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

Elections BC has received a little more than 42,000 vote-by-mail packages from Surrey voters. . (Black Press Media File)
Elections BC has received about 51,000 mail-in ballots from Surrey voters

Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6

tease photo
Food truck desserts from Prague ‘pop up’ at Surrey shopping mall

The Praguery offers a modern take on a traditional pastry

Kristjon Olson in a photo released by Surrey RCMP.
High-risk offender back in custody facing child-porn charges, Surrey Mounties say

News of Kristjon Otto Olson’s arrest is posted to Surrey RCMP’s website

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Three more Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Abbotsford’s Kaitlyn Cassels is visited by her mother Heather Musika while recovering in hospital. (Submitted)
Abbotsford woman to have life-long injuries after falling 27 feet from bridge

19-year-old Kaitlyn Cassels says a misstep near the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge led to a 27-foot fall

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Most Read