During the election campaign, Doug McCallum stated, with a certain amount of pride, that he answered all of his phone calls. But since being elected, his evasiveness has proven otherwise. (Now-Leader file photo)

Opinion

OUR VIEW: Mayor McCallum, Surrey needs you to pick up your phone

Make no mistake, readers, when McCallum ducks reporters, he is ducking you

Never in recent memory have we dealt with a mayor who so consistently spurns media requests for comment.

Former mayor Don Ross returned his phone calls, as did Bob Bose, Dianne Watts and most recently Linda Hepner, and we could count on them to do so in a timely manner.

Even Doug McCallum returned his, when he was first mayor from 1996 to 2005.

What’s changed? Has he been consulting some kind of Machiavellian manual for mayors? Ignore reporters long enough, and they will eventually go away?

Well, here’s the scoop, Surrey mayor: We will not go away.

Some might dismiss this editorial as whiny media navel-gazing, but it is not.

Remember, it is our business to keep a sharp eye on city council for you, our readers, while you are busy at your day jobs.

It is also our job to provide balanced news coverage, taking pains to see all sides fairly represented. This is particularly important in matters of significant consequence to the public.

On Sept. 26, during an election campaign debate at the Civic Hotel, McCallum told the audience of a couple hundred people that his style of mayoring is “open door.”

“I answered all of my phone calls,” the former mayor said of his nine years in office.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s mayoral candidates civil at the Civic in Whalley

But since McCallum was elected eight weeks ago, our reporters have lodged many dozens of phone calls with him that have gone unanswered.

The result is, instead of availing himself of opportunities to educate Surrey residents on the reasoning behind council’s initiatives, our readers instead receive – for no lack of trying on our part – an information vacuum in the form of “McCallum could not be reached for comment.”

This set of words, unfortunately, will continue to collect on our pages like grains of sand in the jar of time until this mayor starts responding to media requests.

Only he has the power to change this. We hope he does.

Until then, make no mistake about it – when our mayor ducks us, he is ducking you.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

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

SurreySurreyBC

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

Just Posted

Surrey council sets new rules for Good Citizen of the Year award

Candidates have more hurdles to jump before getting nominated for the prestigious local title

EXPLORE SURREY: Tee up some adventures in the city

Also: A walk through Surrey’s public art collection

In honour of player killed in crash, Surrey soccer team becomes BB5 United

Brandon Bassi died a few months before CCB won the national title last fall

North Surrey rink to reopen first as part of city’s phased schedule for facilities

Councillor pushes for Surrey’s pools and aquatic centres to reopen this month

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ to find Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

‘Agitated’ man pulls out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Witnesses sought for incident on Monday night near city hall

FoodMesh taking its emergency food recovery project nationwide

Pilot project in Chilliwack helped show that food surpluses could be diverted to charities in need

Most Read