Surrey mayoral candidate Jinny Sims ridicules Doug McCallum's "Field of Dreams", saying he's no Kevin Costner

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      Surrey mayor Doug McCallum is fond of making grand promises in advance of elections.

      In 2018, for example, he pledged to scotch the planned light-rail network connecting Guildford, Surrey Centre, and Newton and replace it with a SkyTrain project running alongside Fraser Highway.

      This time around, McCallum has signalled his intention to proceed with a 60,000-seat arena in Surrey if he's reelected. Naturally, it would be built near the SkyTrain extension.

      “The city is a very big city, we’ll be bigger than Vancouver in four or five years," McCallum told Postmedia. "We need a sports stadium so we’re going to build a sports stadium in the next few years.”

      One of his opponents in the mayoral race, NDP MLA Jinny Sims, has ridiculed this idea as McCallum's "flight of fancy".

      “Already we are paying over $1,000 per resident for the ill-advised move to the Surrey Police Service, we simply cannot afford to pay thousands more for new stadium,” Sims said in a news release.

      “Second, who is supposed to play there? The B.C. Lions? The Whitecaps? This is not a case study for Field of Dreams; Doug McCallum is no Kevin Costner in Iowa," she continued. "Even if we had an anchor tenant lined up, and McCallum gives no indication he does, no one wants to try to fill 60,000 seats.”

      Jinny Sims thinks Surrey taxpayers can ill-afford a new 60,000-seat stadium.

      Sims acknowledged a need to build facilities for Surrey's children and adults, mentioning cricket, pickle ball, hockey, baseball, football, soccer, and the arts as areas requiring public support.

      "How many hockey rinks could be built for the same investment?" she asked. "Let's focus on creating opportunities for the youth and families of Surrey, not another dream of a Ferris wheel or canal."

      Sims isn't the only Surrey mayoral candidate who's unamused by the mayor's promise.

      Coun. Brenda Locke tweeted her disapproval of what she's described as a "Billion$ boondoggle".

      As of this writing, there's nothing about McCallum's promise on the Twitter feeds of two other mayoral candidates, Sukh Dhaliwal and Gordie Hogg.

      Update

      Dhaliwal, a Liberal MP who's running for United Surrey, condemned McCallum's idea after this article was posted.

      “McCallum is throwing everything at the wall to try to make people forget about the chaos he has brought to Surrey over the past four years,” Dhaliwal said in a news release. “This means that this unworkable and unaffordable stadium fantasy is about trying to distract from his record, but it’s not going to work.”

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