Councillor Steven Pettigrew (left) and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Now-Leader file photos)

Surrey council

Surrey mayor removes Councillor Pettigrew from Metro Vancouver board

Pettigrew said it was a surprise; McCallum didn’t provide a reason

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition have stripped Councillor Steven Pettigrew of his role on the board of directors for Metro Vancouver, instead appointing a member of their team.

The mayor did not say why.

“I must express disappointment that I will not be able to serve the people of the region in this capacity,” Pettigrew said in chambers, in response to the decision.

“I feel I’ve done a good job, I’ve worked really hard the last number of months and developed some very strong relationships with my environmental focus. I feel I bring a really strong presence. I will respect it, I disagree with your decision. I will not be there in an official capacity but I will continue to go to Metro, and be there as an observer, and I will continue to build relationships to do what I can to further the environment cause and to bring awareness to climate change and the climate emergency.”

Pettigrew – who is well-known for leading the fight that tried to stop the former city council from allowing trees to be felled in Hawthorne Park in order to build a road – was currently serving as a director on the board and on both the climate action and regional parks committees.

“He’s pulled me from all those,” said Pettigrew, who was appointed to the positions by the mayor after council was sworn in last November.

READ MORE: Councillor Steven Pettigrew parts ways with Safe Surrey Coalition

The mayor made the announcement at the first meeting of Surrey council after its summer recess, and his Safe Surrey councillors approved the decision.

Instead, McCallum appointed his Councillor Allison Patton of the coalition. She had previously served as an alternate, and the mayor did not announce a new alternate.

Pettigrew – who split from the mayor’s Safe Surrey Coalition earlier this year – said he had no idea it was coming.

This was a “blind-sided approach,” Pettigrew told the Now-Leader.

Although the councillor said the mayor’s move was “not unexpected, because he’s done this sort of thing several times in the past.”

Pettigrew said any guess as to why the mayor removed him would be speculation.

“There’s all sorts of interesting things I could come up with, but I’m not going. I believe I do a good job. I did the best I could do.”

Pettigrew said he still intends to attend the meetings, as an observer, given his passion for the environment and climate action.

“We need to push this forward, make people aware, and we need to do this for our children, our grandchildren and our planet. It doesn’t matter whether people try to get me away, try to remove you or stop you, everybody needs to step up.”

During the meeting, Pettigrew asked the mayor for the rationale behind the decision.

McCallum replied by saying he was “not going to make any comments on it at this time.”

The mayor did not speak to media after the meeting.

Councillor Brenda Locke took to Twitter following the meeting, saying the decision is “indeed unfortunate.”

She described Pettgirew as a “principled person.”

“Because the Mayor gave no reason or warning for removing him from Metro Vancouver I can only assess it as mean spirited,” she wrote.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Surrey RCMP supporters make noise during rally outside city hall



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Eagles start playoffs on the road in Chilliwack

South Surrey junior ‘A’ squad back in BCHL playoffs for second time in six years

White Rock’s Coldest Night raises $102K

390 walkers participated in seventh-annual event

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Initial police report of 2015 accident was ‘inaccurate’ Langley RCMP say

Online statement issued to clarify that victim was not in the middle of the road

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

Most Read