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Daphne Bramham: Surrey voters choices are crucial to city’s future, but also Metro’s

As Surrey continues its rapid and radical transition from bedroom community to big city, its new civic leaders will not only set a course for the city they will be defining — or possibly redefining — the future of Metro Vancouver. So even if you don’t live there, it matters who gets elected.

Regardless of where you live in the region, it matters who wins Surrey’s municipal election next month.

Surrey’s rising influence is owed partly to geography. It is at the region’s centre, and with 316 square kilometres, it is twice the landmass of Vancouver and dwarfs everything else in the Metro area.

With growth averaging 1,000 people a month, Surrey’s regional and provincial importance increases. So, it matters who is going to be managing that growth. Will the new council have a regional view or a parochial one? Will it be unabashedly pro-development? Will it embrace sustainable and environmentally conscious growth? Will it balance the needs of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods? Will its politicians take a leadership role in defining the region?

So, let’s forget all the old Surrey jokes. Anyone who has stepped off the SkyTrain at Surrey City Centre knows that those are outdated stereotypes.

As a stand-alone city, Surrey is Canada’s 12th largest with 517,887 people. Vancouver is eighth with 631,486.

You probably already knew that. But here’s what you may not know:

Source: Vancouver Sun

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