Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer (left) was at the Pacific Inn in South Surrey Wednesday evening, hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited White Rock’s Five Corners district. (Tracy Holmes/Aaron Hinks photos)

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Signs that a byelection is around the corner were aplenty on the Semiahmoo Peninsula Wednesday, as leaders of two major political parties made appearances in White Rock and South Surrey.

First, in the afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured White Rock’s Five Corners District with Liberal candidate Gordon Hogg; then, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer addressed supporters at an evening rally organized at the Pacific Inn and Convention Centre to launch the campaign of candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay.

The presence of both political leaders made an impression.

“Wow. Trudeau in town today and just had Andrew Scheer knocking at our door,” Pauline Wilcock posted on Peace Arch News’ Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, just hours after Trudeau’s tour, and shortly before Scheer arrived at the rally.

The prime minister arrived at Laura’s Coffee Corner around 2:15 p.m., shaking hands, giving high-fives and posing for selfies as he made his way to the coffee shop. About 15 minutes later, he walked through a crowd to Five Corners Café, greeting many people along the way.

More than 1,000 people, young and old, turned out for Trudeau’s arrival – which Hogg described as “a great tribute to Laura (Cornale, of Laura’s Coffee Corner)” and drew “way more people than I anticipated” – with some waiting more than two hours to meet the prime minister.

A few people waiting were carrying placards, and many were poised with their cellphones at-the-ready for any photo-ops.

Several people used Trudeau’s arrival as a platform for activism, including White Rock residents Eve Weimer and Pat Kealy. They said that former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s late father, made a commitment in 1972 that he would have the railway, which passes along White Rock’s waterfront, relocated.

The women were among the first residents to camp in front of Laura’s coffee shop, and had a chance to speak to the prime minister as he walked to Five Corners Café, located across the street from Laura’s original location, which was destroyed in the May 2016 Five Corners fire.

Kealy and Weimer both asked Trudeau if he knew of his father’s note about relocating the waterfront railway.

“Yes, I know,” Trudeau responded, according to the women. “Ma’am, Transport Canada is looking into it.”

Trudeau’s visit followed a morning engagement at the United Nations Peacekeeping Conference in Vancouver. Although he held a question-and-answer period at the UN event, a member of Trudeau’s entourage advised PAN he would not be taking questions from local media at the White Rock event.

Between 250 and 300 people registered for the Scheer event at Pacific Inn, according to a member of the Conservatives’ on-site team. Attendees filled chairs of a ballroom that was decked out with blue balloons, campaign signs and banners.

A news release – that did not mention the byelection – issued Wednesday morning stated the appearance was to “deliver remarks at an event for volunteers and supporters.”

Prior to Scheer’s arrival, longtime White Rock physician Glen Anderson told PAN he joined the Conservative party because he was “so angry” by tax changes that he said will take away the opportunity for him to assist with his grandchildren’s education.

Anderson said that while he was “not unhappy” that Trudeau was elected, “he’s just lost me.”

Scheer told supporters many voters are “experiencing buyers’ remorse.”

Opponents of marijuana legalization took the opportunity to deliver a 9,000-signature petition to Scheer. Pamela McColl told PAN the move was a “friendly” one that she and others behind the drive hope will have an impact.

A private visit with Scheer was also secured, McColl said.

The Tory leader was in North Surrey prior to the South Surrey rally, for a “roundtable dialogue” at the Surrey Board of Trade office in Whalley, on issues including local politics.

“It’s always a battle, it was a tight race in the last election and we know that every election is tough,” Scheer said. “We don’t take any byelection, any election, anywhere, for granted, so I’m here today to support our candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay. I know she’s working hard – she had a great record in the previous government, acquitted herself excellently in a meaningful cabinet post.

Before addressing supporters at Pacific Inn, Scheer and Findlay took some time to knock on area doors.

The Conservatives selected Findlay, former minister of national revenue, as their candidate on Monday. The Liberal Party of Canada officially announced Hogg as its candidate on Nov. 5, the same day the byelection was announced.

Wednesday, the Progressive Canadian Party announced Michael Huenefeld as their candidate.

The South Surrey-White Rock seat was left vacant when former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts resigned as Conservative MP, a post she’d held for two years, to run for leadership of the BC Liberals.

The byelection is set for Dec. 11.

– with files from Tom Zytaruk

(ABOVE SLIDESHOW, Peace Arch News reached out to readers asking for their photographs on the prime minister’s walking tour, and were overwhelmed by the response.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer at Surrey Board of Trade roundtable discussion Wednesday. (SBOT photo)

Four anti-pot petitioners attend Conservative rally in South Surrey. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer greets candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay at the Pacific Inn and Convention Centre in South Surrey Wednesday evening. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in White Rock. (Aaron Hinks video)

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read