Surrey mayoral candidates trade barbs over closed-door meetings

Published: July 31, 2014

Ex-Mayor McCallum calls out opponents Hepner and Rasode for ‘hypocrisy’

Surrey

Doug McCallum is critical of his opponents’ stances on closed police committee meetings; Linda Hepner and Barinder Rasode have fired back. KEVIN HILL, Surrey Now

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

With the Surrey election months away, the mudslinging has already begun.

In a statement released Thursday, candidate Doug McCallum slammed his Surrey First opposition Linda Hepner and Barinder Rasode — who has yet to announce whether she is running for mayor or an independent councillor — for “hypocrisy.”

McCallum said both politicians regularly call for open meetings and transparency, but instead have “voted for closed police committee meetings for years.”

McCallum, who served as Surrey mayor from 1996 to 2005, when he was unseated by current mayor Dianne Watts, pointed to a list of more than 10 City of Surrey voting records, dating back to 2008, in which no dissenting votes were recorded against a motion to close the meetings to the public.

“Even when I was mayor I was a very strong believer that council — in all committees, including council meetings — should not have any in-camera meetings,” McCallum told Vancouver Desi. “There shouldn’t be any in-camera meetings except (when there are) personnel and legal issues.”

“But outside of that we should have open council meetings, or at least open to the public.”

Hepner fired back that those meetings were closed in line with “standard protocol (followed) in every city in this country.”

“When you’re talking about human rights issues, legal issues and particularly in the police — when you’re talking about some crime suppression plans or some confidential information that will actually put our protective services guys at risk by exposing them in a public session … it would just be, in my mind, irresponsible leadership to do anything other than (a closed meeting,)” she said.

“He knows full well that’s protocol. Those are legal issues, those are property issues, those are personnel issues and those are issues … (that) will put our officers at risk.”

While McCallum acknowledged that he doesn’t know why the meetings were closed, he said: “It would be surprising that every one … for the last six years had in-camera meetings (for those reasons).”

According to Rasode, the closed meetings McCallum mentioned and her stance on the need for open, public meetings and government transparency are “two separate issues.”

“When a clerk gives you an agenda that is closed, you really don’t have a choice but to go into close,” said Rasode, adding that the clerk makes the decision based on legality issues and the protection of personal information.

Hepner said McCallum’s accusations were “the height of hypocrisy and it borders on the ludicrous that he would even think that the public would not understand that.”

But McCallum insisted the public has the right “to know any information that council knows,” adding that he’s “always been an open person in the public.”

However, in 2002 — while acting as mayor — McCallum came under fire for allegedly trying to interfere with the RCMP’s release of crime information to the media when he was accused of telling off police for releasing bad news.

“I was just asking questions of the RCMP,” McCallum said of that incident. “I actually did it in public.”

Surrey’s civic election will take place Nov. 15.

Related stories:

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072244

Q & A: Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode discusses upcoming campaign trail

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at a…
Continue Reading »

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072376

Barinder Rasode takes aim at crime as she officially announces her bid for Surrey’s mayor

  LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at…
Continue Reading »

Sunday September 19 Vancouver Stanley Park

Gear up for the annual Ismaili Walk at Stanley Park this Sunday

VANCOUVER DESI The 23rd annual Ismaili Walk, which fundraises to improve the lives of local women and children, will take place Sunday in Stanley Park….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Oliver urges weaker G20 economies to follow Canadian stimulus model

THE CANADIAN PRESS SYDNEY, Australia — Different economic situations require different approaches to meeting the G20′s economic targets, Canada’s finance minister said Sunday as he…
Continue Reading »

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072244

Q & A: Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode discusses upcoming campaign trail

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at a…
Continue Reading »

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072376

Barinder Rasode takes aim at crime as she officially announces her bid for Surrey’s mayor

  LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Rally held in Saskatoon in support of 65-year-old woman deported to Pakistan

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — Supporters of a 65-year-old woman who was deported to her native Pakistan earlier this week have held a rally at…
Continue Reading »

Designers-entertainment

Fashion over the years in Bollywood

IMROZ MAUR VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood and Fashion go hand in hand; there is no Bollywood without fashion and there is no fashion without Bollywood. They…
Continue Reading »

fried rat in food

Customer finds fried rat mixed in pakoras at Indian railway snack kiosk

VANCOUVER DESI A snack kiosk at a railway station in Western India has been closed down after a customer found a fried rat mixed in…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-soccer

‘This isn’t lingerie football’: Vancouver Whitecaps video taken down (w/video)

DAN FUMANO VANCOUVER DESI After some fans and Internet commenters cried foul on a new online video promoting the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team, club management…
Continue Reading »

Change

Iran sentences ‘Happy’ dancing youths to six months jail, 91 lashes

IANS Tehran – A group of Iranian youths, who released a video on YouTube dancing to the popular song “Happy” by American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone: Respect us as women off-screen

IANS Mumbai – Deepika Padukone says she has an issue when people “propagate objectification of a real person and not a character being played” and…
Continue Reading »

Parineeti Chopra-Aditya Roy Kapur

Daawat-e-Ishq: Habib Faisal missed the plot

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Daawat-e-Ishq”; Cast: Aditya Roy Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and Anupam Kher; Director: Habib Faisal: Rating: ** There are two different films…
Continue Reading »

Vinay Virmani

A fun ride with Dr. Cabbie

Q&A: Canadian actor Vinay Virmani’s new movie continues his examination of South Asian immigrant experience ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Toronto-born actor and writer Vinay Virmani…
Continue Reading »