My primary speciality is in the environment, meaning both in confronting the climate crisis and in the conservation of the environment. Both are necessary to ensure a living vibrant city as the climate crisis identifies. The heat dome and floods – both caused by the climate crisis – would have not been as bad for Surrey had we expanded and enriched green spaces and trees throughout the city. countering urban heat island effects and providing natural stormwater management. Unfortunately, Surrey has been a laggard in many of these areas when we should be leading the way. A lot of damage has been done over the past few years. There is an immediate need to fix problems at city hall: a forensic audit, the
restoration of committees citizens could sit on to provide input, stopping the funneling money out of programs like the Green City Fund, and – of course – stopping the extension of 84th avenue through Bear Creek Park and restoring that area. Aside from those repairs that need to be done, I’d like to see Surrey as a leader in the environment, democracy, and housing. The city needs to immediately implement the Climate Change Action Strategy (CCAS) that is being developed, we need to protect the Green City Fund and potentially hand it over to a board that can properly use it and we need an environmental planner as a senior manager at the city. Better means to facilitate citizen engagement need to be found; we need less closed meetings and more access to public meetings, we need proper engagement surveys and open houses that are properly advertised and accessible (and that don’t nudge citizens this way or that), and we need to foster youth and indigenous perspectives on city committees. Finally, as a younger person, I really want to make a difference when it comes to affordable housing and the communities that facilitate them. Smart density around transit corridors and rents that will allow lower income folks to live in the communities they work in. Part of this puzzle is making sure we get the support we need from the Province and Metro Vancouver and part of it is being innovative and not backing down.