Victoria: It’s no secret that Surrey is the fastest growing city in British Columbia. For more than a decade this vibrant community has been one of the bright lights of our province’s economy. Like any growing city, Surrey needs transit and other transportation investments to match its development. Unfortunately the Christy Clark government has let Surrey get stuck. Plan after plan has come and passed without action while commute times grow and transit service slows.
For years, Surrey families have literally been stuck with the Christy Clark government. Stuck in traffic, stuck waiting at bus stops, stuck paying more and getting less. Since Christy Clark became premier transit service in Surrey has declined by 6 per cent while prices have gone up.
Because of Christy Clark’s inaction Surrey residents have spent years inching along in gridlock, waiting for buses that are already full when they arrive, and worrying they will not get to work on time. People in Surrey can’t get to work because Christy Clark hasn’t done her work and I’m going to change that.
Under my leadership New Democrats will break gridlock and get Surrey moving. We’re committed to increasing the province’s capital funding share for new transit from one-third to 40 per cent. That means we’ll put up 40 percent towards a light rail network, 40 per cent towards replacing the Patullo Bridge, 40 per cent towards new rapid transit service, and more.
We’re going to get Surrey moving, and we’re going to create thousands of construction jobs along the way. These, and other projects will create more walkable neighborhoods, free up space on our highways and make sure that families can spend more time together and less time stuck in traffic.
Investing in transit and transportation infrastructure isn’t just about moving people, it’s about moving the economy forward. Traffic congestion costs Metro residents up to $1.2 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, fewer opportunities and other hidden costs. But it’s not just about money. It’s about living a good life.
It’s about getting home in time for a proper family dinner. It’s about not missing the first play of the big game. It’s about having time to play sports with the kids in the backyard. It’s about being able to go out with friends without breaking the bank or spending hours stuck in gridlock, breathing exhaust fumes. It’s about spending up to half an hour less on daily commutes.
Surrey’s population is set to grow by another 50 per cent over the next 30 years. Residents can’t be stuck waiting for Christy Clark to make the crucial investments needed to keep the city moving. Surrey needs it’s fair share of transit and transportation funding today.
After years of abandoned plans, a failed referendum and countless broken promises, it’s time to get Surrey moving again. Under my leadership, a New Democrat government would do just that. We’re going to get people and goods moving smoothly across Surrey, and we’re going to put thousands of people to work building the improvements Surrey so desperately needs. It’s good for commuters, it’s good for our climate, and it’s good for our economy.