Newton BIA Director Philip Aguirre, inside the area’s tallest building. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Second annual ‘State of Newton’ focuses on safety and light rail

Outgoing Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner was keynote speaker at the Newton BIA’s event

The Newton BIA hosted the second annual “State of Newton” address today (Sept. 27).

“With a new mayor and council in Surrey, will Newton transform or lose momentum?” BIA executive director Philip Aguirre asked the crowd.

“The Newton BIA is advocating at the second annual State of Newton for a decrease in crime, an increase in events and placemaking and to kick start redevelopment with density and LRT. Will the upcoming civic election deliver results for Newton, a community of 146,000 people that are in need of inspiration? Or will the politician’s priorities shift to another area?”

The BIA’s 2018 policy document calls for a three per cent increase in annual general duty RCMP, public consultations on social housing, a 100 per cent increase in the RCMP Community Response Unit, a city-wide event in Newton attracting 10,000 people, an annual homeless count, increased density with mixed-use development.

The BIA also wants to see expansion of the Newton Mural Laneway, an events centre including an arena, convention centre and hotel, as well as a “Central Park” or plaza.

Aguirre said light rail is Newton’s long-awaited “chance” at the revitalization it has sought for so long.

The event began at 8:30 a.m., on Sept. 27, at The Offices at Newton (7327 137th St). Things kicked off with breakfast, and presentations started at 10 a.m.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner was the event’s keynote speaker, and in her address she noted Newton has the highest concentration of Surrey businesses than any other town centre.

“People are not leaving, people are coming,” said the outgoing mayor, as she thanked Aguirre for his dedication to the community.

Hepner told the crowd that Newton has seen more than $1 billion in investments over the last four years.

She went on to say she’s “frustrated” to hear election rhetoric about pausing, or cancelling, Surrey’s light rail project.

“We’ve got the money,” she said.

Hepner also revealed that the city would be relocating two bylaw officers to Newton, to work with the Chronic Offenders Team.

See also: ‘State of Newton’ calls for area’s ‘fair share’

At last year’s inaugural “State of Newton,” the BIA released a policy document for the first time that called for the community’s “fair share” of investment.”

It’s about “advocating together” as a community, instead of businesses and residents doing it separately, Aguirre said at the time.

Although the document’s creation was led by the BIA, it was created in partnership with seven other community groups in Newton, including Newton Community Association, Panorama Neighbourhood Association, East Panorama Ridge Community Association, West Panorama Ridge Ratepayers Association, Friends of the Grove, and others.

“Newton needs to be noticed,” Aguirre stressed. “Newton is a large community and needs to be a priority federally, provincially, civically.”

Stay tuned for updates from this year’s event.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Hands, washing hands’: Surrey teachers sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with COVID-19 lesson

Staff at Fleetwood Park Secondary are featured in video posted to Youtube on Friday

Surrey’s JoJo Mason brings mom along for Saturday song during Diesel Bird Digital Music Festival

Online event March 28-29 to rally behind Canadian musicians hit by COVID-19 show cancellations

Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance, respect closures

Not social distancing or obeying provincial orders in Delta could set you back hundreds of dollars

From lockdown in Italy to self-isolation in South Surrey

Like many returning citizens, Peninsula-raised James Bogart & Emily Schenk have a long journey ahead

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read