Narima Dela Cruz to run for Surrey council

SURREY — Narima Dela Cruz announced she will be running for Surrey council in the November election during Sunday’s Surrey Philippine Independence Day celebration.

“It is a dream for my community, for the Filippino community,” Dela Cruz said Monday. “The Filippino community is now the second largest ethnic group in Surrey, and third in British Columbia, and we are very much under represented. So I am happy to live that dream for my community and to contribute to society as a whole.”

Dela Cruz wouldn’t confirm whether she’d be running as an independent or with a party, only saying she is “studying” her options. She said a party hasn’t “directly” approached her.

While Dela Cruz has never held political office, she was considered by the NDP for nomination in the Surrey-Tynehead riding in the 2013 election, but Avtar Bains was instead selected. Liberal candidate Amrik Virk won the race in the riding and was later appointed Minister of Advanced Education.

Dela Cruz, a realtor, moved to Canada from the Philippines to Canada in 1998.

She was a recipient of the 2012 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award.

Dela Cruz is a founding director of the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society and has volunteered with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and with Options Community Service Society. She has also served on the Johnston Heights Secondary PAC for six years, where she currently sits as vice-chair.

Of her volunteer work, she said “it’s something that runs in my blood.”

“Helping people makes me happy. It’s as simple as that. I’ve been there and I want to give back.”

Dela Cruz says she’s passionate about helping new immigrants, youth and seniors.

Through her volunteer efforts, she said she sees Surrey residents love their city, but noted there is much to improve upon.

“We know it can be better and there’s lots do be done, especially for working families,” she said.

Dela Cruz said as a realtor, she knows that housing affordability, government policies and programs, and utility costs are important issues that affect many families. She also noted the importance of transportation, which she’d like to see improved in the city.

If elected, Dela Cruz says she will bring ethnic opinions to city hall.

“My experience working with different communities, especially in the Southeast Asian Community, I would most likely be able to contribute in sharing the opinions and suggestions of these communities and the entire community as a whole.”

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