Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner gives the State of the City address at the Guildford Sheraton

Big city growth brings big city opportunities, Surrey mayor says

Linda Hepner outlines success in her second 'State of the City' address.

In her second State of the City address, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner highlighted innovation, environment, agriculture and technology coming to this city.

Hepner addressed a packed room at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel on Thursday, and referring to a printed speech handed out to members of the audience, outlined some of the achievements in the last year.

Surrey, she noted, has boomed in the last 25 years, doubling in population.

“That growth comes with big city issues,” she told the crowd. “But also big city opportunities.”

She noted the city is focusing on promoting technology and innovation, noting for the second year in a row, Surrey has been named one of the top seven finalists by the Intelligent Communities Forum based in New York.

She pointed to the biofuel facility in north Port Kells as an example of how that innovation will aid the environment. The facility will take the gas from organic waste and fuel garbage trucks with it. The remainder of the gas will be sold back to FortisBC.

“Perhaps even more impressive, we’ll be one of the first cities to reach true carbon neutrality through innovation, rather than simply purchasing offsets, which cities typically do today,” she said.

In addition, the city is partnering with SFU, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Newton’s Forsight Accelerator Centre to build a centre for excellence in clean technology in Cloverdale.

The city is making great headway through innovation in agriculture as well, Hepner said, trying out a new biopod – a self-contained ecosystem – to bolster and grow food in new places.

Surrey is also aiming to become Hollywood North with the help of Skydance Studio, which will be locating at the old Pacific Press building on 88 Avenue near Scott Road.

Skydance produced Mission Impossible and Star Trek movies as well as the Emmy-nominated Grace and Frankie series.

“Now they’re here in Surrey,” Hepner said, noting the company will provide 400 jobs and will be working on a Netflix feature about a city of the future called Altered Carbon.

“What better place to tell a story about a city of the future than right here in Surrey,” she said.

Hepner touched on the crime issue in Surrey and said statistics are trending down. However she acknowledged one gangster with a gun can shatter the public image of public safety.

She also highlighted Light Rail Transit and said she hopes to have the city in “construction mode” for it by 2018.

She said what makes the city really work is the human capital within it.

Borrowing from Shakespeare, she asked, “What is a city, but the people?”


Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Most Read