Rounding up all the Surrey players

Last Friday morning (Jan. 19), Surrey council met with Liberal members of the  federal governments to discuss matters of housing, public safety, rapid transit, parks plans, and the opioid crisis.

Familiar faces at the table included Liberal MPs Sukh Dhaliwal, John Aldag, Randeep S. Sarai, Gordon Hogg and Ken Hardie and most of Surrey council.

Mayor Linda Hepner told me on Facebook this was an “info sharing” meeting to explore potential partnerships.

These types of meetings are easy to write off as political bun tosses, orchestrated for publicity. It’s easy to understand how folks could come to that conclusion. I’ve covered scores of these meetings, many that seemed to be nothing more than an attempt to generate media attention.

But by and large, I like these get togethers, particularly when there’s something substantive to cover. This agenda seemed to have plenty of worthy subjects.

What’s refreshing about these meetings is they lack the usual finger pointing, where blaming other levels of government is just good sport.

Surrey can’t fix all these problems on its own. Things like housing, homelessness and the opioid crisis are too huge. We need other levels of government to step up.

Will they do it?

Time will tell. But getting them all in a room is a damn good start.

Now, we wait for the substantive bricks and mortar announcements.


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