Building the Surrey of tomorrow starts October 20: Tom Gill

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    Tom Gill

    It’s time for the next generation of community leadership to step up and deliver the future we want for Surrey families: Tom Gill

    Surrey: Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill and his team released their 15-page platform today as a “blueprint” for the Surrey of tomorrow.

    With 10 days to go before the municipal election on October 20th Gill said the platform puts emphasizes public safety, more community amenities for families, affordable housing options, better transit and a more approachable city hall.

    “We have a big decision to make this election,” said Gill, an accountant and chair of the city’s finance committee. “On election day we can keep moving forward or turn back the clock. These are exciting times for Surrey and we’re definitely not the city we were a generation ago. People like what they see here, which is why 300 families move to Surrey every month. We’ve accomplished a lot but there’s still plenty of work to do. It’s time for the next generation of community leadership to step up and deliver the future we want for Surrey families.”

    While the entire Surrey First platform is available online at surreyfirst.ca, highlights include:

    Public Safety:

    • Five-year, $50 million public safety platform that includes prevention, intervention and enforcement.
    • 125 new police officers.
    • More anti-gang programs for kids, including free access to pools, gyms and rinks for children and teens.
    • Create a Surrey Police Board, ensuring more local authority, control and accountability.
    • Police services review, ensuring right resources and tools for policing Surrey today.
    • Referendum on a made-in-Surrey police department.
    • Working with other cities to ban handguns.

    Housing:

    • Create a City Housing Corporation to construct long-term affordable housing.
    • Work with the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) to support Community Land Trust development in
    • Develop purpose-built rental accommodations throughout
    • Fast-track permits to four weeks for tenant suite repairs.

    Economy:

    ·       Appoint a Chief Economist to advise city council on economic priorities.

    • A Mayor’s Economic Advisory Board including representation from the business community.
    • Small Business Office and incubator in Newton to help entrepreneurs register businesses.
    • Attract more head offices and major business operation centres to Surrey.
    • Promote a creative economy for the arts in Surrey, including film, music and publishing.
    • Ensuring all residential building permits are processed in maximum of 10 weeks
    • Attract more research facilities in Surrey through an Innovation

    Transportation:

    • Complete the fully-funded Surrey-Newton-Guildford (SNG) Light Rail Transit (LRT)
    • Remain open to future extension of SkyTrain past King George
    • Improve transit access for youth; reduced fares for those 18 years and younger.
    • Push for replacement of the Massey

    Governance:

    ·        Create an Office of Delivery & Results to track outcomes of promises made by government.

    ·        Regular neighbourhood town halls with Mayor, councillors and key staff.

    ·        Strengthen Surrey’s lobbyist registry.

    ·        45-minute free parking at City Hall for licensed tradesmen.

    Families, Youth and Seniors:

    • Free access to all pools, rinks, and gyms for children and teens.
    • Mayor’s Youth Council to give young residents a voice on Surrey’s future.
    • Create community spaces closer to home for
    • Push for a new hospital in Surrey.

    Arts and Recreation:

    • Kick start  a new $245 million Performing Arts Centre and entertainment district.
    • Double arts and culture grants to $1 million annually over the next five years.
    • Build a new contemporary art gallery in South
    • Pilot “maker space” for local artists at the Clayton Community Centre.
    • Feasibility study for a new multi-use stadium for amateur and professional sports.
    • A riverfront park on the south side of the Nicomekl River in South

    Climate change:

    • 45 new parks over 10 years.
    • Enforce energy efficiency in development.
    • Support use of electric vehicles by offering charging capacity at 25% of city parking.
    • Explore infrastructure to prevent flooding of agricultural and residential areas.
    • Make Surrey’s food secure; retain agricultural space.