A city is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. They, more than anyone, deserve the best recreation, arts and cultural facilities that the city can offer.
An aesthetically beautiful community centre and first-class facilities should be available to every person who calls Surrey home. Some parts of this city enjoy state-of-the-art facilities; others do not.
Time after time, we hear how children and lower-income families benefit from having access to sports, arts, music classes and facilities that don’t look like they are inner-city.
It makes a difference in their lives. And it matters to everyone else, too. Think of the money it costs you, as a taxpayer, when even one teen gets off track and ends up in the court system.
Add up the costs of policing, lawyers, drug-addiction treatment, housing costs and, well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that investing in people is the smart way to run a city – and saves taxpayers money in the long run.
Downtown Newton needs a South Surrey-type recreation and arts centre. It is stunning, and it shows that the residents for whom it was built are valued. We need to give children and youth an alternative to loitering and being out on the street, where they are vulnerable to drug dealers and crime.
We want to believe that the diverse group of people who call Newton home, 140,000 strong and growing, will get the same treatment. Nothing less than the best. Because if the future truly does live here, investing in our children and families now is a good way to prove it.