whatever Surrey has and use that to empower and make people more aware of what real issues we have because I think most of the time in elections politicians don’t even talk about real issues, the big issues are ignored.”
“We can educate people about the truth,” he said, adding he has participated “fully” with so-called freedom convoys “because without freedom, the country dies.”
Originally from India, Birring lived in Singapore before immigrating to Canada 25 years ago. “In front of my eyes, your eyes, everyone’s eyes, housing prices have doubled, tripled.
“Middle-income people cannot afford housing and the consequence of that is they are hand-to-mouth their entire life. They don’t feel empowered to hold government accountable because their whole focus is to put food on the table by the end of the day. That pretty much kills democracy, they become financial slaves and they are OK with it because they haven’t seen any other way.”
Birring’s civic campaign literature lists rehiring fired unvaccinated employees, ending the housing “scam, live with dignity again,” removing “brainwashing” from schools, “focus on academics, and sports in schools,” ensuring religious institutes are not controlled by government and that media companies “should not work for govt,” and that the Surrey RCMP “must obey Charter of Rights.” Also listed is motivating young people to build professional careers and “children belong to parents, not government.”
He will be competing for the mayor’s seat with incumbent Doug McCallum (Safe Surrey Coalition), Brenda Locke (Surrey Connect), Jinny Sims (Surrey Forward), Sukh Dhaliwal (United Surrey), Gordie Hogg (Surrey First) and Kuldip Pelia, an independent.
Candidates for office will need to submit their nominations to local election officials between Tuesday Aug. 30 and Friday, Sept. 9. The campaign spending limit for Surrey mayoral candidates is $219,193.36.