Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)

EDITORIAL: Surrey mayor’s ‘shaken to the core’ over city debt, but we’re not

Just about any time of pendular change in ideology following an election, shock is sure to follow

You can almost set your clock by it – er…, well, your calendar, anyways.

Just about any time there is a pendular change in ideology following an election at any level of government, shock and surprise are sure to follow.

We heard it in spring of 2017 when the NDP took over the province from the BC Liberals, we heard it a few months prior from our neighbours when U.S. Republican President Donald Trump took over from the Democrats, and we heard it about a year earlier when Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took over from the Conservatives’ ‘Harper Government.’

The refrain is familiar: “Gosh, we had no idea how bad our predecessors were at keeping the books, and the electorate should blame them if we can’t afford all our election promises,” or something to that effect.

Today (Tuesday), we heard from Mayor Doug McCallum, whose Safe Surrey Coalition all but swept Surrey First from office last month, after its own back-to-back clean-sweeps in past elections.

“When the books were shown to me, I was deeply dismayed and shaken to the core to see how much debt the City of Surrey has been carrying,” McCallum was quoted in a media release received by Peace Arch News 43 seconds after midnight.

“The fact that the debt load is at $514 million is simply untenable and frankly, irresponsible.”

READ: McCallum ‘shaken to the core’ over debt

The response from Surrey First was immediate and, of course, as expected. That slate’s defeated mayoral candidate, former councillor Tom Gill and longtime finance chair, questioned why McCallum was so in the dark until this week, considering the city prides itself on open books. And he wondered whether McCallum plans to use this as an excuse to not fulfil his most expensive promises, which includes replacing the RCMP with a civic force.

Certainly, McCallum’s release includes comments that while “services and programs that the city delivers will not be impacted… what we will be doing as a Council is determining what makes the most fiscal sense for our ratepayers and how to responsibly proceed with capital projects.”

For those wondering what the future holds, we predict that the only guarantee will be more excuses when the pendulum swings towards whatever political ideology replaces McCallum’s team, when it eventually comes time for that.

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

 

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read