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Surrey Residents Embrace Digital Library Resources

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Surrey, BC – Library branches may be closed due to COVID-19 but Surrey Libraries are still serving the literacy and learning needs of the community. New users of OverDrive, the free service that lets people borrow digital content like eBooks and eAudiobooks saw an increase of 257% in April compared to the same month last year. Additionally, downloads of eBooks and eAudio and use of streaming video more than doubled in April.

“From books, to magazines and streaming media, our residents have discovered and fully embraced the wide range of materials available in Surrey Libraries digital collection,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Our libraries offer a lifetime of continual learning and I am happy to see so many people continuing to use this vital resource. For those who have yet to access this wonderful resource, you can do so by signing up for your own library card online.”

To meet this increased demand, the Library is growing its digital content by adding new engaging online resources as well as always available eBooks and a superloan eBook and eAudio collection. Additionally, use of online learning platforms like Lynda.com, Gale Courses, Learning Express, and Kanopy Great Courses has also doubled.

“The Library has always been a source of trusted information and free resources for the community and we continue to fill that role,” said Neelam Sahota, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Library’s digital resources are convenient and meets people’s needs – having more people discovering these resources is a silver lining in an otherwise challenging time.”

In addition to the digital resources, Library staff are available to answer questions by email  (libraryinfo@surrey.ca) and telephone (604-598-7901) and the Library has seen an increase of over 1,000 per cent in the number of emails received over the same time period last year.

Surrey Libraries has also started offering virtual programming. Tech help, Storytimes, homework tips online, literature club for seniors, and book clubs for all ages are just some of the programs available. Upcoming online programs can be found on the Library’s website: https://www.surreylibraries.ca/events.

Information on online library resources is available at
www.surreylibraries.ca/news/getting-started-our-online-library. And for the full alphabetical list of databases that Surrey Libraries offers, visit the online library page.

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.

City

Ask Provincial Election Candidates If They Support A Referendum On Surrey Police (Councillor Linda Annis)

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WANT A SAY IN WHO WILL POLICE SURREY?

ASK PROVINCIAL ELECTION CANDIDATES IF THEY SUPPORT A REFERENDUM?

Surrey, B.C.: Councillor Linda Annis is calling on Surrey voters to ask provincial election candidates in the city’s nine ridings if they support a referendum to determine who will police their city in the years ahead.

“I’m not asking provincial candidates to come down on one side or another of this issue,” said Annis. “I just want them to say whether they support a referendum where Surrey voters get to decide who will police our community.

A provincial election is all about democracy and having your say, so this is the perfect time to ask those running to be Surrey MLAs if they support giving Surrey residents the right to make the choice about keeping the RCMP or starting from scratch to create a municipal force.”

Annis said policing is a provincial responsibility and she’s disappointed the province has not insisted on a referendum. “Policing is the single biggest budget item in our city, so giving people a say on any major change makes sense,” added Annis. “If you want to be a Surrey MLA then you should be expected to speak up and tell Surrey residents why you support or oppose their right to have a say in our city’s policing.

Unfortunately too much of the mayor’s move to his local police department has been carried out without public comment or consultation, and the price tag at $129 million, just for the transition, is a cost that’s siphoning off every available dollar at city hall. Like thousands of Surrey voters I’m looking forward to hearing what the candidates have to say on this issue, and if anyone tells you the decision has been made or it’s not a provincial decision then that tells you exactly where they stand, and it’s not on the side of Surrey residents.”

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Fall Planting Events Round-out Surrey’s Annual Love Where You Live Campaign

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Surrey, BC: In its second year, Surrey’s Love Where You Live campaign has gained momentum, even through this time of pandemic.

To keep the community safe and support Public Health guidelines, this year’s initiatives have focused on individual efforts and small clean-up events. A total of 54 community clean-up events have been organized and a record-breaking 134 residents have committed to the 20-minute clean up. City contractors have ramped up efforts, cleaning 208 kilometres of Surrey roads weekly, and 6,000 illegal dump sites.

“The collective achievements we have made through this year’s Love Where You Live campaign are a testament to the pride and dedication Surrey residents have for their community,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “As we head into the final stages of this year’s campaign, I invite everyone to help us finish strong by participating in one of our upcoming planting events. Keeping a big city like Surrey clean and beautiful is no small task, but it is clear our residents take great ownership and pride in maintaining a beautiful and healthy community.”

From September to November, there are a series of ReLeaf and Bulbs for Beauty programs scheduled across the City, offering residents the opportunity to protect the environment and help beautify the city.

The ReLeaf Program helps to grow Surrey’s urban forest by planting shade trees and native shrubs in parklands. Planting events are scheduled every Saturday until October 31, in nine parks throughout Surrey.

Bulbs for Beauty is a beautification project aiming to plant thousands of flowering bulbs throughout Surrey, to be enjoyed by residents in the spring. This year, the program is inviting youth aged 13-18 to earn volunteer hours while helping to beautify the city. Plantings will take place between October 14 and November 14, 2020.

No experience is necessary for participation in these activities. The City of Surrey will provide all equipment, and protocols are in place to ensure compliance with Public Health guidelines.

Pre-registration is required for these events. For more information, visit surrey.ca/lovewhereyoulive.

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SURREY COUNCILLOR WANTS “DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR” TRANSIT SPENDING IN SURREY AND VANCOUVER

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We’ve lagged behind for too long and we want our fair share: Councillor Linda Annis

Councillor Linda Annis says it’s time for Surrey to catch up after years of “transit neglect” when it comes to transit investments. She wants provincial election candidates in the nine Surrey ridings to commit to “dollar-for-dollar” spending when it comes to Surrey and Vancouver.

“If you’re going to spend a dollar in Vancouver you’d better be spending a dollar in Surrey,” said Annis. “If TransLink and its provincial and federal partners are looking at spending up to $3.8 billion on a line to UBC then they should spend just as much in Surrey, including $3.1 billion from King George SkyTrain Station to Langley City Centre. But they should also be looking at transit that connects our growing neighbourhoods.”

Annis said about $1.63 billion is committed to the SkyTrain extension from King George to 166 Street in Fleetwood, but Surrey needs to play catch up when it comes to transit.

“This isn’t about cutting transit investments in Vancouver, it’s about ensuring an equal commitment for our city,” added Annis. “The SkyTrain extension to Fleetwood is really the first major transit investment in Surrey in 30 years, and that’s just not good enough. At the same time, if we’re serious about solving the affordable housing issue, you need transit, and frankly Surrey is the best place to make that sort of investment. We are already more affordable here than in Vancouver and better transit means more access to affordable housing and the best place to do that is right here in Surrey.”

Annis said transit is key to developing and connecting the city’s growing neighbor hoods and for far too long, Surrey has lagged behind Vancouver in spite of the city’s continued growth.

“Right now, our residents spend twice as much time in their cars as Vancouver residents and we do far more commuting than Vancouverites,” added Annis. “We want people to be able to live and work right here at home and that means more transit and faster investment commitments from TransLink and its provincial and federal partners. So, if there’s a transit dollar for Vancouver we want to make sure there’s an equal dollar for Surrey, and that starts by getting commitments from our nine Surrey MLAs.

Our city has 10 per cent of the province’s MLAs and frankly they all need to work as hard as possible for our city to make sure we get our share. That hasn’t always been the case. Waiting 30 years for some sort of transit improvement is too long, we’ve been patient too long. This election, I want our voters to put provincial candidates on the spot by asking them if they support dollar-for-dollar transit spending in Surrey and Vancouver, ensuring we have a chance to catch up on what’s been owed to this city for far too long.”

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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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