Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill acknowledged two-thirds of his Surrey First candidates are new to the team that also includes current councillors Vera LeFranc and Mike Starchuk. Two of the Indo-Canadian candidates running with Gill include Upkar Tatlay from Panorama and Raminder Thomas from Cloverdale.
By PD Raj – DESIBUZZCanada
SURREY – Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill finally introduced his team of council candidates Wednesday morning which includes two Indo-Canadians and one Filipino among six new candidates after the departure of Bruce Hayne and two others who are running under the Integrity Now banner.
Gill acknowledged two-thirds of his Surrey First candidates are new to the team that also includes current councillors Vera LeFranc and Mike Starchuk.
“Our city has accomplished a lot in a few short years,” said Gill, an accountant and former Chief Financial Officer with Coast Mental Health, the region’s largest provider of mental health services. “But, there’s more to do, and it starts by imagining the kind of city we want for our families and community. All of us at Surrey First are ready to roll up our sleeves to move our city forward and keep it a great place for families.”
“I came to Surrey 32 years ago as a student from Kamloops, and immediately felt right at home here. I met my wife Pav here, and we’re raising our three kids here. I wouldn’t live anywhere else and while we still have plenty to do in Surrey, I’m excited about our future because I can imagine what that looks like when it comes to transit, public safety, smart development, and new jobs that let people work and live right here in Surrey. People like what they see here, which is why we’re attracting 300 new families every month.” Gill, chair of the city’s finance committee, said stepping up to run for mayor was an easy decision after being on council for four terms."
The Indo-Canadian candidates running with Gill include Upkar Tatlay from Panorama and Raminder Thomas from Cloverdale.
Tatley is described as a Managing Director of Oxus Nexus, who oversees emerging technologies in the biotech and cleantech industries, and explores potential markets for new developments in innovation. Recognizing the importance of keeping our children on the straight and narrow. He is also the Executive Director of Opus Prep Foundation, one of the most successful youth outreach and mentoring organizations in the province. In addition, he is a former firefighter, and his community work has included being Chair of the Surrey Library Board.
Raminder Thomas is an Executive Director of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, where she’s helping to grow a vibrant business community. She is a member of Surrey’s Heritage Services Advisory Board, and a graduate of the University of Victoria and BCIT.
Gill said this election is all about imagining the future, and his team will detail their platform in the weeks ahead.
“We’ll roll things out over the next few weeks,” said Gill. “But, our emphasis is going to be on more LRT to more neighbourhoods, more police officers and a referendum on a city police force, a handgun ban, more businesses and local jobs, more parks, pools and rinks, a new world class performing arts centre, smart development that provides a variety of housing options, and keeping city hall’s financial house in order.”
Gill added that as an accountant, keeping taxes low is always top of mind, and something he’ll bring to the mayor’s chair. “I want our city to have a strong balance sheet, so we can continue to make investments in the things that matter to our citizens, including parks, pools, ice rinks, and community centres. I’m very proud of our city’s finances and fiscal record, and I’m committed to keeping it that way.”
Gill said each candidate brings a unique perspective to the team and the city. “This is a group of very talented and committed Surrey residents,” added Gill. “They’re your neighbours, women and men who are ready, willing and able to go to work for you and your family. Surrey First has always put forward strong teams, and this group is no exception. Our team is all about imagining the change we want and having the experience to get it done.”