Councillor Doug Elford talks to reporters after voting for the controversial draft budget at Surrey City Hall Monday night. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Opinion

OUR VIEW: Elford’s support of budget surprising, considering his history in Surrey

The Doug Elford we knew as an advocate would have opposed budget that doesn’t hire more officers

Safe Surrey Councilllor Doug Elford looked uncomfortable.

“I really struggled with this,” he told reporters in city chambers after he helped approve the city’s controversial draft budget Monday night.

In a split 5-4 vote, Elford’s vote could have changed it all.

And if he was as uncomfortable facing media as he looked to be after the vote, there might be a good reason for it. Because this budget, aside from delaying capital projects important to many in the community, is also leaving no room for hiring of new RCMP officers in 2019.

Here’s the issue.

As a longtime activist prior to be elected, Elford relentlessly spoke out for something to be done about crime in his community of Newton, and Surrey as a whole.

In 2014, on behalf of Newton Community Association, Elford called for more police boots on the ground on the heels of 53-year-old hockey mom Julie Paskall being killed in an attack outside the local hockey arena.

“We’re not going to sit back. We’re not going to take it anymore,” he told us at the time.

homelessphoto

Doug Elford during his days as a community advocate. (Photo: Now-Leader file)

READ ALSO: Doug Elford: Community advocate turned Surrey councillor

Then, in May 2015, Elford demanded to know when 100 new officers were arriving in Surrey after a shooting happened just outside his home.

“This is my yard. I want something done fricken now,” Elford said at the time. “This is enough.”

That’s why his comments Monday night took us by surprise.

Here’s a passionate community activist who spoke out on public safety for years, voting on a budget that will only leave Surrey further behind in its officer-to-population ratio next year.

As he told us on Monday night, Elford thinks we should “hold off” on hiring officers until we know what the new municipal police force is going to cost us.

This doesn’t sound like the Elford we know and have been quoting in our newspaper pages and on our website for years.

As an advocate, the Doug Elford we knew would have opposed this budget. Yet Doug Elford, the politician, supported it.

His justification for doing so has us shaking our head, considering his past.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

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

SurreyBC

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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: B.C. Day long weekend on White Rock beach

Hundreds of families gathered at the beach Sunday

Seeds of Change Surrey to launch two new programs

United Way of the Lower Mainland donated $77,000

White Rock RCMP to host free bicycle registration clinic

Stolen registered bicycles are easier to return to proper owner if recovered

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read