Surrey-Newton is the city’s smallest riding. But if rock-em-sock-em politics is your favourite spectator sport, this riding carries a big punch.
Over the years, Surrey-Newton occasionally toggled from NDP to the right, but has largely been dominated by the NDP.
In 2001, Liberal Tony Bhullar trounced NDP MLA candidate Param Grewal in Surrey Newton, a riding that had been held by NDP cabinet minister Penny Priddy since Priddy snatched it from Social Credit premier Rita Johnston in 1991. Wisely choosing not to seek re-election in 2001, considering her governing party was destined for a province-wide smackdown from the electorate, Priddy thus avoided a fate similar to Johnston’s as B.C. voters raged against the NDP.
Harry Bains won the riding back for the NDP in 2005, and every election since. Last election, he took
56.33 per cent of the popular vote, defeating runner-up Liberal candidate Sukhminder Virk by 2,898 votes.
Bains served on Kwantlen University’s board of governors, was vice-president of Steelworkers-IWA Canada local 2171 and as MLA served as critic for the Olympics, transportation, infrastructure, employment, WorkSafe BC., forests, lands and natural resources. He is seeking re-election while Liberal Gurminder Singh Parihar, Richard Krieger of the Green Party and Balpreet Bal, who is running as an independent, are running for a first term in office.
Parihar has been a partner with Parihar & Associates Chartered Professional Accountants since 2004. Krieger is a founding director of the B.C. Green Party in 1983, helping create North America’s first green party. Bal is a realtor.
Surrey-Newton’s population is 58,340, according to most recent available statistics. It covers an area of 12 square kilometres. The average age of its residents is 34.7 years and for 64.71 per cent of all residents English is a second language.