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Municipal elections across B.C., with major battles in Vancouver, Surrey expected

Voters in British Columbia’s cities, towns and villages head to the polls today to cast their verdict on local candidates who made big promises this fall to tackle the huge issues confronting almost every community.  

From Vancouver and Surrey to the smaller Interior communities of Princeton and Clearwater, campaigns focused on issues that typically fall beyond the municipal realm, such as health care, violent crime, mental health and addiction and affordable housing.

Incumbent Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, facing a strong challenge from businessman Ken Sim, promises to triple the city’s housing goal over the next decade to 220,000 homes, while providing Canada’s strongest renter protections.

Incumbent Clearwater Mayor Merlin Blackwell says health care is the top issue in his North Thompson community, where the local hospital’s emergency department experiences regular closures. 

He says small-town issues of dog parks and potholes are on the back burner in this campaign with residents wanting local government to improve health care and fight crime.

In Surrey, incumbent Mayor Doug McCallum is facing consecutive challenges, first at the ballot box against seven other candidates, then in court on Oct. 31 as he faces trial on a charge of public mischief. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press