The City of Surrey offered a first look at a light rail car recently in City Centre. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Light rail transit

LETTER: When it comes to Surrey LRT, democracy has been ignored – but it’s not too late

A carefully worded referendum on light rail issue would ensure the will of the people is being respected

The Editor,

Re: “Surrey LRT open houses planned,” the Now-Leader online.

The last time I wrote to an editor, I was in Grade 2 and my cause du jour was the evils of Garbage Pail Kids.

It’s been a while. It’s not that I don’t care. I care deeply. It’s just that by the time I’ve decided what to say on an issue, someone smarter than I am has already expressed my opinion much more eloquently than I would have.

The same thing has happened with this Surrey LRT issue. Every one of my arguments has been made. That is what disturbs me. It feels like our democratic system is failing.

For the record, I oppose the Surrey LRT. If the choice is between LRT and nothing, I believe we are better off with nothing, even if we must swallow whatever’s already been spent. The cost-benefit analysis does not support going forward with this project.

If you desperately need to spend billions of our tax dollars, stick it into education, health care or anywhere else that’s thirsty for investment. Please don’t waste our money on stupid things.

I have yet to find a counterargument that even nudges me away from my opinion. Every survey result I’ve found favours my position. Yet, somehow this project keeps creeping forward.


I recently sent an email to every MLA and MP from Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley – 17 people in total. I provided a link to one of those eloquent articles I mentioned, brimming with lovely facts to support its opinions. I pointed out that the Surrey municipal government enjoys a 100 per cent majority. I was careful not to ask them to stop the project or withhold funding. I simply asked to be included in the decision making process through a referendum.

In other words, for democracy to be enforced.

Most ignored me. Some told me I wasn’t one of their constituents and politely told me to bugger off. The rests told me they don’t get involved in local decisions.

So there you have it. With the federal and provincial governments washing their hand of any responsibility, the fate of $1.65 billion in federal, provincial and municipal tax dollars and the future vitality of the region rests in the hands of a mayor who won’t be sticking around past the next election to take responsibility for her decisions and a handful of councillors operating without an opposing voice.

That’s not how important decisions should be made.

A carefully worded referendum would ensure all sides of this issue have been heard and that the will of the people is being respected.

It’s not too late.

John Thorogood, Surrey



edit@surreynowleader.com

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

Just Posted

RCMP ask for help locating missing woman

Sheyna McNabb was last seen near King George and 96th Ave. in Surrey

George Harvie wins race for Delta mayor

Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate also took 4 of 6 seats on council and 3 of 7 seats on school board

Pedestrian rushed to hospital after being hit by car in Surrey

Friday crash at 88th Avenue and 152nd Street is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians

Two women injured in late-night assault outside White Rock restaurant

‘All he had to do was turn around and leave’ - victim

Campaign pledge prompts Delta libraries reminder of parents, infant health programs

Mayoral candidate George Harvie promised to restore the BabyDaze program if elected

Surrey-based podcast focuses on Canadian true crime

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast picks up Dark Poutine

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Most Read