By Ray Hudson
Most of the seats were occupied for the Surrey All Candidates meeting, put on by the Surrey Board of Trade and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. On the stage, seventeen candidates from seven of the nine ridings participated in the evening. Surrey-Newton and Surrey-Panorama were unrepresented.
There were thirty questions prepared in advance, which were randomly drawn and posed to the candidates grouped by riding. Questions ranged across many topics including; how to deal with marijuana legalization to protect schools and work places; how to keep cost of living increases in Surrey from exceeding average worker salaries; views around first past the post elections; plans around reducing or eliminating MSP payments; seeking commitment to funding post-secondary seats and K to 12 infrastructure funding.
The event ran smoothly, the candidates were respectful to each other and there was very little heckling from the audience. Following the rounds of questions, each candidate was given a minute to make final remarks. During this period, the last candidate to speak, Jonathan Silveira, the NDP Candidate for Surrey South, departed from the decorum of the evening, and levelled criticisms specifically at Peter Fassbender, Amirk Virk and Brenda Locke. Silveira was met by a chorus of boos and an intervention from the moderator who demanded he be respectful to the other candidates.