June 21, 2018 1:56 pm
Updated: June 21, 2018 10:55 pm

Councillor Bruce Hayne quits Surrey First civic party with months to election

Bruce Hayne is leaving Surrey First.

Bruce Hayne / Facebook

With just months to go before Surrey residents go to the polls for a civic election, there’s a major shakeup in the local political scene.

Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne has resigned from Surrey First, the civic party that swept the city’s council in the 2014 elections and which is led by sitting mayor Linda Hepner.

Hayne will sit as an independent until the fall elections.

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READ MORE: Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner won’t seek re-election

He says he’s come to realize his goals don’t align with the party, and that he’s disappointed that there hasn’t been more consultation with the public on issues such as public safety, development and transit.

“I don’t think we’ve done a particularily good job of informing the public of what [light rail transit] LRT is going to do for the community and mean for the community,” he said.

“So what we see is a lot of push-back on the chosen route and technology particularly.”

READ MORE: New party to take on Surrey First

Hayne says another flashpoint for him was the cutting down of the trees in Hawthorne Park to make way for a new east-west connector.

WATCH: Surrey mayor reacts to Bruce Haynes resignation from Surrey First party

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said Hayne is being hypocritical in his criticism, because he’s been a Surrey First team player for two terms.

“Do I believe this is simply a political strategy? Of course it is and anybody who thinks anything different would be simply wrong. It’s a play,” she said.

Co-councillor Vera LeFranc, also with Surrey First, took to Twitter to say she was “sorry to see Bruce go.”

However, she appeared to question his motives.

READ MORE: 1 Surrey party owns every seat on city council. A new party is rising to challenge them

“I’ve been part of the team for 4 years and he has never mentioned to me, even in passing, that we need to be more transparent or accountable. And I’m an excellent listener,” she tweeted.

Hayne’s resignation comes as Surrey First gets ready to pick a new leader with Hepner not running for re-election.

His name has been floated as a possible mayoral candidate in the Oct. 20 election.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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