Investing in Safe and Thriving Communities

The people that live in British Columbia are our greatest strength.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen our population grow. People want to live and raise their families in our communities. But at the same time, the impacts of climate change are putting pressure on some of our community infrastructure.

That’s why your New Democrat government, led by David Eby, is taking action to make sure that people in B.C. have what they need to build good lives in thriving, safe communities.

We’re building more hospitals and healthcare facilities, like a new hospital and cancer centre for Surrey in Cloverdale, and a new cancer centre in Kamloops. We’re also hiring and training more doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

File Photo – Photo Courtesy CFJC Today – Pattison Media

We’re expanding, upgrading and building more schools, so that kids can learn and play in safe, modern spaces. And we’re investing in active transportation projects so that people of all ages can get around their communities safely by walking, rolling or cycling.

We’re making it easier and faster to get around the region by building the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, the first rapid transit expansion south of the Fraser River in over 30 years.
We’re also making sure our growing communities are prepared to withstand the impacts of climate change. This includes helping farmers better equip themselves to collect and store water, so they can continue producing the food we depend on, even during a drought.

For many of us, the flooding that Abbotsford’s Sumas Prairie experienced in 2021 was one of the most devastating examples of climate change impacts we’ve seen. We are making critical upgrades to the Barrowtown Pump Station in Abbotsford so that farms and homes will be better protected from future flooding.

Across the province, more than 1,700 other projects are underway to help communities prepare for climate-related emergencies. From installing river-level sensors in Richmond, to building a dike along the Coldwater River in Merritt, we are working with communities to provide the support they need.

If a disaster does happen, people want to know that help and support will be there. We are providing more funding for Emergency Support Services so that communities can upgrade their ESS supplies, equipment, and procedures. We’re also providing new, streamlined training so that we can get more volunteers prepared to respond to help their neighbours during an emergency. After all, the resilience of a community depends on the strength and resilience of the people who live there.

B.C. is a great place to live, but we know there is always more we can do to make our communities even stronger. As your provincial government, we’re going to continue investing in people, and the services and infrastructure that they need to thrive.

 ~ Mike Starchuk – MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale


The above article is an an opinion piece, “Investing in Safe and Thriving Communities”, originally published by CFJC Today, on March 20, 2024


Disaster Planning

Emergency Preparedness.

We in Surrey, as a community, need to ensure everyone is prepared and able to survive on their own for the first 72 hours after a large-scale disaster, while we wait for our services to be restored. The Surrey Fire Services has a very comprehensive plan to deal with large-scale emergencies that include (but are not limited to) reconnaissance of the area surrounding the fire station locations to determine emergency activity, accessibility and communications.  Triage is also an important part of a large-scale incident so the most critical items are addressed in priority. All of this takes time which means we need to have our neighbourhoods prepared for large-scale incidents today.

The Surrey Fire Service has been, and continues to be, the lead agency with regards to emergency preparedness.  The Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP) was developed by Surrey Fire Service members and the program is facilitated by our Surrey firefighters. The NEPP utilizes resources from Surrey community groups such as Search and Rescue, our Amateur Radio group and Emergency Social Services along with the Fire Department in the event of a disaster.

This program provides key information for people in a neighbourhood to comfortably survive in a disaster for at least 72 hours.  The NEPP has been in place since 2001 and has trained over 22,000 people during this time. There is one week set aside in May of each year to promote Emergency Preparedness and displays are all over the City. The program is free to Surrey residents and the delivery can be customized to fit any group’s needs and will be delivered (dependent on size of group which can vary from 15 people to 150 people) between 45 minutes to 2 hours. For more information, please go to the City’s website at