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10-year plan for more sports and community facilities, with free access for 130,000 Surrey kids and 90,000 seniors: Gordie Hogg

Surrey, B.C. (September 20, 2022): Surrey First mayoral candidate Gordie Hogg wants to see more neighbourhood pools, rinks, sports fields, and community centres, with free access for local children, teens and seniors, rather than a billion-dollar stadium billed to Surrey taxpayers.

“The cost of building Doug McCallum’s fantasy stadium is equal to building at least 15 new rinks, pools, fields or community centres,” said Hogg, a former baseball and basketball coach, and a founder of KidSport Surrey. “Instead of a billion-dollar white elephant that taxpayers will have to subsidize every single year, I want to lay out a well-organized 10-year plan for new neighbourhood pools, rinks, fields, community and cultural facilities. Former Surrey First mayors Dianne Watts and Linda Hepner had that sort of vision and they delivered some of the best community facilities in the province. We need to get Surrey back on track with that same sort of vision that puts Surrey first.

“I really believe that if we’re going to make investments in facilities they should be in our neighbourhoods, not a 60,000-seat mega-stadium with no business plan. Neighbourhood pools, rinks, fields, and community centres will be our priority. We have about 130,000 children and teens in our city, and about 90,000 seniors, and providing free admission benefits our community. It gives our seniors a chance to stay well and get out into their neighbourhoods, and it gives our children and grandkids something useful and healthy to do, which is part of keeping them away from gangs. It’s an annual $2 million investment in our children and seniors, and worth every penny.”

Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis said McCallum’s cancellation of the Cloverdale Sport and Ice Complex, only to bring it back this year, added $20 million to the project’s cost.

“If the original Cloverdale Sport and Ice Complex wasn’t cancelled to help fund police transition costs, it would be open today,” said Annis. “Instead, it was shelved and just brought back last month with a higher price tag for taxpayers. For Surrey families, teams, and skaters it has meant a four-year wait for a building that had been costed and approved, with work already underway. We need more neighbourhood facilities right across our growing city, just ask any parent.

“Our city is all about families, that means we should be making major investments every year in new facilities that keep up with our growth. If Doug McCallum was interested in neighbourhood facilities the South Surrey Indoor Pool would be open regular hours, rather than just a few hours each day. We need good local facilities, not a 60,000-seat stadium with its deficits and increased property taxes.”