OUR VIEW: Denying delegations is not what Surrey council was elected to do

To be an elected official is to be a servant, not a censor

Safe Surrey Coalition’s election campaign literature in 2018 stated that “it’s important to have many different perspectives and opinions on council” as “this will result in better decisions for the City of Surrey.”

Unfortunately, eight months into this council’s watch and the same clearly does not apply to all delegations seeking to get their point across to the politicians.

Just ask Ivan Scott, a Surrey resident who has collected roughly 8,000 signatures from people who want to keep the RCMP in Surrey, as opposed to seeing it replaced by a made-in-Surrey police force.

The city tried to bar his efforts to gather petition signatures at the Canada Day event in Cloverdale. More recently, it denied his request to appear before council as a delegation on July 8.

READ ALSO: Surrey council denies pro-RCMP delegation

Members of council are, of course, expected to harbour their own opinions. But it is also their duty to listen to what all constituents have to say and to not deny their voice, like what this council has done to Scott.

Councillor Laurie Guerra’s reference to those, whom she considers to fall short in respectfully addressing council, as “prickly people” is beyond the pale. That this comment came from the same council member who is chairing the city’s task force on public engagement is concerning, to say the least.

To those who prefer to stymie the free marketplace of ideas rather than be open to entertaining the potential for reasoned argument and sound logic are simply not performing the duty they were elected to perform.

A healthy democracy cannot be fettered by the shunning of viewpoints however “prickly” they might be to those in seats of power.

They call it public service for a reason. To be an elected official is to be a servant.

Not a censor.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

McCallum calls it a great and historic day as province approves Surrey’s policing plan

We will keep you updated here as Doug McCallum holds press conference at city hall

Surrey reacts to policing plan getting the green light

Former mayor, councillors and residents weigh in on the Public Safety Minister approving the transition

POLL: Do you agree with the province’s decision to approve Surrey’s policing plan?

Cast your vote below and email your letters to the editor at edit@surreynowleader.com

Province approves Surrey’s plan to establish municipal police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth gives green light to controversial plan

Report finds some Surrey school district staff expenses ‘not adequately supported’

Auditor General review highlights practices ‘inconsistent’ with policy, such steaks costing $80

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man tells judge he attempted suicide a month before daughters’ murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

Two Vancouver police officers bitten, scratched after ‘violent’ arrest

Police will recommend charges against a 50-year-old man

North Delta happenings: week of Aug. 22

Events and community listings for North Delta

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Most Read