Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits with Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner at city hall on Tuesday.

Prime Minister makes a stop in Surrey

Mayor Linda Hepner to speak about city's green technologies as both she and Justin Trudeau are featured at Globe 2016 conference today.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Surrey Tuesday for a brief visit with the city’s mayor.

Just prior to his arrival, Linda Hepner said she would be speaking with Trudeau about Surrey’s green technologies, such as the District Energy Centre, the coming biofuel facility and a clean technology innovation centre.

Trudeau made the rounds with regional mayors before his arrival at the Globe 2016 conference in Vancouver, which began today (March 2) and continues to March 4. The event focuses on environmentally friendly innovation.

Both Hepner and Trudeau are scheduled speakers at the event.

Hepner said she spent 40 minutes with Trudeau Tuesday and was impressed he’s taking time to meet with mayors.

“I see this as a very positive step where cities have a voice,” Hepner told The Leader. “We can’t become carbon neutral as a nation without having (cities) at the table,” Hepner said.

She said that in addition to green technologies, Trudeau also touched on the economy.

“He certainly gets it, that the economy needs to be robust,” Hepner said, noting Surrey’s plan for Light Rail Transit will create more than a decade of good jobs.

Hepner said they also talked about Surrey being named one of the top seven intelligent communities this year by the New York-based think tank Intelligent Community Forum.

Surrey was given the honour because of cutting-edge technologies, such as the biofuel facility, Innovation Boulevard (a high-tech sector along King George Boulevard) and the city’s traffic management centre.

“All of which have attachments to climate change and becoming a carbon-neutral city,” Hepner said.  “I would hope to be identified as the top city, but being identified in the top seven is a big honour.”

Hepner was expected to kick off a mayors’ session at Globe 2016, where intelligent cities would be discussed. Her introduction launched a three-hour workshop on the subject.

Hepner said Trudeau received a standing ovation at Globe 2016 when he said, “Thank you for un-muzzling scientists.”

Globe 2016 is North America’s longest-running corporate environmental business conference. Participants include 3,000 organizations, 1,600 delegates, 600 presidents and CEOs, 250 exhibiting companies and 250 speakers, representing 50 countries.

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