The Surrey-Whalley riding map for the Oct. 24, 2020 provincial election. (Map: Elections BC)

The Surrey-Whalley riding map for the Oct. 24, 2020 provincial election. (Map: Elections BC)

BC Election 2020

RIDING PROFILE: Surrey-Whalley

Riding’s incumbent, Bruce Ralston, has held Surrey-Whalley for the NDP since 2005

Surrey-Whalley usually elects a New Democratic Party MLA.

The riding’s incumbent, Bruce Ralston, has held Surrey-Whalley for the NDP since 2005 and this time hopes to once again keep his political opponents side-lined. They are Liberal candidate Shaukat Khan, B.C. Vision candidate Jag Bhandari, and Ryan Abbott, candidate for the Communist Party of BC.

Joan Smallwood, NDP MLA, had held the riding, which was called Surrey-Guildford-Whalley and then Surrey-Whalley, from 1986 until 1991, when she lost to Liberal Elayne Brenzinger, who won with 45.73 per cent of the vote in the historic NDP routing of 2001. Ralston then took it back four years later, with 55 per cent of the vote.

The latest statistics available has Surrey-Whalley’s population at 58,668 and for 45.90 per cent of its residents, English is a second language. The riding, considered to be one of the “safest” ridings for the NDP to keep, is 27 square kilometres in size and the average age of its residents is 37.5 years.

The latest statistics available has Surrey-Whalley’s population at 58,668 and for 45.90 per cent of its residents, English is a second language. The riding, considered to be one of the “safest” ridings for the NDP to keep, is 27 square kilometres in size and the average age of its residents is 37.5 years.

Candidates:

Ryan Abbott

Communist Party of BC

Ryan is an Industrial Painter and sandblaster living in the Surrey-Whalley riding. He is an active trade unionist, tenant organizer, and anti-war activist, as well as a longtime member of the Young Communist League of Canada.

He believes that the economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic requires immediate action from working people, and that no party with seats in Legislature is up to the challenges we face in this growing emergency. What is necessary is a return to grassroots organizing and class-struggle unionism within the labour movement; which must find its feet alongside decolonial Indigenous resistance, the tenant union movement, the fight for climate justice, and the struggle for gender equality.

He is proud to represent a party which has for 99 years, platformed socialism: A world without poverty and war, where working people democratically own, control and benefit from the economy.

Jag Bhandari

B.C. Vision

We did not receive a response.

Shaukat Khan

Liberal

I believe the riding needs a fresh outlook and fresh energy.

With respect, the current MLA has been in charge of the riding for almost 15 years, and things have not improved in many important areas. I come from a diverse background, I believe I will be able to connect with the community on a more fundamental level. With my background and devoted energy, I believe I can do a better job for Whalley, better than what has been done in the past 15 years.

The challenges are clear: homelessness, substance abuse, crime, lack of infrastructure and traffic issues particularly related to Pattullo Bridge. Whalley’s strengths are based on a growing and attractive business environment, something the BC Liberals were and are great advocates and proponents of. Again to address the challenges, the most important thing is to engage with the community and devote time and effort to finding solutions.

Bruce Ralston

NDP

I am running to be Surrey-Whalley’s next MLA with the John Horgan BC NDP team. John Horgan’s plan will keep BC moving forward for all of us. It’s a plan to help get people through the pandemic and make sure everyone benefits from the economic recovery.

We build on progress we’ve made to improve healthcare, create jobs and opportunities and make life more affordable. Under John’s plan workers and small businesses are the heart of economic recovery – not the wealthy and well-connected.

Here in Whalley I worked successfully to bring a new urgent care centre. A high tech quantum computing centre, creating the jobs of the future and located at SFU-Surrey, is another step forward. The Whalley strip tent city, ignored by the BC Liberals, was taken down and its occupants moved into modular housing.

I am compassionate, knowledgeable, energetic, and fully committed to continue serving the people of Surrey-Whalley.



edit@surreynowleader.com

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