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Shaping the Future of Surrey

Mayor Watts speaking to a group about Light Rail Transit.

March 13, 2012

Surrey – The City of Surrey will continue to shape growth, generate new economic activity, and complete the most comprehensive construction and investment program in the city’s history, announced Mayor Dianne Watts in her State of the City Address today.

“Surrey is committed to fostering a healthy environment for investment by reducing red tape, streamlining processes, and maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the country,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “As we move our city forward, we will continue to engage the community and work with our partners to ensure we create vibrant communities and position ourselves as a premier investment location.”

For the third year in a row, Surrey was named the best place in B.C. to invest by the Real Estate Investment Network. The city has seen seven consecutive years of record breaking construction and investment, with $1.2 billion worth of activity and 2,334 new businesses created in 2011.

The City implemented many new initiatives in 2011 to streamline procedures and improve communication, including becoming the first Canadian municipality to introduce mobile inspection technology and the first in B.C. to introduce a waste collection app.

The City will continue to complete the significant infrastructure projects included in the Build Surrey program, which contains $2.8 billion in construction, including $800 million in new community projects and $2 billion worth of facilities being built in partnership with other levels of government.

“We are creating the region’s second metropolitan centre and building world-class recreation and cultural facilities in each of our town centres. The Build Surrey Program is transforming our downtown core and has already attracted over $1 billion worth of new residential and commercial development to City Centre.”

The City will continue to work with Translink and the Provincial government to create a new transit system that will connect the town centres and serve the rapidly growing population. Mayor Watts launched a new website www.surrey.ca/RapidTransitNow, which outlines the plan for Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Surrey and allows people to provide feedback.

“We want to engage the community and allow residents and businesses to provide their input directly to the city,” says Mayor Watts. “Light rail is cost effective and efficient and will help us shape our communities while creating billions of dollars in new economic activity.” She adds that studies show cities such as Portland, Oregon experienced close to $8 billion in new development after implementing an LRT system.

Over the past three years, Surrey has completed more than 600 road improvement projects, worth over $180 million. Mayor Watts says she will continue to work with senior levels of government to enhance the key transportation infrastructure in the city, including Fraser Surrey Docks, to the ensure Surrey is able to leverage new business and economic opportunities in the Asia Pacific.

Mayor Watts highlighted the new public policy initiatives the City implemented in 2011, including the Ecosystem Management Study, EnergyShift, and the Corporate Emissions Action Plan. She also outlined the new strategies which will be completed in 2012, including the Cultural Plan, Poverty Action Plan, Housing the Homeless Strategy, Refugee Strategy, Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, and the Community Energy Emissions Plan.

“We are continually looking at new ways of improving our economy and our social infrastructure. We are developing innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing our city in order to ensure our citizens have the tools they need to thrive, and Surrey continues to be an economic generator for the region.”

2012 will be an exciting time for celebrating sport and competition as Surrey hosts thousands of athletes for the BC Summer Games, July 19-22, as well as the first ever Surrey International World Music Marathon, September 28-30th. The events will add to the line-up of award-winning events the City hosts, including Party for the Planet on April 27 & 28, Canada Day, and Fusion Festival on July 21 & 22.

For more information on the Build Surrey Program, please visit: http://www.surrey.ca/plans-strategies/8627.aspx

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604.375.4584