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Surrey Candidates Respond to Charitable Sector Concerns

Photos of the 35 candidates who responded

We recently sent out a questionnaire to municipal candidates running for office in Surrey. We had a total of 35 candidates respond.

We told them that SurreyCares Community Foundation has been supporting Surrey’s charitable interests since 1994, celebrating 25 years in 2019. We manage over $7 Million in endowed funds, and grant out approximately $250,000 annually to charities, benefiting Surrey residents. There are 773 (CRA figures) registered charities and nonprofits in Surrey, and many more charities who provide additional service here, representing many thousands of people served, thousands of jobs, and many $millions of dollars to the local economy.

The charitable sector in Canada employs 2 million people, with an additional

1 billion hours volunteered annually, and a GDP of $151 billion (Imagine Canada stats).

We then asked them to complete a short questionnaire. Here is what they had to say:

Two candidates completed the questionnaire twice so that is why this chart shows 37 candidates while there were really only 35 individuals who responded.

The second question read as follows:

SurreyCares excels at managing invested funds in order to provide grants to local charities. Some of those funds are for City-managed projects like Darts Hill, Surrey Libraries, the Arts Centre and others. Do you support an awareness campaign that will allow additional funds to be raised for these endowments?

We're pleased to report that all but three candidates responded with YES, one candidate said NO and two did not respond to this question.

Following are the suggestions we received from each of those candidates:

Mayoral Candidates:

Tom Gill: We need to work hand in hand with organizations like SurreyCares to identify gaps in what has been working and what has not. I would love to sit down with your organization and hear from you, the experts on what we at the city can do support such a campaign.

Pauline Greaves: Sharing of information through the various committees. Marketing and support (pamphlets and online). Participation at various events. Publication of reports.

Bruce Hayne: On our website and through our distribution channels.

Rajesh Jayaprakash: We have promised a new "Surrey Arts Reserve Fund", a one time grant of nearly $10 million to create something similar to Surrey Housing and Homeless Society to promote arts and artists. Details at the link here:

Imatiaz Popat: The city needs to support and raise awareness and nonrecognition for the different organizations that serve Surrey through its website.

The remaining Mayoral candidates did not respond.

Council Candidates:

Kashmir Besla: By supporting community events, public service announcements, advertising.

Tanvir Bhupal: A charitable dinner attended by local business owners and citizens.

Roslyn Cassells: Provide staff hours to help.

Doug Elford: Through their various forms of media.

Neneng Galanto: Encourage businesses to donate to charities and fundraising projects to support the charities.

Laurie Guerra: Help to promote and facilitate it.

Paul Hillsdon: Utilizing City marketing and communications services and venues to support these campaigns, as well as Council representation.

Afshan Kamran: By providing work force support and funding the projects more often.

Felix Kongyuy: The City could spread more awareness about the campaign, and encourage its key partners to donate yearly.

Nicholas Loberg: Outreach through community groups and associations such as Business Improvement Associations, as well as facilitating partnerships


Brenda Locke: Did not answer this question.

Adam MacGillivray: The easiest way for the City to support such a campaign would be through active social media engagement and advertising.

Nasimah Nastoh: Answered no.

Stuart Parker: Our city needs a central office that deals with all QuaNGOs with which the city works in partnership to ensure that strategies of partnering with one organization are utilized with others. Also, our proposed Regularization Office would seek to transfer some of the work burden from Surrey Cares to the city over the medium term.

Major Singh Rasode: From the developers who making millions.

Upkar Tatlay: I believe the allocation of resources to support the awareness campaign would be useful in order to help engage citizens in investing in landmark programs in our City and furthering the efforts to boost civic pride.

Becky Zhou: Make awareness to the public for such campaigns to raise capital. Match contributions during events and get corporate sponsorship involvement.

School Trustee Candidates:

Lisa Alexis: Matching programs.

Jasvinder Singh Badesha: advertisement and info. on web site

Cindy Dalglish: Partnering is a big portion of the work that needs to be done. And in that partnering, the City can be a vehicle for communication to the citizens. Marketing, communications, and participation are all key.

Charlene Dobie: They could advertise for you in the community centres, libraries etc.

Kapil Goyal: By providing more in class programs not just after school

Bob Holmes: Responded Yes, gave no suggestions of how.

Aronjit Lageri: Involve the Stake holders into campaign, organize local seminars and meets.

Laurie Larsen: Becoming involved and supporting program

Jasbir Narwal: City of Surrey should work more closely with Surrey cares

Diana Ng: The City of Surrey works closely with SurreyCares to promote campaigns. The City could: 1. Offer some funding 2. Help with publicity of campaign events 3. Be creative with event promotions. For example, websites, various social media platforms, etc…

Niovi Patsicakis: A gala?

Amanda Smith-Weston: By providing additional marketing through social media or table space at events

Adele Yu: Did not answer this question.

The third question read as follows:

SurreyCares Community Foundation was launched by the City of Surrey, and is a member of the Community Foundations of Canada. Do you agree or disagree that the City of Surrey could work even more closely with SurreyCares to provide more benefit to Surrey?

All but one candidate agreed.

Council candidate Diana Ng agreed and added: I would encourage a close collaborative relationship between the City of Surrey and SurreyCares to provide more benefit to Surrey.

Candidates who disagreed were asked to explain why.

School trustee candidate Charlene Dobie disagreed and explained: It is better to keep Surrey Cares as non-partisan as possible.

The fourth and final question read:

SurreyCares has published 4 Vital Signs Reports, impartially taking the pulse of various sectors (general, seniors, First Peoples, youth) of Surrey. Our reports have been well received nationally. Do you see a value in an impartial report designed to identify both gaps and what we do well, according to service recipients?

All responding candidates answered: YES

We are grateful for the time and input from these 35 candidates.



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