Sims campaign manager accuses Locke of unlawful collusion with pro-RCMP third party

Bob Mackin

The campaign manager for Keep the RCMP in Surrey (KTRIS) scoffs at accusations that his group is breaking third party election laws by actively supporting the county. Brenda Locke for mayor.

Stephen Carter (Twitter)

Stephen Carter, Calgary-based campaign manager for Surrey Forward mayoral candidate Jinny Sims, alleged on September 22 that the grassroots anti-Surrey Police Service group was unlawfully colluding with Locke’s Surrey Connect party. If elected, Locke promised to cancel the new police force, while Sims promised to determine the cost of maintaining the RCMP versus the transition.

Paul Daynes of KTRIS said his group is separate from Surrey Connect, registered, compliant and open to Elections BC review.

“We’ve been campaigning for four years, we’ve publicly supported, in front of TV cameras and all the media, Brenda Locke,” said KTRIS’ Paul Daynes. “We run flags and events etc and many of our volunteers are members or supporters of Surrey Connect and vice versa. We are so mixed that it would be hard to tell where one person’s allegiance begins and another ends.

Carter said Surrey Forward is preparing a complaint to Elections BC, with evidence that includes social media photos of KTRIS and Surrey Connect campaigning together.

Keep the RCMP campaign going in Surrey with Surrey mayoral candidate Brenda Locke (Twitter)

“In a campaign where the current mayor is facing significant criminal charges, a second candidate has been convicted of criminal activity in the past, it’s amazing that a third candidate is willing to take these illegal liberties with an advertiser. third party,” Carter said, referring to incumbent Mayor Doug McCallum’s public mischief trial on Oct. 31 and Sukh Dhaliwal’s 2014 guilty pleas to the Income Tax Act charges.

Registered third parties must be independent of a campaign for a candidate or party or face a fine of up to $10,000, under Elections BC rules.

“This means that a third-party sponsor must not engage in third-party advertising on behalf of or with a candidate or electoral organization,” the guide for registered third parties said. “A third-party sponsor and a candidate or voter organization cannot coordinate their advertising campaigns.”

Locke was not immediately available for comment. Locke’s campaign manager Kristy Wawryk denied the allegations. She said Surrey Connect was grateful for the grassroots support and had complied with all laws.

“While we understand that other campaigns seek to harm these grassroots community groups for their own political gain, Surrey Connect will continue to advocate for issues that are meaningful to our community,” Wawryk said.

Jinny Sims (NDP)

Daynes called Carter’s allegations “sheer hypocrisy” because Sims is running with the endorsement of the New Westminster and District Labor Council (NWDLC). The labor group is not on Elections BC’s list of registered third-party advertising sponsors.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and this is another case of the kettle calling the pot black,” Daynes said.

Daynes also denied Carter’s allegation that KTRIS shared his petitions with Surrey Connect. “I don’t know what he has to prove it,” he said.

Carter said the NWDLC is independent from the Sims campaign, with “no in-kind support, no coordination, and we have no data or access to data from any third party, including unions.”

KTRIS has been involved in two petition campaigns, the most recent in 2021 which sought to trigger a referendum on the Surrey Police Service. McCallum’s majority Safe Surrey Coalition created the force, with the blessing of the NDP government, after it came to power in 2018.

Elections BC rejected the 42,942 signatures because they came solely from Surrey ridings and did not meet the required 10% of signatures from registered voters in each of the province’s electoral ridings.

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