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Yell It Like It Is

Editor/Publisher White Rock Sun

David Chesney




Friday January 21, 2022

Digging In

Mayor Doug McCallum with his hand picked council supporters

Turning the calendar page over to a new year, 2022 takes on special meaning to every elected politician in British Columbia.  This will be the final year of the term of civic elected officials.

The nightmare occurring north of us in Surrey is beyond words.  Mayor DOUG MCCALUM has been in the news for months for all the wrong reasons.  Since the new Surrey council was elected they seem to have been split into three distinct camps.  Mayor MCCALUM’s group which consists of  councillors DOUG ELFORD, LAURIE GUERRA,  MANDEEP NAGRA and ALLISON PATTON.  These councillors are lock step with Mayor MCCALUM and that gives this group the proverbial hammer of votes to approve virtually everything that comes before council.  A breakaway group led by BRENDA LOCKE and JACK HUNDIAL  have formed a vocal opposition to the MCCALUM GROUP.  LOCKE has indicated she will seek the mayor’s chair in October with support from HUNDIAL and RAMONA KAPTYN who will seek a seat on Surrey council in the next election.  The remaining two councillors LINDA ANNIS and STEVEN PETTIGREW seem to be totally independent.  It was thought LINDA ANNIS would join LOCKE and HUNDIAL but that seemed to be based  soeley on her being the group’s choice for mayor on a slate as it readied itself for the October election.   PETTIGREW continues as a lone wolf with a very vocal approach to Mayor MCCALUM’S style of leadership.  The war of words will only continue to become more intense as we move towards October election time.  There will also be outside forces bound to enter the fray.  First out of the gates are Surrey Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal & Surrey MLA Harry Bains are both playing cagey when asked to confirm they will seek the mayor's chair in October

That brings us to White Rock council. 

In the last civic election a group of individuals with a well managed team behind them, swept into power in White Rock with 5 of the 7 votes garnered by DEMOCRACY DIRECT candidates JOHANSON, KRISTJANSON,  MANNING and TREVEYLAN under the leadership of mayoral candidate DARRYL WALKER.  As much as residents in White Rock say they do not support “slates” (a collection of individuals running under the same banner) every time a slate is put forth they end up in power.  Previous elected slates include CITIZENS FOR POSITIVE RENEWAL and THE COALITION which held power for the previous term of council 2014-2018.

DEMOCRACY DIRECT captured the community’s imagination by taking a very strong stance against THE COALITION’S vision of a highrise community in White Rock. 

Councillor Fathers and I both were returned to city hall in 2018.  The fact both of us had just spent 4 years as odd persons out against THE COALITION, we both wondered how the new council which certainly held the power, would be to work with.   It didn’t take long for us to observe DEMOCRACY DIRECT was not voting in a block as THE COALITION had.  DEMOCRACY DIRECT councillors seemed to be all over when it came to voting.  Let me add here Councillor FATHERS and I would in broad strokes review upcoming council meetings in general terms, but neither of us ever said “How are you going to vote?”  I have been surprised on more than one occasion when Councillor FATHERS has cast her vote on an item.  That my friends is democracy in action.

This term has been a difficult one.  Not because of the make up of council, but outside extenuating circumstances kept us on our toes.  The destruction of our world famous pier in December just 2 months into our term rocked city hall as much as it did our community.  Hiring a new Chief Administrator Officer was the next big decision for council.  The CAO is the only employee of the elected council.   Council directs him, and he carries our requests to the various departments of city hall.  This flow of command seems to have been difficult for at least one member of council.  We have also witnessed a large number of staff leaving the employ of city, and virtually every one of them has gone on to another city that is able to pay them more money to do the same job.  I am proud of the staff that we work with at city hall, and I understand given the fact few actually live in White Rock, would be leaving for pastures that greener in more ways than one.

SO here we go, you may not have noticed it yet, but electioneering is always underway with members of council jockeying for October when White Rock and all the other communities in British Columbia make the decision on who will lead them into the next 4 year cycle.

When I am asked if I will run again, I answer in the affirmative.  When pushed for when I will start my election campaign, I simply reply.  It started the day after I was elected for this term.

Thank you it has been an honour to serve you.

David Chesney



Friday January 06, 2022


Did you?

As we went into the holiday season I was bombarded with SHOP LOCAL messages, posters, commercials blah blah blah.  I say blah blah blah because there is nothing original about the messaging, nothing that actually caused me to want more information.

But then again I don’t need to be told to shop local.  I have done it all my life.  The reasoning being is if I don’t support the local businesses they will simply disappear.  Not a week goes by that I don’t end up in a conversation with someone pining for the good old days of Buy Low and Penguin Meats, to name a few.

This year over the holidays we dined at 4 local restaurants, and my Christmas purchases tallied 2 from Blue Frog, a few purchases from the White Rock Museum craft fair,  and 3 from  Jill Martynyk’s Romancing The Home’s pop up store in Semiahmoo Mall.  Does the liquor store count?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not going to buy anything I don’t really want or need for a gift.  It is the community connectivity that is a beautiful by product of this action.  Have you seen the movie PAY IT FORWARD?  Well we can do it right here.

IT is also important for me  to know my merchant.  How much more of an enjoyable expedience is it at Hillcrest Bakery when “George” is working?  When the weather permits it, I walk as often as I can to get around town.  It not only inadvertently affords me much needed exercise, but it allows me to stop and talk with friends and neighbours.  That is so important to me.  Over the past week I have encountered more than once an elderly customer in a business that is taking an inordinate amount of time to make and pay for their purchase as they use the opportunity to interact and talk with another human being.  If you aren’t careful you miss what is going on and  your blood pressure starts to rise.

White Rock like most cities in the Lower Mainland spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund organizations like THE WHITE ROCK BIA and WHITE ROCK TOURISM (handled by Surrey Tourism?) in an attempt to attract shoppers and visitors to our City by the Sea.  It’s effectiveness is suspect in my humble opinion. A very creative promotion a small town Ontario BIA created last year, was to under the cover of late Sunday night, brown paper over all the windows on the shops along main street with GOING OUT OF BUSINESS signs. The next morning the residents of the small town woke up thinking all the businesses had left town. The promotion won an award and it was the wake up call the community needed. Just picture driving along Johnston Road and seeing all the business windows covered up?

IF you need a New Years resolution, may I suggest you crest the doorway of any local business, extend your hand and introduce yourself and have a look around.  I guarantee you will feel better and we will all benefit from YOU shopping local

David Chesney



Thank You Shelagh Boutell for this insoring quote


I think it was Brene Brown who told a story about a village where all the women washed clothes together down by the river. When they all got washing machines, there was a sudden outbreak of depression and no one could figure out why.

It wasn't the washing machines in and of themselves. It was the absence of time spent doing things together. It was the absence of community.

Friends, we’ve gotten so independent.

We’re “fine” we tell ourselves even when in reality we’re depressed, we’re overwhelmed, we’re lonely, and we’re hurting. “We’re fine, we’re just too busy right now” we say when days, weeks, months, and years go by without connecting with friends. I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. It’s so easy to say even when it’s not true.

We’ve become so isolated and it’s hard to know how to get back. It’s so hard to know how to even begin to build the kind of relationships our hearts need. And I think In our current culture, it’s just not as organic as it once was. It's more work now.

Because you know, we have our own washing machines. We don't depend on each other to do laundry, or cook dinner, or raise babies anymore. We don't really depend on each other for much of anything if we're being honest.





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