B.C. election: Doug McCallum to return as Surrey mayor
Doug McCallum has been elected the next mayor of Surrey.
McCallum, who was first elected to council in 1993, served as mayor of Surrey from 1996 to 2005.
WATCH: McCallum beats out Gill in Surrey’s testy mayoral race
The head of the Safe Surrey Coalition defeated challengers Coun. Tom Gill with Surrey First and Coun. Bruce Hayne with Integrity Now in a bruising campaign that included allegations of attempted election fraud.
The results were emphatic, with McCallum winning 45,484 votes. His nearest challenger, Gill, won just 28,473 votes, while Hayne finished third with 27,951.
WATCH: Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill thanks voters
His election heralds a big shakeup in Surrey politics, with big-ticket promises to radically change the city’s direction.
McCallum pledged to do away with the Surrey RCMP, amid ongoing shootings as well as gang and drug crime. He’s promising to replace the Mounties with Surrey’s own municipal police force and a homegrown police board.
McCallum’s election could also put the brakes on the $1.65-billion light rail transit (LRT) project proposed for the city.
The project has already secured funding from three levels of government, however McCallum argued at-grade transit will cause congestion, and says he wants to see the city pursue elevated SkyTrain instead.
WATCH: Decision BC: New faces joining new mayor Doug McCallum on Surrey city council
McCallum attempted a comeback in 2014, but was defeated by Surrey First’s Linda Hepner by about 20,000 votes.
McCallum was unseated from the mayor’s office in 2005 by Dianne Watts, who later went on to found the Surry First slate in 2008. Surrey First has held the mayoralty since then.
On leaving office, McCallum left Surrey with a $300-million surplus.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.