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

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