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Surrey not getting fair share of tax pie from feds or province, mayor says

Council approved Brenda Locke’s motion March 11 to have city staff do a 25-year comparison with Vancouver, other large cities
Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke delivers the State of the City address at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford hotel Surrey on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke wants city staff to compare how much investment in infrastructure the provincial government has made in Vancouver, and the federal government has made in other large Canadian cities, compared to Surrey over the last 25 years as she maintains Surrey has not been getting its fair share of the tax pie.

Locke noted Surrey is the second largest, soon to be largest city in B.C., and one of Canada’s larger cities. And yet, she says, “it is clear that Surrey has a significant infrastructure investment deficit as compared to Vancouver and other large cities across Canada,” particularly when it comes to public transit, supportive housing, health care, education, tourism, and other government services.

The comparison is to be done “with the goal of quantifying the amount of investment that the provincial and federal governments need to make in order for residents of Surrey to receive the similar level of investment per capita,” Locke said.

Council approved her motion on Monday, March 11, but not before Coun. Doug Elford remarking “that’s a fairly large ask, right? Is staff prepared to bundle that all together because when you talk about infrastructure it encompasses a lot of things, so I don’t know if it’s specific enough, this motion.”

Locke clarified she is not looking for results at the next council meeting (April 8) or the one after that. “I recognize this is a very large task for us to do so this is going to be taking some time, and we must take time because we want to do it right. So I’m not looking for immediacy on this one.”

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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