Surrey City Hall (Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey mayor strikes new economic committee

It will replace and broaden the goals of the Investment and Innovation Committee

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner has struck a new Mayor’s Economic Advisory Committee (MEAC).

It will replace and broaden the goals of the Investment and Innovation Committee, which was struck in 2014 with an aim to “provide council with information and guidance on issues related to investment and innovation opportunities and challenges” in the city.

According to a report to council, the new committee is needed to “ensure Surrey is well-positioned to optimize local, national and global opportunities, and with the recent launch of a new Surrey Economic Strategy, it is an ideal time to strike a new committee with an expanded focus and a membership that includes regional agencies and private industry leaders.”

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner thanked Councillor Vera LeFranc for her work on a business task force ahead of the new committee and Councillor Bruce Hayne for his work as chair of the Investment and Innovation Committee.

The new committee, she noted, “will include some of our more significant businesses in the community, as well as the agencies that contribute to economic development, whether that’s the airport or the ports as well. Councillor Hayne, I expect you to take on a strong role in that committee and co-chair that.”

The report to council notes the new MEAC will “act as a sounding board on new and proposed economic development plans, policies and initatives” and will “facilitate strategic partnerships and initiatives involving education institutions, businesses, and other public or private stakeholders.”

The mayor will chair the committee, Hayne will vice-chair and three other councillors will be asked to sit as members.

Two representatives from regional port authories will be invited, as will two representatives from both the city’s post-secondary institutions and Surrey’s “Innovation Ecosystem.”

Four executive-level industry representatives are also sought.

The new committee will meet at least four times a year and is set to hold its first meeting sometime in the second quarter of 2018.

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