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

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey Mounties arrest man trapped in cell phone repair shop

Man arrested as police respond to report of break-in in Guildford

Humboldt Broncos’ Straschnitzki in Surrey to play sledge hockey with Wickenheiser

Friendly game on Feb. 1 part of the Wickfest female hockey event in North Surrey

LETTER: Surrey mayor made me uncomfortable by bashing reliable ‘Now-Leader’

During a recent phone call, McCallum talked a lot about himself before disparaging newspapers

Two rescued from distressed boat in Boundary Bay

Marine rescue crews and police tasked out Monday evening

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Most Read