Surrey’s mayor has announced an economic and job creation strategy spanning into the next decade.
At her annual state of the city address, Linda Hepner told a crowd of hundreds that she’ll be working to improve Surrey’s appeal as a job-rich municipality.
Part of that initiative, according to Hepner, includes attracting new business and industry, helping existing business and preparing the workforce of the future.
“We’re going to do a very large outreach program to about 500 Surrey businesses to talk to them about the opportunities for funding and funding programs that are available to help them build capacity,” Hepner says.
She says research shows 36,000 jobs will be created in Surrey’s so-called “innovation economy” over the next 10 years.
— Janet Brown (@JanetBrown980) May 18, 2017
According to Hepner, the city is also coming off a near-record year where building permits topped $1.5-billion.
As a result she’s announced a number of city projects will be fast-tracked so they can come off the drawing board and into reality faster.
“[It’s] kind of a Nexus program for those who are more experienced builders.”
Hepner says she’ll be selecting that handful of projects, which she says will have ‘transformative potential’ for Surrey.
The mayor continued by announcing that a centre will be built in Surrey for PTSD research and treatment for veterans and first responders
She says the centre is the first of its kind in Metro Vancouver.
“I know of no other, there may be PTSD services offered but I know of no other specific research and treatment centre.”
The centre will be a valuable addition to Surrey, Hepner says.
“We know we’re seeing a lot of symptoms even within our police and our fire, and just given what’s on the streets today, particularly the fentanyl crisis, I think this is a much-needed centre.”
She also says the Jim Pattison Group is in talks with the City of Surrey to develop a family-themed resort in South Surrey.
Hepner says plans call for a 400-room hotel and indoor water park.
“A project like this provides tremendous capacity and entertainment for people living in Surrey and it will advance tourism in our community.”
The resort will create more than 600 jobs and expected to cost $150-million through construction.
Focusing on enforcement
Hepner rounded off the event by focusing on new improvements in law enforcement.
She says the city is aiming to crack down on crime by piloting a new technology.
Hepner says the RCMP is using a new technology that transmits live video feeds from their Air One helicopter directly to the Surrey RCMP operations centre.
She says more and more cities are joining forces with the police to put technology to work.
“I see public safety as a special kind of master plan it’s a plan with a lot of moving parts but at its core, it deals with public safety realities that come with being a modern city.”
Hepner also says Surrey’s “traffic camera network” is being utilized by the RCMP to support evidentiary investigations.