Now that the civic election is around the corner, here is my Top 10 wish list of everything I dream of having for my home town of Surrey. Let’s see if our political leaders can actually work with all levels of government to make it happen.
• Public transportation. I would like all the town centres of Surrey such as Whalley, Guildford, Newton, Fleetwood, Cloverdale and South Surrey – as well as Strawberry Hill, Langley and White Rock – to be connected with light rail or SkyTrain.
• Poverty elimination. I would like to see any resident of Surrey who falls in the bottom 25 per cent of income earners to receive an automatic monthly financial top-up.
• Crime reduction. I would like to see a 1,000-person strong community police force to patrol the streets. This would be a volunteer reserve force.
• Pedestrian park routes. I would like to see Surrey connected with pedestrian park routes which would be nature trails, bicycle routes and walking paths in an extensive network throughout the city.
• Outdoor swimming pool. I would like to see a world-class outdoor and indoor lap pool and recreation centre built to replace and relocate the North Surrey Recreation Centre.
• Street beautification. I would like to see streets lined with beautiful trees, well-maintained grass and cobblestones that are not grey in colour, as well as nice street lamps and benches.
• Voting age. I would like to reduce the voting age to 16 to give youth more of a voice at city hall.
• Supporting new arrivals. I would like to see a short-term housing and resource centre built for new arrivals, including immigrants to help them successfully transition to our city.
• Universal hot lunch program. I would send cafeteria chefs from the Surrey School District to France to learn how that country provides fresh, daily, nutritious meals to all of its school kids.
• Seniors’ visitation and mentorship program. I would have the city to develop a new program where volunteers would go and visit seniors in the community to ensure they are managing well.
There you go. Let’s see if any visionary leaders can make it happen.
Alex Sangha, Surrey