It may be 15 months away, but the next municipal election in B.C.'s second largest city is beginning to take shape.
Mayor Doug McCallum has confirmed he will seek re-election next October, after Coun. Brenda Locke said she will run for mayor with a new party, Surrey Connect.
McCallum, who was previously mayor from 1996 to 2005, returned to the top job in 2018, with his Safe Surrey Coalition party winning seven of eight seats on council.
But three of those seven councillors left McCallum's party within a year, including Locke, alleging McCallum did not listen to others and was not providing enough information about the promised transition to an independent police force.
"Just about every council meeting, this mayor cuts people off when they don't say what he wants them to say. We see people getting ignored when they do their public consultation," said Locke.
"Backroom deals and backroom barbecues are no way to run a city."
She said that if elected, Surrey would stay under RCMP jurisdiction — reversing a transition expected to conclude by 2024 — lobby for transit improvements beyond the SkyTrain extension to Langley City, and focus on fiscal responsibility.
"We have seen significant increases in taxes this year, and the public has been really concerned," she said.
Linda Annis, the only member of Surrey council not to be elected under the Safe Surrey Coalition banner last election, has also said she is contemplating a run for mayor.
In Vancouver, multiple candidates have been campaigning for months, but no other municipality in B.C. has an active race to date.