TOM ZYTARUK / SURREY NOW
SURREY — The writ’s dropped and it’s officially game on, though Oct. 19 still feels far away.
With Canada’s federal election 2015 comes some big geographical changes for ridings related to Surrey and North Delta. We will now have six MPs in this area, as opposed to four.
So of the six new ridings B.C. is gaining, we have two of them.
Before this campaign, the local electoral map was divided into Newton-North Delta, South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale, Surrey North and Fleetwood-Port Kells.
But in this coming election, these ridings will slip into history, with only Fleetwood-Port Kells maintaining its name, though its boundaries have changed.
The new ridings are Cloverdale-Langley City, Delta, South Surrey-White Rock, Surrey-Newton and Surrey Centre.
North Delta, which used to be part of Newton-North Delta, currently held by NDP MP Jinny Sims, has broken away from Surrey to be part of an expansive new riding taking in the entire municipality of Delta.
Cloverdale has also broken away from the riding currently held by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, who is not seeking re-election.
What’s left of that riding contains South Surrey and White Rock, sharing its western boundary with the Delta riding at 120th Street, its northern boundary with Surrey-Newton and Cloverdale-Langley City at Highway 10, and its eastern border is 192nd Street, shared with Cloverdale-Langley City and Langley-Aldergrove.
Surrey-Newton is a rectangular box with simply defined boundaries, from 88th Avenue in the north to Highway 10 in the south, and 120th Street is its western boundary, and 144th Street its east.
Surrey Centre embraces a large part of the city’s north end, including Royal Heights, Bridgeview, Whalley and parts of Guildford. This replaces Surrey North, currently held by NDP MP Jasbir Sandu. It shares boundaries with the Delta riding at 120th Street and 96th Avenue down to the Fraser River, with Surrey Newton to the south, along 88th Avenue east to 148th, where its eastern border shared with Fleetwood-Port Kells jogs north to 100th Avenue, then east to 152nd Street up to Highway 1, and along the highway to the northerly limit of the city.
As for candidates, there looks to be a battle royale brewing between incumbent Conservative MP Nina Grewal and NDP candidate Garry Begg, a retired senior Surrey RCMP officer, in Fleetwood-Port Kells. The Liberals and Green Party have yet to reveal candidates there.
In Surrey Centre, Conservative candidate and businessman Sucha Thind will attempt to unseat incumbent NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu. The Liberals and Green Party have not yet revealed their candidates in Surrey Centre.
Incumbent Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay will square off against Liberal candidate and human rights lawyer Carla Qualtrough in the Delta riding, as well as NDP candidate Jeremy Leveque, who works in health care.
In Surrey-Newton, NDP MP incumbent Jinny Sims will take on old rival and Liberal candidate Sukh Dhaliwal, former Liberal MP, and Conservative candidate Harpreet Singh, a television show host.
In Cloverdale-Langley City, it’s Conservative candidate Dean Drysdale (former Langley township councillor) against Liberal candidate John Alday, who has had a lengthy career with Parks Canada, the NDP’s Rebecca Smith and Green candidate Scott Anderson, who works with Bosa Construction.
Elsewhere, former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts will be carrying the Conservative flag in South Surrey-White Rock, competing for the MP seat in that riding against NDP candidate and environmental lawyer Pixie Hobby, Liberal candidate Joy Davies (former city councillor for Tumbler Ridge) and Green candidate Larry Colero, who has taught graduate-level business ethics at UBC and SFU.