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

Just Posted

Guns, crossbows, ammo seized in raid on Langley home

Weapons also included stun guns and replica firearms

Surrey unanimously nixes move to allow more liquor stores after strong opposition

Amid a cannabis shop ban in the city, Surrey councillors had questioned proposed zoning changes

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

Owner of now-closed South Surrey seafood store pleads guilty to illegally importing fish into U.S.

‘We would not put customer health and safety at risk’: Seven Seas Fish

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

Homicide team investigates death of man in his 20s in Chilliwack

Male in his 20s not expected to survive his injuries

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Vancouver artist casts bronze ‘replacement’ egg for defaced Dali sculpture

Artist Richard Forbes installed the new egg after the original was stolen

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

Opposition to Trans Mountain won’t change, B.C. minister says

Pipeline projects proceed under minority Trudeau government

Most Read