SURREY, BC, July 11, 2019 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to building stronger communities and engaging with partners on issues that matter the most to Canadians. The government understands that collaboration and consultation, early and often, is how we get the best results for Canadians, especially when it comes to initiatives that affect them in their own backyard.
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, met with provincial, municipal and academic partners to seek initial feedback on development of a centralized hub in Surrey City Centre, British Columbia (B.C.), to provide better services to Canadians. Consolidating the majority of public servants who work in south Metro Vancouver in a centralized hub has the potential to support numerous benefits, including increased convenience for the public, office space savings and collaboration for public servants.
As Surrey is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in B.C., its ongoing development is rapidly transforming the city and sparking new economic growth. Surrey City Centre continues to develop with anchor tenants such as Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus, which has recently expanded to include a federal- and provincial‑funded new Sustainable Energy Engineering building. The government is committed to working with municipal and provincial partners to keep pace with the growth and ensure that services to Canadians are top of mind with any new office development. A collaborative approach to developing federal, provincial and municipal assets in the region would support the growth and needs of the region by:
- generating new office and academic spaces at the centre of Surrey;
- providing employment, education and service opportunities closer to residents' homes;
- addressing sustainability goals through green building design, and by providing easy access to transit and reducing commute times.
Today's meeting is the first step in exploring the development of a Metro Vancouver Workplace Strategy to optimize the use of Crown space in Surrey to meet the needs of the surrounding communities. The Strategy will provide public servants with the chance to reduce their commuting time and work closer to where they live, while providing the best service to Canadians in a centralized location.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners to support stronger communities, provide modern workspaces, and become a leader in accessibility and environmental sustainability.
"The government is committed to investing in communities across the country, and to providing federal employees with effective, modern workplaces that enable better services to Canadians. I am pleased to meet with leaders from the community to share views and work together to develop a strategy that best serves the community."
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
"This is a great first step to make Surrey Centre an iconic destination for public sector jobs, to advance education, and to create hubs for transit and community spaces. This will help stimulate growth south of the Fraser and make Surrey Centre the centre of one of the largest workforces in Lower Mainland. This collaboration will act as a catalyst in making Surrey Centre a central space that enables creativity and creates opportunities. I am happy to see all levels of government and academia collaborating to give Surrey opportunities at its doorstep."
Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre
"Developing our cities and towns is a shared priority for the Province and the federal government. We welcome this engagement and support the goals of reducing congestion, decreasing commuting times, and improving people's lives in the communities they call home."
The Honourable Bruce Ralston
Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology for B.C.
"The proposed project will fully establish Surrey City Centre as Metro Vancouver's second downtown. The city centre will be a prime destination for employment, education and services to Metro Vancouver residents. Situated at the geographic midpoint of the Lower Mainland and on a major regional transit hub, the project will support the tremendous growth that is occurring not only in Surrey, but in the region as a whole."
His Worship Doug McCallum
Mayor of Surrey
- A centralized federal workspace in Surrey would encourage economic growth and provide federal public servants in Surrey with the tools they need to deliver better services to the public in their community.
- Public Services and Procurement Canada will explore collaborative opportunities to modernize the way we work by increasing accessibility, reducing our greenhouse gas footprint, fostering community and collaboration, and exploring alternative work arrangements.
- Participants included: Minister Qualtrough; Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre; Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood–Port Kells; His Worship Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey; Vincent Lalonde, City Manager, City of Surrey; Patrick Klassen, Manager of Community Planning, City of Surrey; Donna Jones, General Manager of Investment and Intergovernmental Affairs, City of Surrey; Heather McNell, Director of Regional Planning, Metro Vancouver; Christine Kennedy, Associate Deputy Minister, Office of the Premier of B.C.; Fazil Mihlar, Deputy Minister, B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology; the Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Training and Technology for B.C.; Michael Heeney, Chief Executive Officer, Surrey City Development Corporation; Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor, Simon Fraser University; Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research, Simon Fraser University; Joanne Curry, Vice-President of External Relations, Simon Fraser University; Dr. Steve Cardwell, Associate Vice-President, Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University; and Geoff Cross, Vice-President, Planning and Policy, Translink.
- Topics discussed at the meeting touched upon sustainability, leveraging partnerships, innovation, transportation, economic development, livable communities and mixed-use facilities. Discussions were also had around the collaboration between all levels of government, academic and Indigenous partners.
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SOURCE Public Services and Procurement Canada
For further information: Marielle Hossack, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, 819-997-5421; Media Relations, Public Services and Procurement Canada, 819-420-5501, email@example.com