The planned site of the Grandview Heights Community Centre & Library. (Nick Greenizan photo)

Surrey First councillor says deferring new facilities sends ‘troubling’ message

Linda Annis speaks out about proposal to delay more than a dozen projects

Lone Surrey First Coun. Linda Annis is speaking out against a proposal to defer $136 million in debt-funded capital projects, saying the measure is “short-sighted.”

In a news release issued at 7:30 a.m. today (Thursday), Annis said Surrey families “and our future” are being short-changed if the city doesn’t invest in community facilities.

Surrey staff this week, in a draft budget made public Monday, proposed postponing more than a dozen capital projects – including a community centre in South Surrey’s Grandview Heights neighbourhood and an ice complex in Cloverdale – as a means of reducing the city’s planned debt over five years by $136 million.

But Annis – a Morgan Creek resident – says the city is “more than capable” of paying for the planned projects.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Surrey mayor defends move to delay Cloverdale rink, other projects

READ MORE: Think you’re busy? Meet Linda Annis

“Families take on mortgages to have a home and cities take on debt to build community facilities and infrastructure,” she said in the release, noting 300 families are moving to Surrey every month and one third of the city’s residents are younger than 19.

“We’re not talking about something frivolous, we’re talking about the future of our city and these types of important community investments are needed now, and in the years ahead. If we don’t make these investments regularly we risk getting behind and having to catch up down the road, and that sort of poor planning always costs more in the long run.”

Annis, who the release notes is also executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, said facilities like those being proposed for postponement also help keep children and young people from being recruited by gangs.

“Kids who are actively involved in sports or the arts are less likely to head down the wrong road,” she said. “One of the best solutions to gangs is our rinks, pools, community centres and libraries. The idea that we would put a hold on these much-needed facilities that are already planned and budgeted for makes no sense and sends a really negative and troubling message to our community and the families who call Surrey home.”

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 13-year-old Indigenous boy

Police say Stephen Donnelly was last seen around 3 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the 10400-block of 132nd Street

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 50-year-old man last seen in Whalley

Police say Sasha Bankovic went missing at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the 13700-block of 96th Avenue

Closure of Surrey recovery homes ‘bittersweet,’ says grieving mom

South Surrey mother says she plans to keep a close eye on how facilities are monitored

Surrey woman arrested in Chilliwack after stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

Two separate Whalley apartment proposals going to public hearing

The individual applications total 213 new units on 11 sites currently designated as single family

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis: report

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Most Read