April 21, 2021
The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view or opinions of the City of Surrey or other members of Surrey Council.
Surrey Connect has reviewed the BC Budget 2021. There were many positives in the budget especially specific to the pandemic. Budget 2021 was supportive of people and business to help the work through these challenging times with an Economic Recovery Plan. There was needed investment in youth and childcare to better support families. Healthcare, Education, Housing and infrastructure generally all saw significant lifts. For us in Surrey, our new hospital is scheduled and funded to commence in 2023.
However, two issues of importance to Surrey Residents were neglected.
- Surrey-Langley SkyTrain funding is still subject to approval by Treasury Board – rather only minimal funding, only funding for the planning process and not the construction. It is disappointing that the Mayor was not able to secure funding to Clayton as he promised in the 2018 campaign. .
- Surrey Police Transition – Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is responsible for policing in the Province of British Columbia. Ultimately, the development of the Surrey Police Transition requires ongoing approvals by the Provincial Government. Budget 2021 made no mention of the Mayors Transition Plan – specifically no increase to ramp up the ability of the Justice Institute of British Columbia to respond by training the 600+ officers required making the only option for to hire away from existing police departments. No recognition that the RCMP Cost Sharing Agreement that will financial impact other RCMP jurisdictions across BC. Again, the mayor has failed on public safety.
Surrey, as the second largest City in British Columbia, again, comes up short due to the lack of strong leadership and problematic collaboration with government partners to build a stronger city and have a voice for Surrey taxpayers.
Councillor Brenda Locke 604-340-8607
Councillor Jack Hundial 604-340-9561