Welcome to the first edition of musings from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Surrey, is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, and the fastest growing city in Metro Vancouver. It has a population of over 468,000 (2011 census), with the Punjabis (Apnay as we cordially call ourselves) are it’s most noticeable citizens.
Hence, Surrey is also referred to as ‘Amristsar West’ or ‘Surreypur’. I am proud to live here and would like to share anecdotes of happenings in Surreypur.
On Saturday (Nov 15, 2014), we will be having our municipal elections. Independent city counselor Barinder Kaur Rasode is one of the candidates who hopes to shake up Surrey’s political establishment and succeed as the first female South Asian mayor in North America. In fact, Ms. Rasode’s campaign team believes she could be the first Sikh woman mayor in North America. Should that materialize, it will indeed be another proud moment for the Punjabi community here.
Rasode launched her campaign under the slogan “One Tough Mother” and said, if elected, she will make public safety a top priority in Surrey and vowed to get “tough on crime.”
While the Punjabis are often top in many positive endeavors in Surrey, like construction and entrepreneurship, unfortunately they have also become the top gangsters and drug-related offenders in Surrey. Crime needs to be a priority for any candidate here and needs to be addressed.
With election day looming at the end of this week, the race for Surrey mayor is “exceptionally close”, according to the results on latest online study by Insights West. The online study shows Surrey First’s Linda Hepner and the Safe Surrey Coalition’s Doug McCallum are tied at 33 percent support among decided voters. Barinder Rasode of One Surrey is not far behind, at 30%.
One-in-five Surrey residents (21%) say their opinion of Rasode has improved over the past month, for a momentum score of +8. In this category, Linda Hepner stands at +1 and Doug McCallum at -9.
A quarter of Surrey voters (24%) are still undecided on which candidate to support in the mayoral election. Among those who have settled on a choice, Hepner and McCallum are tied with 33% each, followed closely by Barinder Rasode (30%).
I am hoping Barinder Rasode wins and we may be able to raise the Nishan Sahib, along with the Surrey City Hall and British Columbia flags on Monday.
[Inderjeet Singh is a Malaysian Apna, now residing in Surrey, Canada. He has always been active in Sikhi-related activities]