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Surrey councillor calls for ward system

‘Surrey is ripe for a ward system now,’ Councillor Doug Elford says
Surrey City Councillor Doug Elford. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Surrey city Councillor Doug Elford wants the city to consider moving to a ward system for electing council representatives.

Council is expected to deal with his notice of motion on Sept. 15.

A ward system divvies up the city into neighbourhoods with a council member representing one of these electoral regions, much like an MLA or MP represents their particular riding. Such a system was used in these parts from before 1879 up until 1957, when the provincial government put an end to it in favour of the “at-large” voting system we have today in which voters elect a mayor, councillors and school trustees city-wide.

Mayors are still typically voted city-wide under a ward system.

“I’ve always supported a ward system and I also believe that Surrey is ripe for a ward system now, at this point in time,” Elford told the Now-Leader. “Hopefully we’ll move ahead with our electoral reform that I propose.”

Elford maintains a ward system is superior to the current one because it allows neighbourhoods “a better chance” to get a representative on council. “It kind of takes the big money out of politics, in a sense.

“I know that certain neighbourhoods have called for transparency and this is an ideal way to address that,” Elford said.

The next civic elections in B.C. are set for Oct. 15, 2022.

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Tom Zytaruk

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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