Surrey city Couns. Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial introduced the newest member of their Surrey Connect slate Thursday (Nov. 26), announcing Ramona Kaptyn as their third candidate for the October 2022 civic election.
In a virtual press conference, Locke described the South Surrey resident – who, among other things, is president of the White Rock/Surrey Chapter of CARP – A New Vision of Aging for Canada – as “just an amazing addition to our team.”
“She’s a communications specialist,” Locke said, in highlighting Kaptyn’s background as a journalist, public information officer and other posts.
“That’s something we’ve certainly seen lacking in these last two years with council.”
Kaptyn, noting good governance is a priority for her, said in watching what has been happening in Surrey, “I just felt I had to step up.”
“I’m just gobsmacked at the lack of honesty and transparency.”
Asked to elaborate on those points, Kaptyn said her efforts to connect with the mayor and four Safe Surrey Coalition councillors have routinely gone without response. In a call Monday, “what did the mayor do? He cut me off,” she said. The reception is a stark contrast to what she has experienced with Locke and Hundial, as well as Couns. Linda Annis and Steven Pettigrew, she said.
“When you’re elected, you serve the entire community,” Kaptyn continued. “Each and every one of us deserves to be heard.”
Kaptyn said she’s also “very passionate” about the police-transition issue. It “was one of my biggies” in making the decision to join Surrey Connect, she said.
“I’m not against changing police forces,” she noted, commending the RCMP, “but if we’re going to switch, we should be doing it in the proper way, and not during a pandemic.”
In addition to being president of the local CARP chapter, Kaptyn is a director of the CARP National Board, which is Canada’s largest advocacy association for older adults.
She is also director of the South Surrey/White Rock Chamber of Commerce, a member of the City of White Rock Seniors Advisory Committee, a member of the Semiahmoo Seniors Planning Table’s steering committee and is a graduate of Ryerson University (Journalism) and the University of Toronto (Education/Political Science).
Among other hats Kaptyn has worn are communications specialist, reporter, travel writer, editor, teacher, public information officer for the government of Ontario, hotel managing director, and fundraiser in Canada, Australia, England, Spain and Asia.
Hundial said Kaptyn’s addition to the Surrey Connect slate, “when you see where we are today and where we need to go… made sense.”
“She definitely will be a strong advocate right across for the different communities we have here in Surrey.”
– with files from Tom Zytaruk
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