EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the eighth, and final, in a series on Surrey’s eight newly elected city councillors.
Mandeep Nagra, 35, is a new Surrey city councillor and an even newer dad.
His second son, Kabar, was born four days after the Safe Surrey Coalition councillor was elected to office for the first time, on Oct. 20, with 30,083 votes.
The little guy was expected to arrive on election day, Nagra said, “but he decided to give me some time.”
Nagra lives in Panorama Ridge with wife Rajpreet and sons Aveer, 5, and Kabar, who was born at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
“Surrey Memorial and staff, it’s super,” he said. “That’s the one comment I want to make – super, super.”
Nagra is an owner of Fraserview Meats.
“It’s a family business my dad started in 1994. We have about eight stores now.”
The new councillor, sworn in on Nov. 5, has lived in Surrey for about 15 years , moving from Vancouver where he attended high school and college. He is also in construction, building single family homes for about seven years.
“Since I’m from the Indo-Canadian community, our community is heavily, heavily involved in construction business, and one of the biggest issues they face is the time it takes to get building permits,” he noted.
“So right now it’s about six to seven months, and during the campaign we promised that we will work with city staff and try to reduce the time to eight to 10 weeks and we are working on that. I’m pretty sure we can achieve that in the next six to eight months.”
Nagra helped Doug McCallum in his 2014 run for office.
“I was given this opportunity to run this time and I thought, you know, it felt right and here I am,” Nagra said. “I like Doug McCallum, his passion for the City of Surrey, and his views, his ideas.”
Being a councillor, he said, “is going great.”
While this is Nagra’s first foray into public life, he is no stranger to politics. His dad, he said, is a long-time supporter of the federal Liberal party.
“I have seen many, many campaigns in the past.”
Cultivating transparency and accountability at city hall, he said, is a “big thing we are working on, to make sure everybody’s treated equal.”
“We have heard a lot of complaints that there’s favouritism, that people are not treated very well when they approach for whether building permits or any complaints related to bylaws, so that’s another thing I’m going to be focused on, bringing equality and transparency into city hall.”