Happy holidays to you and your loved ones.
For some, this will not resemble a traditional holiday season from past years.
Our current set of circumstances do not permit gatherings outside of our households, but this won’t last forever.
Thanks to all of you for doing your part during the season. We know it has not been easy.
It is important to, “Be kind, be calm and be safe” this holiday season.
Mike Starchuk, MLA Surrey-Cloverdale
As we move into the second week of the first session of the 42nd Parliament, I’d like to update my Surrey-Cloverdale constituents of the progress of setting up and equipping a Constituency office.
As some of you may know, there has been a massive IT issue in the Legislature and they have been working around the clock to resolve these technical issues. All MLAs have their email up and running in some form, but the new MLA’s are in various states of operations. Equipment (computers and phones) still have not arrived, which create a number of connectivity issues with using personal equipment to connect to constituents.
With regard to my office set up, I was not able to move into the former MLA office, as that lease arrangement had ceased. We have found some vacant space in a building near 64 Avenue and 176 Street. We have an office floor and design plan currently in the drawing stages, before it goes to the Legislature for approval. Once that is complete, we will be able to apply for a tenant improvement permit from the City of Surrey, and then work can begin.
With regards to the IT and equipment issues, the hope is to have the equipment here before Christmas. Once this is achieved, my Constituency Assistant (CA) will be able to begin the daunting task of creating a “system” to address the files that will be generated.
Members of the public have been very understanding with the technological challenges I am facing, in this transition, and your patience is greatly appreciated during these challenging times.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing, visiting and hearing from you in the near future.
Because of COVID, all Swearing-In Ceremonies were done virtually.
Here is me signing the Oath Of Alligiance,
and becoming the MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, over Zoom,
on November, 24th, 2020.
Thank you to the people of Surrey-Cloverdale… I am honoured, and so very grateful!
The journey for myself has just begun, but for the BC NDP and John Horgan and his team, the journey still continues… for the next four years.
I am excited and honoured to be the first BC NDP MLA in Surrey-Cloverdale, and the first professional Fire Fighter to be elected to the BC Legislature.
To Marvin Hunt, I thank you for your years of public service, both as a City Councillor, and as an MLA. I wish you well in your future endeavors.
The people of BC have made it clear, the vision of the BC NDP, under the leadership of John Horgan, is what is needed to move British Columbians out of a Pandemic, in a safe and secure manner. British Columbians know the BC NDP is prepared to lead us in an economic recovery at the same time providing investments into our healthcare and educational systems. These investments will lead us in job growth of 18,000 additional jobs annually.
I have spent the last month speaking to the people of Surrey-Cloverdale, in a safe, socially distanced manner. We talked about what matters the most to them and what the BC NDP can bring to Surrey-Cloverdale. We talked about their voices being heard and we talked about the future of Surrey-Cloverdale.
I am sure the residents of Surrey-Cloverdale are excited to have a new hospital coming, with a regional cancer center as part of the new hospital.
I am sure the residents are excited to have SkyTrain connecting them to the regional transit system.
I am sure the residents are excited to have additional school spaces coming to Surrey-Cloverdale
All of the above-mentioned projects, that are coming to Surrey-Cloverdale, will improve healthcare, education and transportation. These are the things the residents told me they cared the most about. These projects will create many new jobs and help move our economy out of the pandemic. These construction projects will help families in Surrey-Cloverdale.
I wish to thank my team. They inspired and pushed me every day. Like all good teams, behind them are a great team of volunteers.
Special thanks to the members of Surrey Fire Fighter Association – Local 1271.
Thanks to my friends and family who were a big part of my decision to pursue this next step of my life.
And again, thanks to the people of Surrey-Cloverdale, for putting their trust in me. I am honoured, humbled, and so very grateful.
Thanks for stopping by MikeStarchuk.com
For those who have been here before, you may already know about me.
For those new visitors, let me introduce myself…
My name is Mike Starchuk.
In 2014, I retired holding the position of Chief Fire Prevention Officer, with Surrey Fire Services. My 32 years of service as a first responder, firefighter and public safety officer have provided me with first-hand knowledge, and a unique perspective on the growth of the city, and its citizens. During my time with the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Association, I was active with health and safety initiatives in the city and across the province. I am currently a Partnership in Education Program facilitator for the International Association of Fire Fighters. I am one of four Canadians who facilitate leadership and political action training for the 320,000 members in North America. I was one of the founding members of the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society, which is one of the leading charities in Surrey.
In 2014, I was honoured to be elected as a Surrey City Councillor. I enjoyed the opportunity to work hard on behalf of my community, and make changes and to proudly represent the people of Surrey, whether in my office, out in the communities and neighbourhoods, or representing the City of Surrey in another municipality.
Now, I am announcing that I am running to represent the people of Surrey-Cloverdale, in the upcoming Provincial election.
Having lived and worked in Surrey my whole adult life, I feel connected to, and a part of the Community, and with my experience, feel uniquely qualified to address the challenges and help the Community move forward.
I look forward to engaging with voters, as COVID-19 safety procedures allow.
I hope on October 24th, you will cast your vote for me, so I may continue to represent the City I love; the City I have called home for over 50 years; the City I work, live and play in.
Thank you for your consideration.
To see a short video about Mike, click the image below…
There is one very controversial Corporate Report (CR) which will get some attention at Monday night’s (June 15, 2020) Surrey Council meeting. ‘Corporate Report (CR) R089 COVID-19: Emergency Operations Centre Update‘ identifies how the City has been impacted in all areas and what options there are to consider. There isn’t any good news in this. The $42 million dollar deficit is clear. To solve this, there are some very crappy things coming forward and I’ve taken the liberty to cut and paste them here for reference.
General Managers have been tasked with reducing their current expenditures relative to budget and contribute a minimum of $8.0M toward mitigating the budgeted shortfall. This will be done by deferring capital expenditures (no new fire apparatus) use of consulting services, travel & training budgets, and utilization of overtime. Potential $8 million savings.
Most major civic facilities including Parks, Recreation & Culture and Library facilities remain closed until early September and possibly longer. Potential $6 million savings.
Staff are deferring the opening of Clayton Community Center until the first quarter of 2021. Potential $2.5 million in savings.
Cloverdale got shafted with the cancellation of the ice arenas and now this. Can you hear the chants from Mayor and his crew? Screw Cloverdale, screw Cloverdale!
Vacant positions across all departments will remain unfilled until 2021 with the only exception being critical roles required to deliver essential services. This “gapping” of positions will put additional workload on current staff, service levels to the public will be moderately impacted in the short term; however, this will not be sustainable in the longer term.
Staff is asked to do way more with less and get used to it. Just what staff needs, to be added to the pandemic stressors. Potential savings on the backs of City staff is $2 million.
Staff are eliminating the general funding associated with the downtown YMCA project, and utilizing these funds as a mitigating measure to minimize the forecasted budget shortfall. Potential $8.3 million savings.
Every aspect of Downtown Surrey with respect to recreation was anchored around the YMCA. The closure of the North Surrey Rec Center was based on a partnership with YMCA and now it’s vanished. Can you hear the chants from Mayor and his crew? Screw City Centre, screw City Centre.
Staff are differing (sic) the Newton Athletic Fieldhouse project to a future year. This project can be reconsidered as part of the 2021-2025 Capital Budgeting process. Potential $2 million saving.
Staff are eliminating of the budgeted (their words) Newton Urban Park. This project can be reconsidered as part of the 2021-2025 Capital Budgeting process. Potential $1 million saving.
Can you hear the chants from Mayor and his crew? Screw Newton, screw Newton!
Staff are reducing expenditures related to On-Going Capital for 2020 by $1.0M relative to budget. Although this budget is important for the maintenance and enhancement of city assets, the proposed one-time reduction will result in modest impairment of said city assets, this is not a sustainable option on a long term basis and should be considered a one time usage. Potential $1 million savings.
The big one will be below. They are going to consider reallocation of these reserves to take care of the budget shortfall of $40 million.
Reduction of Non-Statutory Reserves
The City maintains various reserves that are utilized to predominantly fund current and future capital requirements, some of these reserves are restricted by legislation (for example, Development Cost Charges) and others are not restricted. Reserve levels for the City have been maintained, however not necessarily at ideal levels due to fiscal limitations we now face. Staff may have to resort to utilize a portion of the following non statutory reserves on a strictly one- time basis to mitigate the forecasted budget shortfall in 2020:
- Green City;
- Corporate Contingency;
- Revenue Stabilization;
- Snow Removal; and
- Equipment Replacement Reserve.
The value utilized from each non-statutory reserve will be reported to Council in the future, once the actual shortfall is quantified.
These reserves are at risk. Money from developers for the Green City Fund was paid, for the explicit reasoning to replace the trees removed during the construct of a development. How is this conscionable to anyone on Council?
What you won’t see in this report is any kind of reduction in the Surrey Police Department transition spending. Why would, or who would, ever contemplate digging into non-statuary reserves when you have SPD transition money at your fingertips? What is the hurry to move the SPD transition at a time when the planet is going through the most unprecedented pandemic in history? If there ever was a time in history to press pause, it’s now. Spending on the SPD transition at the cost of all other items make ZERO economic sense.
This type of spending is contrary to everything we see from a Federal and Provincial level. Even Dr. Henry wants people to be recreating more and not less. The cutting of programs and the pillaging of the reserve funds is selling off our future. This CR clearly states, “the future does not live here.”
All of this will be discussed “virtually” Monday night. It’s hard to believe that staff cannot configure a 200 seat Council Chambers to accommodate 9 people so we can actually see them all at once. So, we can be assured there isn’t any influence on the other side of a Zoom screen, so we can actually see their hands raised when voting, so we can see all their faces at once as our future sinks into the sunset.
Open and transparent….NOT!
Click on the link below, to see the full 56 page PDF document, from the City of Surrey website:
The restaurant industry is under great pressure, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The best way you can support your local economy right now is to buy local… and if you’re looking for the best Indian food in Canada, place your take-out order with Maharaja Restaurant in Surrey.
They are located in the Payal Business Centre, at Unit 407, 8148 128th Street, Surrey.
Their phone number is 604-592-3002.
Below, you can click on the images to see a few of their mouth-watering meals.