Surrey-Guildford is a new kid on the block heading into the May 9 general election.
This new riding in northeast Surrey takes in a large part of what used to be Surrey-Tynehead, a provincial riding that was held by the B.C. Liberals since Dave Hayer was first elected in 2001, and then re-elected in 2005 and 2009.
After Hayer retired, his successor was Amrik Virk, a former Surrey RCMP inspector who, after his election to Surrey-Tynehead, in 2013, went on to most recently serve as minister of technology, innovation and citizen’s services and before that, minister of advanced education.
In the last election, in Surrey-Tynehead, Virk took 48.3 per cent of the popular vote, defeating runner-up NDP candidate Avtar Bains by 1,500 votes.
This time around, Virk will do battle with NDP candidate Garry Begg, a fellow retired Surrey RCMP inspector who served 37 years with the force, the last eight of which were in Surrey. Begg ran unsuccessfully for the NDP last federal election in Fleetwood-Port Kells but is hoping to retire Virk on May 9.
Their competitors are the Green Party’s Jodi Murphy who, according to her website, has for the past decade worked at a local company providing specialized technical services for the pulp and paper industry, and Christian Heritage Party candidate Keith Pielak, who has served as president of the BC CHP since 2014.
The population of Surrey-Guildford, according to most recent available figures, is 58,037 and the average age of residents in this new riding is 38.2 years.
All told, for 49.09 per cent of its population, English is their second language.