Brenda Locke and the entire Surrey Connect Team are committed to bringing integrity back to Surrey City Hall.
Brenda will ensure that the bar for elected officials is set high and she will establish clear benchmarks for public oversight.
Residents will have access during council meetings to speak and where possible have their questions addressed.
Similar to the province’s Finance Committee, Surrey will hold budget consultation meetings in the different town centers as well as a virtual option, for each budget year.
Brenda will be available to the media on a regular and issue basis, as she always has, to establish transparency.
Re-establishing public trust and taxpayer confidence in the city administration is something I and the Surrey Connect Team intend on earning.
Locke wants Surrey to have a “residents first” attitude where City Hall is truly “the people’s place.” Using best practices in transparency and accountability in decision-making. This will be a cornerstone of the Surrey Connect Team.
Developing access points for public participation and residents’ decision-making will be a priority. Establishing Boards and Committees will help tackle some of the challenges and opportunities that we have as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.
It’s time Surrey, and the South Fraser for that matter received the respect and investment it deserves for a population that will soon exceed that of Vancouver. That means developing a better relationship with the provincial and federal governments and demanding equity in areas from healthcare to transportation and everything in between.
It also means that Surrey must play an active role with other governing bodies like Metro Vancouver, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Lower Mainland Municipal Association, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Translink, Mayors’ Council, Big City Mayors Caucus and the RCMP Mayors Council, etc. Importantly, developing a positive and respectful working relationship with Territorial First Nations and the School Board with the goal to ensure that everyone is successful. Surrey needs to position itself as a civic leader in British Columbia, Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
Surrey has the two largest Border crossings in Western Canada and as such, participating in bi-lateral groups like Pacific Northwest Economic Region is a network of opportunity yet to be explored. And there is so much more, Surrey’s rich cultural heritage lends us the ability to work with other countries to develop business, trade and educational opportunities. Ensuring that the relationship between our Economic Development department is working with the Business Community through the Board of Trade, Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Associations can only add to the prosperity to benefit us all.
Surrey must be a place where everyone matters. Supporting those in need is crucial, but the government cannot do it alone. We will partner with non-government organizations, the faith community and service groups to assist.
While we all know that the past 4 years have been a challenge for our city, we also know that the future for this city is bright. After all, we are building the first modern city of this century in Canada. A city for people, a city that respects the environment and a city full of promise and possibilities. Surrey has the ability to do more and reach higher than most cities, not just because of our geography, but our youthful, resilient and hard-working people. It’s time for Surrey.