Conservative MPs Kerry-Lynne Findlay (South Surrey-White Rock) and Tamara Jansen (Cloverdale-Langley City) participated in a Surrey Board of Trade digital townhall Thursday (Sept. 10). (File photos)

Surrey, Langley MPs talk infrastructure, job loss and business recovery during digital townhall

Conservatives Kerry-Lynne Findlay and Tamara Jansen spoke at Surrey Board of Trade dialogue

The pandemic is no excuse for holding off on local infrastructure projects such as refortifying White Rock’s iconic pier and constructing a 24 Avenue interchange off of Highway 99, South Surrey-White Rock Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay said Thursday (Sept. 10).

“One of the criticisms I had even before COVID hit was that the infrastructure programs simply don’t roll out fast enough, they’re not agile enough,” Findlay said during a digital business roundtable hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade.

Describing such programs as seemingly “mired in bureaucracy and red tape,” Findlay said funding is available, can be targeted and can be released, “even in times of COVID.”

“I think this is one way to stimulate, it’s also a job creator. We need to have the infrastructure in place to get us, goods and services where we need to go.”

The roundtable, which also included Cloverdale-Langley City Conservative MP Tamara Jansen, was the latest in SBOT’s digital townhall series.

Impacts to small business was another key focus of the discussion, with both MPs emphasizing the need to support local business as the economy reopens.

“We have different protocols, we have to do things differently, but we do want to see our small business community recover, and recover well,” Findlay said. “We’ve lost a few already. I’m very concerned about those that are trying to open up again who are really struggling – and some are struggling more than others.”

Jansen agreed the reopening has “been a real challenge,” with many business owners wondering “what are the assurances that we won’t be closed down again?”

Pointing to this week’s amended order issued by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to close nightclubs and banquet halls – intended, Henry said Tuesday (Sept. 8), to “take away that late-night temptation people have, when we know there’s been mixing (of social groups) going on and transmission is happening in these venues” – Jansen said there are concerns about “shutting down an entire set of businesses based on some bad actors.”

READ MORE: B.C. to shut down nightclubs, banquet halls; limit late-night alcohol sales at bars

She said a recent prediction that 60 per cent of restaurants may not open again come November is “a very scary thing,” and that she has been using social media posts to encourage people to support them.

Overcoming fear “is going to be a real challenge,” she said.

“A lot of our messaging right now has been about cases rising – it creates a lot of fear,” she explained.

Jansen shared statistics including on the national job situation during the pandemic, comparing August numbers to those seen in February.

“It’s a bit of a scary number there,” she said of a one-million-plus drop in full-time jobs.

COVID-19 “has hit us very, very hard” financially, she added, describing a deficit comparable to what happened in the Second World War.

“We have borrowed as if we were in a war – and we were not in a very good position when we started out,” she said. “We need to make sure we’re not going to find ourselves in a jam.”

Asked how for their perspective on B.C. job losses, Findlay said B.C. “in some ways” seems to be doing better than other areas.

“I worry when I see increased closures… and we seem to be sliding backwards,” she said.

Jansen added there is a “definite need” to support industries such as tourism and food service.

As for when government supports run out, Findlay said “we must get back to a place where these subsidies don’t exist.”

“We have to, or we will collapse as an economy.”

To watch the full townhall meeting, visit businessinsurrey.com/events/recent_speakers



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

SurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Surrey denturist goes mobile

Dr. Sarwar Sarwari, of True Fit Denture Centre, has had the van up and running for a month

White Rock Playhouse, Bell Centre lit up red in support of entertainment workers

Facilities across Canada participated in national Light Up Live movement on Sept. 22

New 10-bed substance use program opens in Surrey

It’s described as a ‘soft landing’ for people who are coming out of detox

UPDATED: Surrey RCMP make multiple arrests after reports of fight in Newton

Huge police response to reports of fight, possibly a gun, in the area of 82nd Avenue east of Scott Road

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read