After pumping up the 84 Avenue connector project with considerable glee, Surrey city councillor Mandeep Nagra finds himself in the position of having to explain why he is not in a conflict of interest after it was revealed his family has bought a bowling alley along the avenue.
While the connector project specifically deals with linking King George Boulevard with 140 Street at the southern end of Bear Creek Park, the bigger picture has 84 Avenue eventually connecting Scott Road with Fraser Highway, which will see much traffic and with it a financial boon for people who own property along the road.
Nagra, in his defence, says neither he, nor his family, knew the bowling alley, roughly a block east of Scott Road on 84 Avenue, was for sale until months after he did his civic duty and cast his votes.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt that this is truly the case, it may account for past votes but surely cannot realistically apply to any vote taken henceforth on the controversial road project – the progress of which has been fuelled to date by a five-to-four Safe Surrey Coalition majority vote on council.
Nagra has been championing the 84 Avenue project like it’s the next best thing since the invention of microwave popcorn, buckets of which are sure to be devoured by ardent Surrey council watchers as they anticipate the four-against-four votes that will no doubt be popping up whenever anything related to this project comes before council from here on in.
The question is, knowing this, is it a conflict of interest to invest in popcorn companies?