Andrew Wilkinson’s B.C. Liberals and their history of neglecting Surrey

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VICTORIA – Andrew Wilkinson will be in Surrey today, trying to raise funds for his B.C. Liberal Party. However, despite the fact that Surrey is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country, they were largely neglected and ignored by the B.C. Liberals when they were in government.

“Andrew Wilkinson is trying to woo Surrey voters, but his party did next to nothing for Surrey when the BC Liberals were in power,” said Rachna Singh, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers. “Our government is working hard to make different choices, so that everyone in Surrey benefits.”

Here’s how the B.C. Liberals neglected people in Surrey when they were in government:

  • Unfairly charged Surrey commuters an average of $1,500 per year with tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges.
  • Sat by and did nothing while the housing crisis in Surrey reached crisis levels, and people struggled to find an affordable place to live.
  • Ignored Surrey parents struggling to find affordable and accessible child care.
  • Failed to keep up with B.C.’s fastest-growing school district, resulting in thousands of Surrey students forced to learn in portables.
  • Irresponsibly sold off valuable crown land in Surrey to pad their budgets, when that land could have been used to give Surrey a new hospital, new schools, or affordable housing.
  • Failed to stand by Surrey small businesses and truckers during the Port Metro dispute.
  • Cruelly took away the bus pass for people with disabilities in Surrey.

Our new New Democrat government is working hard for the people of Surrey. In just one year, we have:

  • Eliminated the unfair tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges, saving Surrey families an average of $1,500 per year.
  • Built 160 modular supportive housing units – which will eventually be replaced by 250 units of permanent affordable housing – and finally helping homeless people on 135A St.
  • Increased rental subsidies for low-income families and seniors in Surrey by:
    • Increasing SAFER rent subsidies by 42 percent, and
    • Improving eligibility requirements and increasing subsidies for the RAP program.
  • Ensured greater accessibility and a higher quality of life for seniors in Surrey by a $14,919 age-friendly grant coming through the Mobile Community Care for Seniors program.
  • Invested $14.8 million for school upgrades and new busses for the Surrey School District.
  • Invested $1.1 million for 372 new licensed child care spaces throughout Surrey.
  • Resolved the container trucking dispute by increasing trip rates and hourly wages by 2.6 percent to ensure truckers take home more money, getting tougher on enforcement, and taking steps to improve the rate structure.
  • Committed to $31.3 million over three years for critical enforcement and safety initiatives to combat street violence.
  • Begun immediate work on some of the 37 recommendations of the Illegal Forearms Task Force.
  • Invested annual funding of $500,000 for the Surrey Wraparound Program, increasing the capacity of the program by 10 percent, and allowing more youth in Surrey a chance to get away from gangs and crime.

While Andrew Wilkinson and the B.C. Liberals continue to focus on the interests of their rich friends at the top, the New Democrat government is making different choices to make life better for everyone in Surrey.