State of City highlights

GUILDFORD – In a packed room at the Vancouver Sheraton Guildford Hotel on May 20, Mayor Linda Hepner shared her vision for Surrey’s future with a crowd of about 450.

 

In a nutshell, she said her dreams for Surrey centre surround innovation, but she began by addressing crime – the "elephant in the room."

 

She said the city is hunting for a director of public safety strategies – an election promise – a new person at city hall whose job it will be to integrate the work and programs of police, fire, bylaws and other city departments.

 

She estimates the position will be filled in three to six months.

 

But innovation is what Hepner hammered on, touting the success of Surrey’s Innovation Boulevard in city centre. Hepner said the city will now broaden that success into the fields of clean tech, agri-innovation and social innovation.

 

She said Newton has become a "hotbed" of clean tech innovation, being home to Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, SFU’s Fuel Cell Research Lab, and more. She’s dubbed a new initiative "EcoNewton" that will pull together all the clean tech work in Newton’s industrial area to become an "international hub."

 

Agriculture was also on Hepner’s agenda.

 

In partnership with the BC Agriculture Centre of Excellence and universities, Surrey will become a "living laboratory" for agri-innovation, with plans to build a virtual incubator farm. A "biopod" project is also in the works. Treeplanting work will double over the next four years, said Hepner – from 2,500 trees a year to 5,000.

 

The city will also hold its first social innovation summit this November, and a seniors advocate will be appointed at city hall.

 

areid@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

White Rock rail forum leads to renewed calls for relocation

Upgrading safety is not enough say local politicians

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

White Rock’s Johnston Road to re-open on schedule: city

One lane in each direction expected to open by Friday at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read