Trash from Surrey MP’s BBQ party in Holland Park this weekend. (Photo: Barbara Tessier)

Surrey MP gets trashed over trash

If crows could vote: Randeep Sarai’s party in Holland Park leaves a feast for the birds

Politics can be a messy business. Sometimes figurative, and sometimes literal.

Surrey Liberal MP Randeep Sarai has seen both. Earlier this year, he found himself in the middle of a controversy over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s junket to India.

This week, it’s about junk.

Whalley residents raised a stink about garbage left behind following the MP for Surrey Centre’s third annual summer community BBQ, attended by more than 500 people this past Saturday afternoon in Holland Park, near the corner of 98B Avenue and 134th Street.

Sarai, who was in an emergency Citizen and Immigration Committee meeting in Ottawa on Monday, told the Now-Leader his family cleaned up the trash after he received a complaint on Twitter from someone named Gian Pandher.

“I had to fly to Ottawa but my kids and family went and cleaned it up,”a contrite Sarai told the Now-Leader Monday. “I was notified yesterday afternoon that either animals or someone else ripped open the garbage bags that were left beside the waste bins and a mess was made.

“My family, including my children, immediately went out and cleaned it up as I was en route to the airport.”


Randeep Sarai, Liberal MP for Surrey Centre. (File photo)

Sarai said he had a city permit for the picnic and says the city told him to put all garbage beside the waste bins and that they will pick it up.

“Once again I am sorry if this has caused any mess or inconvenience,” he said.

He said the park was left clean on Saturday.

“Our staff picked up all the garbage, bagged it, and put the bags of garbage next to the waste bins already in the park,” Sarai told the Now-Leader. “My staff thought the city collects the garbage from there. However, someone – or something, raccoons – tore the bags apart and threw everything out and left them on the grounds.”

Local resident Barbara Tessier called it “a disgrace.”

“I was disgusted. It was their paper plates all over the place, because the crows of course ripped everything apart,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that somebody would leave that amount of garbage in the park. I mean, if you have a picnic in the park you don’t go and overflow the garbage cans and then dump everything around.”

READ ALSO TRASHED: Focusing on the strategies and numbers on Surrey’s fight against illegal dumping

READ ALSO EXCLUSIVE: Surrey MP Randeep Sarai speaks out for the first time since Atwal controversy

If anybody else did that, Tessier said, they’d be fined.

Dawn Mattson, also a Whalley resident, said it was “Not the best example from one of our leaders.”

Mattson said garbage was still left behind Sunday, leaving “a feast for the crows.”

“It started out as a beautiful day with them having a nice meet-and-greet picnic there in the park,” Mattson said of Sarai’s community BBQ. “That was Saturday morning, and then Sunday morning when I went for my walk all the garbage was left there, and the crows were just having a heyday.”

“I tell you the crows were smelling it, and they were enjoying it.”

Mattson told the Now-Leader that she “was a fundraiser for years and did a lot of carnivals and stuff at the local parks, especially Whalley Ball Park.

“The city made sure that no matter what we did, we had to make sure we took all our garbage with us, not leave it behind,” she recalled. “We had to take our own garbage and dispose of it; we were not allowed to leave it in the garbage cans at the parks.”

“We just found it very odd,” she said, “that a Liberal leader or a party leader of some sort from the city would leave that stuff behind because I know we would have got fined if it was us doing that when we had our fundraisers and our local things that we did with the children of the community.


If crows could vote: Trash in Holland Park from MP’s barbecue party. (Photo: Dawn Mattson)

“If it was you or me or any average joe, we’re not allowed to leave our garbage behind,” Mattson said. “Somebody needs to address this.”

So has, or will, MP Sarai be fined for the trash dump in Holland Park?

“The quick answer would be no.”

That’s from Richard Ryan, Surrey’s acting manager of parks, recreation and culture. He said Sarai was issued a permit, and according to it the event area needed to be kept tidy throughout the day and “all litter generated from the event must be picked up and removed from the site.” Moreover, the clean-up “must be completed immediately” following the event, “including all supplies, equipment and garbage.”


Trash in Holland Park after MP’s event. (Photo: Barbara Tessier)

“Apparently they weren’t able to keep on top of the number of people they had there,” Ryan said. “We didn’t receive any complaints through the bylaw office and the city didn’t incur any costs as a result of this.”

The city didn’t have to send out a crew to clean up, Ryan noted Monday afternoon. “Typically in those cases we would bill the group for cost recovery. We wouldn’t be fining them as such, we would just simply be trying to recover our costs but in this case we didn’t have any costs and I’ve had a number of staff visit the site this morning and it’s all been cleaned up.

“We don’t tend to take a punitive approach with these groups,” he said. “We have lots and lots of events in our parks and the number of cases where we’re trying to recover from groups is quite small, really.”


MP’s trash in Holland Park. (Photo: Barbara Tessier)

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help in finding missing 14-year-old

Police say Ali Al-Shai was last seen on Jan. 16

Province to pass $1.25-million repair bill for South Surrey overpass on to ICBC

152 Street overpass was struck by overheight truck on Dec. 4, 2017

Ex-Mountie who investigated ‘Surrey six’ murders gets conditional sentence

Derek Brassington pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

Constable Terry Draginda’s hat is repatriated after being found at a flea market in Hamburg, Germany

Delta considering extending tax freeze, fee waiver for developers on Scott Road

The incentives are aimed at creating more diverse development in the area, says Delta’s city manager

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

15 to 20 cm of snow to fall on Coquihalla

Kelowna - A snowfall warning is in effect for the highway from Hope to Merritt

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Most Read