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.
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.
“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.
“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.