Doug Mc Callum mayoral victory in Surrey a win for Filipinos

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  • Doug McCallum is the comeback kid in this year’s October 20 municipal election in B.C.
    For McCallum, his third attempt to return as mayor of Surrey was successful.
    Having lost the mayor’s seat to Dianne Watts in 2005, and his attempt to reclaim the chair in 2014, McCallum is once again Surrey mayor.
    It is going to be his fourth term, following a 13-year hiatus from city politics.
    For the Filipino community, McCallum’s victory is also a win for Filipinos.
    It can be recalled that in the 2014 election campaign, McCallum pledged to work with the Filipino community to address its needs.
    These include helping the community put back on track the project to build a Filipino cultural centre.
    In an interview back then, McCallum also promised to support other cultural activities like festivals and parades by waiving police and other related fees during these events.
    “I want to help the Filipino community,” McCallum said during that time in a conversation with the Filipino Canadian and Multicultural Society of Surrey.
    McCallum served as a Surrey City Councillor between 1993-1996 and as Mayor of Surrey between 1996-2005.
    McCallum has close ties with the Filipino community dating back to his time as mayor of Surrey between 1996 to 2005.
    Over this period, McCallum worked closely with various groups and stakeholders to obtain land for a Filipino cultural centre. However, the project did not progress for many reasons.
    In the campaign for the October 20, 2018 election, Filipinos in Surrey engaged in a grassroots campaign to spread the word that McCallum is a friend of the community.
    The grassroots campaign involved Rey Fortaleza, founder of the ReyFort Media Group, the umbrella company of Philippine Asian News Today, Philippine Showbiz Today, and Philippine Canadian News TV.
    In the October 20 election, McCallum defeated Tom Gill of the Surrey First party.
    McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition also won all but one of the seats in city council.
    McCallum told the crowd of Safe Surrey Coalition supporters on election night that Surrey will be seeing its own police force, the building of a SkyTrain extension, the removal of paid parking on the streets around the hospital and “smart development” throughout the city.
    “This campaign was all about change,” McCallum said to cheers from the crowd. “And you have just elected a council that is going to make those changes.”
    McCallum also said there are “many more things to do and we’re going to do all of that, literally, in the first couple of council meetings when we start.”
    The inaugural council meeting will be Nov. 5.
    The election results signified a remarkable rebuke to the Surrey First party that has controlled the city’s politics since Dianne Watts first unseated McCallum in 2005.
    “We are a great city, a great international city, and you have elected a council that’s going to fight for you,” McCallum said at his election headquarters.
    McCallum’s victory echoed the stunning upset in Burnaby, where a political novice, Mike Hurley, defeated one of the Lower Mainland’s longest serving mayors, Derek Corrigan.

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