GHSA Mayoral “Virtual” Forum

GHSA “Virtual” Mayoral Candidate Forum

The Grandview Heights Stewardship Association recently invited non-incumbent Council Candidates to participate in a “virtual” forum to address land use issues. We have been posting responses on our website and tweeting them as well to broaden voter awareness of one of the less-topical areas that, as you know only too well, Councillors have to deal with on a routine basis.  The questions, method of delivery, and posting have been executed with all neutrality to enable readers to form their own opinion of who will be good stewards in land use issues.

It has been suggested that we also pose a similar question to the leading contenders for Mayor of Surrey as identified by the CBC in their recent hosted debate.

On Friday, Nov 7th, we emailed the following questions to Linda Hepner, Doug McCallum (via Al Payne as the SafeSurrey Coalition server was bouncing back emails) and Barinder Rasode. To date, we have received one reply, from Barinder Rasode but will post others if received before Nov 15th. To read Councillor Rasode’s reply, click the link below the question which is reproduced as sent.


Dear XXX,

The Grandview Heights Stewardship Association recently invited non-incumbent Council Candidates to participate in a “virtual” forum to address land use issues. We have been posting responses on our website and tweeting them as well to broaden voter awareness of one of the less-topical areas that, as you know only too well, Councillors have to deal with on a routine basis.

It has been suggested that we also pose a similar question to the leading contenders for Mayor of Surrey as identified by the CBC in their recent hosted debate

Because we appreciate that your time is at a premium, if interested please email your thoughts and ideas regarding land use planning and development and the goal of environmental sustainability as it applies to Grandview Heights in Surrey.

Please reply within 750 words to the following questions ( below)

Your submission will be posted on our website in a section similar to our Non- incumbent Council Candidate’s submissions ( click here to see them.)

Please email your answer to no later than Nov 10, 2014 so we can post and circulate for your prospective voters.

These are the questions:

-Is the current Grandview Heights Land Use Plan (GLUP) meeting the objectives of the City of Surrey and residents who reside in Grandview Heights?

-Is the Neighborhood Concept Plan (NCP) an effective process to establish and guide new development, re-development in Grandview Heights?

-Is the citizen advisory committee (CAC) meeting its objective to provide local input for land use planning initiatives?    

-What does ‘environmental and social stewardship’ mean to you as it relates to city land use planning?


Thank you in advance for participating in this dialogue,


The Grandview Heights Stewardship Association



Barinder Rasode, One Surrey

GHSA “Virtual” Non-incumbent Council Candidate Forum

City Councillors deal with a wide variety of issues in their position as a community liaison between the residents of their municipality and the City government. Much of the discussion during the Surrey election 2014 has focused on crime, and rightly so. However, land use is also a central topic in many minds because good development,  infrastructure, and environmental stewardship creates sustainable and safe communities. City councillors vote on land use issues routinely and are involved in planning and development initiatives.

Recent articles by Daphne Bramham in the Vancouver Sun and by Amy Reid in The Now have stressed the importance of choosing councillors wisely; its not just all about the Mayoral vote. Since currently-sitting Surrey councillors are already on record about their views about land use and development AND since we really haven’t heard much from non-incumbent council candidates about land use, the GHSA Board decided to hold our own “virtual forum” to ask new council candidates their views on land use and more specifically, land use in Grandview Heights.

To be completely fair and transparent, here is how we conducted our “virtual” forum.

Every non-sitting council candidate was contacted by email on Friday, Oct 31 either by their personal/party email or by the contact form on the City of Surrey website. All but one candidate supplied an email contact on the COS website or had an email address.  We asked each candidate the same question, framed by a statement, and requested their responses by the morning of November 4th.  Although we gave this deadline to give readers more pre-election time to read them, of course, as other replies are emailed, they will be posted as received for a day or two. Some candidates chose to include a bit of general platform information so answered more than our five questions, but because that was their initiative, we have not edited their answers to delete those “extra” statements.  The responses were then converted into a PDF file.


The email request for forum responses we sent to the candidates is below. This includes a “context” section for five questions we asked.

Below our logo are the links to the forum participant’s answers: the name of candidates who responded, in alphabetical order. Click on the name and the linked page will take you to a PDF of their answer which will open in a new window. As always, the GHSA presents this information as a resource for readers to read and form opinion.


Dear Candidate,

The Grandview Heights Stewardship Association ( is hosting a “virtual forum” to find out more about non-incumbent Council Candidates and their views about Grandview Heights. To be fair and inclusive, we are asking all potential council candidates to participate.

This is your opportunity to share with Grandview Heights/ South Surrey residents your thoughts and principles regarding development planning and environmental sustainability. We view this as a promotional opportunity for you as well as a way for residents in our area to find out what you may bring to Council regarding select land use/sustainability issues of neighbourhood concern.
Please address your reply to the following questions below (no longer than 500-700 words).
Your submission will be posted on our website in a special blog section. Please email your answer to by 9 am Tues Nov 4th to enable responses to be posted asap and viewed well in advance of the election.
Thank you in advance for participating! Our Association feels that the voice of Council is so important and we appreciate your personal commitment to building a better Surrey.

Social research puts great importance on community design and ongoing resident-driven evolution as the major factors in the livability, sustainability, crime level and happiness and health of it’s residents.
Grandview Heights was, and still is, as much-loved as any area in Surrey. Long-time residents treasure Grandview’s forested areas, wildlife, large mature trees, and wooded roadways and pathways. New residents in recent more urban developments tell us they love it for the exact same reasons: that there are still trees, space and character all around them.
Residents are concerned that we are experiencing unsustainable growth and urban sprawl, at the expense of quality re-development that respects healthy existing neighbourhoods and a variety of lifestyle and residence choices, and genuine preservation of the natural environment.


How well thought-out do you think the current Grandview Heights General Use Plan (GLUP) is?

What do you think about the extensive density increases that often occur at the Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP) level?

NCPs are “guidelines” not by-laws. What do you think of the ability of developers to apply for amendments to zoning and other NCP elements?

What does ‘good environmental and social stewardship’ mean to you in relation to city planning?

In your opinion, who ‘owns’ a neighbourhood? How do you weigh the ‘ownership value’ of long-term residents and new residents who plan to stay, over other, shorter term interests such as political pressures and the development industry?



Click on the name of the candidate to read their answer

Maz Artang – One Surrey

Merv Bayda – One Surrey

Michael Bose – One Surrey

Darlene Bowyer – One Surrey

Cliff Blair – Independent

Nav Dhanoya – Independent

Shawn Francis – Independent

Laurie Guerra – Safe Surrey Coalition

Brenda Locke/Stephen Gammer – Team Surrey

Jim McMurtry – Independent

Martin Rooney – Independent

Beau Simpson – Safe Surrey Coalition

Rick Scorsese – Independent

Brian Young – One Surrey

 Thank you Council Candidates for the time and thought you gave to these questions. We look forward to hearing from more Candidates soon to both help further your message and help residents understand your ideas about land development in Grandview Heights.

Mayoral and Council Candidate public forum videos

Because it is election time, the GHSA is re-purposing some Blog space, which is reserved for member and guest blog opinions, to offer a service to Surrey voters and political observers.

As an Association, the GHSA does not officially endorse one candidate over another for any Mayoral or Council seat. Our position is neutral, however we do urge you to vote and to remember that Grandview Heights, as an area under widespread growth and change, will evolve astronomically under the next group of elected officials. Pace of development, social and physical infrastructure, transportation, crime, preservation of decreasing green space: all of these issues have been raised in the past months.

There have been many public debates and forums over the last two weeks as well as news and radio interviews with candidates. These events have been posted on our “Upcoming” sidebar, but since the GHSA website just launched, of course most of these are now in the past. In the spirit of candidate equality as well as with an acknowledgement to the access that the media provides to those at home, we would like you to have access to these media recordings in case you missed them. “Meeting” a candidate by viewing and listening to them on the internet, although not in person, is better than not meeting at all them and will likely help you inform your vote.  We are not posting party platforms or individual media interviews with candidates. These are available on the individual team websites, along with all Mayoral and Council Candidate bios and videos on  What we want to bring you are media captures of public meetings and interviews that if you may have missed, you can view here all in one place. If you view this page and notice that a media clip is missing, please let us know at

Clicking the links below will open a new window and will take you to a third party website.  The GHSA is not responsible for that website in any way nor what you decide to do with the information presented there. Be informed, get informed, and watch carefully the individuals who want to represent your City for the next four years.


SFU/Downtown BIA Mayoral Candidates Meeting, October 23, 2014. This was held at SFU Surrey for Mayoral Candidates.  Special thanks to Surrey 604′s Esmir Milavic and Daman Beatty for videotaping this event.

SFU/ Downtown BIA All Candidates Meeting, October 28, 2014.  This was held at SFU Surrey for Mayoral and Council Candidates. Special thanks to Surrey 604‘s Esmir Milavic and Daman Beatty for videotaping this event.

Simi Sara CKNW Mayoral debate, October 30, 2014. This was recorded in studio with Linda Hepner, Doug McCallum, Barinder Rasode

Simi Sara CKNW Mayoral debate, VIDEO October 30, 2014. The above audio interview was also videotaped.

Shaw TV Mayoral Debate October 30, 2014  This was recorded in studio with Vikram Bajwa, Linda Hepner, Doug McCallum, Barinder Rasode

CBC Mayoral Debate, SFU Nov 4th. Linda Hepner, Doug McCallum, Barinder Rasode.


If any other  All-Candidates forums are recorded in the coming weeks, we will post them as well.