Surrey Civic Coalition party is shutting down

New name is 'Surrey Matters' and comes with a new approach to civic politics

Gary Robinson

Surrey’s opposing party is folding, making room for Surrey Matters Voters Association – a new party with a new approach.

The party, formerly know as the Surrey Civic Coalition (SCC), was shut out of Surrey city council in the 2011 civic election and secured only one on the Surrey Board of Education.

On June 26, the SCC general membership voted to dissolve.

While SCC President Gary Robinson was being tight-lipped about the new name, the party’s website indicates it will be the Surrey Matters Voters Association. The web address www.surreymatters.com now forwards to the old SCC website.

SCC has been around since 2002, after taking over for the Surrey Civic Electors (SCE), which had some success on city council in the early 1990s. That was when the party held four seats on council, including the centre seat under Mayor Bob Bose.

Bose lost his seat to Mayor Doug McCallum in 1996, and six years later, SCE reinvented itself as SCC. Bose was back on as a city councillor under that party.

Now, after the poor showing at the polls a year-and-a-half ago (Bose lost his seat), the party feels it’s time for reinvention yet again.

Former SCC President Gary Robinson said it’s time for a new vibrant party to emerge that is clearly “pro-Surrey and concerned with good growth, proper transit and inclusiveness.”

In a rare tip of the hat to Mayor Dianne Watts, Robinson said the current administration isn’t all bad.

“The mayor and some of her people have done some really positive things,” Robinson said. “However, there are some things that matter to the every day folks that aren’t being addressed.”

One of those things is the enforcement of local bylaws.

Acknowledging there are “positive things going on,” the abiding question is why change it?

“Because you can never actually build anything successfully with one voice,” Robinson said. Bringing on more voices with a greater divergence of opinion is a positive opportunity, he said.

Robinson said the name will be officially announced on Friday and the civic campaign will be underway by fall.

Surrey Matters, if that’s the name it takes, will run a full slate of councillors and perhaps a mayoral candidate.

Robinson, a former veteran councillor, will be running as well.

As to whether that will be for mayor, Robinson wouldn’t say. He did say that conversation has occurred.

@diakiw

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