Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial says he has decided he won’t be running for re-election this fall.
Hundial, who was running with Brenda Locke’s Surrey Connect slate, confirmed his plans Tuesday (Aug. 16) with the Now-Leader.
“Essentially, I’ll still be staying on Surrey Connect as one of the directors and help support Brenda in her mayoral run, but for myself, I won’t be running as a council candidate,” he explained. “It’s more about building up the next phase of this election and post-election as well.”
Hundial, who retired from the RCMP after 25 years, works for BC Hydro as an investigator for electrical thefts, as well as with Fortis BC, covering a territory that is mainly in the Okanagan.
Part of the decision, he said, is that his wife and daughter have been living in the Okanagan for the last year and a half.
“Commuting back and forth, while still maintaining a residence there and here in Surrey, is a challenge,” said Hundial, adding he still plans to keep a residence in Surrey.
Hundial said he has been mulling the decision over for the past few months after speaking with Locke and the Surrey Connect Team.
“I really don’t think there is a right time, but I’d rather make the decision beforehand,” he said. “(Rather) than if you get elected and have to vacate a seat, triggering a really expensive byelection.”
Asked if he thinks this decision will have negative consequences for the Surrey Connect team, he said he doesn’t think so.
“Primarily, people are going to vote for the mayor and the overall team,” he said, adding he’s still going to continue with his role as a councillor right up until the election.
“Surrey is a jewel. It needs to be cared for, protected, and you have to have people in council with the right intentions. That is the people’s house and the people need to have a strong voice there. I think people are going to get that with Brenda and the rest of the Surrey Connect team.”
Locke told the Now-Leader that she’s “certainly torn about it” and she’s going to miss Hundial on council.
“We all have our lives to lead, and Jack has done incredible work for the city and I’m grateful for the work he’s done,” noted Locke, adding that if elected as mayor, Surrey Connect will continue to carry on the “heavy lifting” Hundial did in the last four years.
Late last month, Locke said Surrey Connect would be announcing the remaining slate candidates on Aug. 15.
Asked if Hundial’s decision has affected that, she said “Jack leaving has changed things a little bit, that’s for sure.”
She said the slate plans to announce the remaining candidates “within the next week.”
Hundial was first elected to Surrey city council in 2018, after running with Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition.
But it was in July of 2019 that he split from the slate.
A few months later, he and Locke formed the Surrey Connect slate.
When announcing the slate, he said the goal was to give Surrey residents “hope that there’s an opportunity for a better future.”