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City of Surrey Media Release – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Mayor Doug McCallum – March 23

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The battle against COVID-19 is in a critical phase.

I want to personally thank and commend the citizens of Surrey who have been doing their part. Over the last few days, I have personally observed that the vast majority of our citizens are taking personal responsibility by staying home or when outside, strictly adhering to social distancing measures. I am proud at how the citizens of Surrey have remained vigilant, calm and, most importantly, taken personal responsibility in this collective fight against COVID-19. My sincere thanks to everyone who is carrying out their civic duty by exercising good judgement and common sense during these challenging times.

Unfortunately, there are still individuals who are willfully ignoring the orders and measures issued by the Provincial Health Officer, such as gathering in large groups both in public spaces or at home.

The time has long passed to be cavalier about COVID-19. As we hear daily, the gravity of the situation is severe. No one has a cloak of invincibility against the virus. To the few who are defying the Provincial Health Officer’s orders, advice and measures, I implore you to stop. Carrying on with this kind of behavior is selfish, and you are risking the health and well-being of your family, friends, and everyone in our community. We are in the process of finalizing enforcement measures and penalties for those who continue to defy the orders and measures.

City of Surrey recreation centres, city playgrounds, city skateparks, city sports courts for team sports such as basketball, lacrosse/ball hockey, civic ice arenas, culture facilities, museums, public pools, and libraries are closed until further notice.

City of Surrey parks and beaches remain open, but all users must be following proper social distancing measures.

We can and will get through this challenging time, but everyone must come together and do their part.

  • All gatherings (indoors or outdoors) over 10 people are discouraged.
  • Social distancing by keeping about two meters (six feet) from one another.
  • Use virtual options to connect with others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Thank You
Mayor Doug McCallum

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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Over 30 years since major rapid transit investment made in Surrey

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Surrey, BC – March 1990 was when the Expo Line of Sky Train crossed the Fraser River into Surrey. 30 years later there has not been any major rapid transit expansion for BC’s fastest growing city with a population that is fast approaching 600,000 people.

“To say that Surrey has been left behind when it comes to mass transit is a gross understatement,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “The growth that Surrey has experienced in 30 years has been exponential and we are well on track to be the largest city in the province. Families continue to choose Surrey as the place to call home and businesses are setting up shop at a rate of 2,400 new businesses per year.”

In the most recent Council-Land Use meeting, more than $1.7 billion dollars in building projects were given approval to proceed by Surrey City Council, with the majority of new developments slated along the Surrey-Langley Sky Train extension. “Since the introduction of the Expo Line, Vancouver has been served with the Millennium Line, Canada Line, Evergreen Line and now the new Broadway Subway, while Surrey has received nothing,” said Mayor Doug McCallum.

“The people of Surrey are fed up with waiting while other jurisdictions that are growing at a far slower rate receive the lion share of transit funds. On behalf of the citizens of Surrey, the time for new rapid transit in our city is long overdue. Let’s get this done, now.”

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Civic Distinction Awards 2020 Nominations Are Now Open

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The Surrey Civic Distinction Awards 2020 nominations are now open.

The 2020 Civic Distinction Awards (formerly City Awards) are awards of excellence that acknowledge business and community leaders who have made a major contribution to the City of Surrey in their respective fields. By recognizing their work, these awards foster a culture of excellence in Surrey and highlight the people and projects that are leading the way. The award recipients will be announced in early December 2020.

These awards are held every four years and include the following Award Categories: Beautification and Enhancement Award, Design Award, Environmental Award, Heart Award, Arts and Heritage Award, Mayor’s Choice Award and Sport Tourism Award.

Nominate a Surrey resident, organization, group or business at surrey.ca/awards for an award of excellence and demonstrate your civic pride by recognizing outstanding projects that positively impact the City of Surrey.

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City of Surrey launches new website at surrey.ca

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Surrey, BC – The City of Surrey has launched its new website at www.surrey.ca with many enhanced customer features, including easier to find content, better connections to MySurrey accounts, and improved navigation and menu with a vibrant new look.

“This is an exciting next step for the City of Surrey as we continue our focus on providing exceptional services online,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “The new website enables us to provide engaging and dynamic content to inform and better serve our residents. I invite you to explore and make full use of the services, features, and content at the new www.surrey.ca.”

Surrey.ca is the City’s primary digital channel and source of information, receiving over 4 million visits in 2019. During COVID-19, www.surrey.ca has been an especially valued source of information, providing access to services for residents and businesses and demonstrating the importance of a continued shift and emphasis on digital communication and service delivery.

Key features of the new www.surrey.ca website include:

  • Citizens will be more easily able to access website information and content, through a new, user-focused website menu and filters created in consultation with over 1,400 internal and external stakeholders.
  • New vibrant site design, focused on improving usability, including a focus on accessible design.
  • Connecting MySurrey Account into surrey.ca, enabling quicker access to MySurrey online services.

The project moves the City’s website onto a modern open-source Content Management System used by both public and private agencies globally. In 2018, staff commenced developing a new website featuring a new design and changing systems, laying the foundation for future website improvements.

For more information on the City’s new website and to give your feedback on the site’s new design, structure or features, visit https://www.surrey.ca/contact/using-surrey-ca/about-citys-new-website.

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Surrey Libraries Reopening All Branches With Limited Services

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Surrey, BC – Beginning Wednesday, September 9, eight Surrey Libraries branches (City Centre, Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, Ocean Park, Semiahmoo, and Strawberry Hill) will reopen to the public for borrowing and returning materials, computer access, and picking upholds. Port Kells branch will offer curbside holds pick-up service, returns during library hours, and other staff-assisted services. Access inside the building is not available due to limited capacity.

Safety precautions in line with directions of the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC regulations have been implemented at all branches such as access to hand sanitizer, physical distancing signs, enforcing occupancy limits, erecting plexiglass barriers at service counters, frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and enforcing a 72-hour quarantine for all returned library materials. To help contribute to a safe environment for everyone, visitors to the library are encouraged to wear a mask and are also asked to stay home if they have any symptoms of illness.

“The measured approach we have taken in reopening our public facilities has been done to ensure the health and safety for our library patrons and staff,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “I would like to thank all of our Surrey Libraries patrons for their patience and our staff for their due diligence and care as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“While Surrey Libraries was able to quickly shift its focus to digital services and offer takeout service with the closure of the branches to help stop the spread of COVID-19, our community has been eager for the library branches to reopen,” said Neelam Sahota, chair of the Board of Trustees of Surrey Libraries. “We’re also eager to welcome our community back to the branches but with new guidelines and precautions to ensure the health and safety of our patrons and staff.”

Services available at all branches except Port Kells include: picking upholds and brief browsing of shelves to select material, computer access (45-minute limit), printing, self-checkout, washroom access, and book drops.

The following services will not be available: in-branch programming, reading or studying in the branch, scanning, booking meeting rooms, and toys and games for children. Patrons are asked to limit their time in the library (up to an hour) and for parents to remain with their children at all times.

Opening Hours at the Branches:

Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am to 8 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm
Branches will be closed Sundays and Mondays

Port Kells hours will be the same as they were pre-pandemic:

Tuesday: 10 am to 12 pm
Wednesday: 1 pm to 5 pm, 6 pm to 8 pm
Thursdays & Fridays: 1 pm to 5 pm
Saturday: 12 pm to 5 pm

More information can be found on Surrey Libraries’ website, www.surreylibraries.ca.

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We Need to Open Surrey’s Aquatic Centres Now, Not Later: Councillor Linda Annis

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Surrey, B.C. (August 11, 2020) | Councillor Linda Annis wants city hall to reopen Surrey’s pools and aquatic centres this month, rather than waiting until October which is the current plan.

“The mayor is keeping pools and aquatic centres closed to reduce the city’s deficit coming out of COVID-19, meanwhile the $129 million police transition budget remains untouched,” explained Annis.

“There is absolutely no reason not to get on with reopening our pools and aquatic centres. We can meet every COVID-19 requirement today. Instead, the mayor is keeping things closed and those savings are being used to help fund the police transition bill.”

Annis said that after pressure from the community the city recently moved to open more sheets of ice faster than originally planned, and she wants the same approach taken to Surrey’s pools.

“COVID cannot be an excuse any longer, there is no provincial health regulation prohibiting reopening with the right rules in place,” noted Annis. “So, staying closed isn’t a health decision, it’s a political decision by the mayor and his four councillors to save money and then spend those savings on the costly police transition bill.”

Annis said families, children, seniors and swimming and diving teams are all being left out in the cold, something that isn’t necessary.

“No city has better aquatic facilities than Surrey,” Said Annis. “We also have the staff and expertise to open our public facilities and keep them open safely. Community facilities are important to our quality of life and so we should get on with reopening them without delay. If city staff were given instructions to open we could be up and running in days, rather than waiting until October.”

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