Surrey ignored in Tory budget, Surrey MP says

OTTAWA — Surrey New Democrat MP Jasbir Sandhu says Surrey is getting short shrift from the federal government in the 2014 budget.

Bill C-43, the Budget Implementation Act, passed third reading in the House of Commons this afternoon (Wednesday, Dec. 10).

Sandhu, MP for Surrey North, said it doesn’t include any federal cash for Surrey for transit improvements, replacement or upgrading of the Pattullo Bridge, community based crime prevention programs, or for additional policing.

“As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, and the fastest-growing city in metropolitan Vancouver, there is a clear need for infrastructure funding to support this growth,” Sandhu said. “The approach of the Conservative government is very problematic. I am not surprised in the least that the budget is out of touch with the needs of everyday Canadians. This budget is an opportunity to truly address the needs of Canadians, however, the government has again failed.”

Sandhu told the House of Commons that the bill has addressed none of his constituents’ issues and accused the Conservatives across the floor of living in a “bubble.”

“Surrey’s challenges range from a lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, inadequate public transit and serious issues around crime and poverty,” he told the House, noting the city is growing by as many as 13,000 new residents annually. “Federal funding and support is sorely needed to make inroads to address these challenges in my city.

“It disappoints me greatly,” Sandhu said, “to see that the budget does not allocate funding to important projects that are critical to continued growth and development of major cities such as Surrey.”

Sandhu noted that the Pattullo Bridge, now 76-years-old, was built for a 50-year lifespan and “now poses a significant safety concern.”

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