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Approving more than 50 development applications at final council meeting is the last straw: Gordie Hogg

Surrey, B.C. (October 4, 2022): Gordie Hogg, Surrey First candidate for mayor, says if voters elect a Surrey First council on October 15, he will launch a public inquiry into Doug McCallum’s four-year approach to approving development applications in the city.

“Last night’s stampede to approve more than 50 land use applications showed that Doug McCallum does not care what the public thinks when it comes to developing Surrey,” said Hogg. “At the same time, there was a complete disregard for any sort of fair or ethical process around approving development applications. Last night was the last straw and it’s time to shine a light on the last four years.  

“This looked and felt like payback time and we need to get to the bottom of this rigged system that has become part of Doug McCallum’s legacy,” said Hogg. “Last night was just the most recent example of playing fast and loose with development approvals. Surrey residents and developers want a fair and transparent process. Every application should be treated fairly, and no one should need a special friend in the mayor’s chair to bring their project or application forward. I want a process and city council that is completely fair and transparent, I wouldn’t stand for anything less.”

“Last night was like winning the lottery for those applications,” added Councillor Linda Annis. “The approvals gave applicants a huge windfall that begs all sorts of questions. Why the rush? Who benefits, and what is their relationship to Doug McCallum? Surrey taxpayers have had a rough four years under this mayor and a public inquiry that looks at development approvals under Doug McCallum would give residents and developers more confidence that they are being treated fairly.”

Annis says she has never seen 50-plus applications pushed through in her four years on council.

“We normally have 10 to 15 applications on any given council night, but last night had nothing to do with good planning or community consultation,” said Annis. “Last night Doug McCallum went too far with his friends first approach, and the voters of Surrey have had enough. A lot of people made a lot of money last night with those approvals and a public inquiry will shine a very bright light on what was a very dark night for our city.”