Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis wants to see a national personal protection equipment, or PPE, manufacturing site and “centre of excellence” in this city.
She also wants council to permit restaurants to build or expand on existing patios to help give them a fighting chance to do business during this pandemic.
To these ends, Annis intends to introduce two notices of motion at the Monday, May 25 “virtual” council meeting.
Annis said through a press release Wednesday that Surrey is “land rich” in comparison to other cities in the Lower Mainland and should provide long-term leases for these projects.
“We’ll be doing something good for our country and ourselves, and creating jobs right here at home while we continue to own our own land,” she explained. “During the height of the pandemic we saw Canada bidding for supplies against other countries, safety products that were returned because they were defective, and President Trump telling 3M not to ship masks to Canada. COVID-19 has been a big wake-up call. The health of Canadians should never be left in the hands of foreign governments or manufacturers, and we can correct that by producing what we need right here at home.”
Meantime, Annis says Surrey needs to help give the more than 800 restaurants in this city “every opportunity to get back to work,” and one way to do that is by allowing more patios that would give restaurants extra space, something that’s at a premium in our new social distancing environment.
““Council needs to instruct staff to be creative, flexible and quick when it comes to allowing our local restaurants to make the most of summer weather” she said. “Restaurants are facing tough times and we cannot let red tape get in the way of them being creative at a time when space and social distancing seating is going to be limited inside. If a restaurant can create a patio of some sort, they can increase their capacity and that’s the key to staying in business right now.”