Why has Surrey been left behind when it comes to healthcare and education? Surrey’s MLAs, MPs and the city all need to step up and do more for us together: Councillor Linda Annis
Surrey, B.C. (December 15, 2023): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis is calling on Surrey’s MLAs to “flex their muscle” in Victoria when it comes to getting better healthcare and education in their city.
“The provincial government just announced a $638-million state-of-the-art research centre at the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, meanwhile Surrey Memorial now has a “temporary” portable parked outside its front door and the hospital is about to move people to a nearby motel for care,” said Annis. “When it comes to healthcare and education in our city, I want our local MLAs to start flexing their muscle more in Victoria.”
Annis said the research centre at the new St Paul’s Hospital is definitely good news, but it’s hard to understand why Surrey Memorial, which has so many issues, isn’t getting the attention and resources it needs.
“The hallways at Surrey Memorial are packed with patients, the maternity ward is operating well above capacity, and now they are moving people to a nearby motel because we don’t have the capacity or facilities people need,” added Annis. “Together with the portable parked across from the entrance of Surrey Memorial it just feels like we are given band-aid solutions when what we need is a serious commitment to give our city the healthcare facilities and resources it needs and deserves. The same is true when it comes to education, where we have become the portables capital of British Columbia and can’t keep up with student enrollment.
“I want to call on all of our MLAs to work together to put our city first, and start demanding more from Victoria,” said Annis. “I don’t think we use our political clout in Victoria enough, and I think that’s partly our fault at city hall because we tend to think in terms of us and them, rather than getting our MLAs and MPs together with council to better understand the priorities of our city and pushing our MPs and MLAs to be genuine voices in Ottawa and Victoria for our city.
“We’re about to become the biggest city in the province, yet we’re way behind when it comes to healthcare, education and even transit. For instance, the new line between Surrey centre and downtown Langley is good news, but it is the first major transit investment in our city since 1986. The same is true for the 168-bed hospital coming to Cloverdale. It’s needed, but looking at our growth it will also be overwhelmed on day one. The city, province and federal government need to do a better job of planning for the growth and future that is obviously part of this city going forward. Surrey is growing, and that is not about to change any time soon. We need more, we deserve more, and if we don’t speak up about it no one will do that for us. We can’t allow a lack of action from Victoria and Ottawa to define our future.”