THE NDP said on Thursday that BC Budget 2022 makes key investments in Surrey and moves forward the new hospital, new schools, Skytrain expansion, and more.
It noted that $1.66 billion is provided for the new Surrey Hospital and Cancer Care Centre with ground breaking slated for 2023 with an opening expected in 2027. Land has been acquired and $2 million has already been spent on preliminary work.
It will include 168 in-patient beds, emergency department, medical imaging department, five operating rooms, and state-of-the-art Cancer Centre. (Health Service Plan, p. 26)
The NDP pointed out that BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon has promised to halt work on the hospital. As Finance Minister in 2012, Falcon initiated the sell-off process that sold land in Surrey that was set aside for the hospital.
The NDP also noted that Budget 2022 includes $589.5 million over the next three years for the Surrey-Langley Skytrain. The project will be complete in 2028, two years earlier than originally planned. It will include eight stations, three bus exchanges, and park and ride spaces. Work is already underway to widen Fraser Highway and relocate utilities. (Budget, p. 71)
A new toll-free, eight-lane Massey Tunnel replacement, listed in Budget 2022 as the ‘Fraser River Tunnel Project’, has been allocated $4.1 billion. (p. 76)
The NDP pointed out that Falcon has promised to cancel the tunnel and go back to the BC Liberal bridge plan, a project that included tolls.
The NDP said that in addition to schools funded in previous budgets, Budget 2022 includes funding for new schools in Surrey, including the Regent Road Elementary School, Snokomish Elementary School, Ta’tula Elementary School, and the completion of Grandview Heights Secondary. (p. 64)
Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Mike Starchuk said: “For 16 years, Kevin Falcon’s BC Liberals gave tax breaks to the richest 1% while refusing to properly invest in Surrey and making us pay unfair tolls. Our BC NDP government is delivering for people in Surrey. We’re moving forward with the second hospital, expanding Skytrain, replacing the Massey Tunnel, and making record investments in new schools.”
Background on the new Surrey Hospital and Cancer Centre:
The New Surrey Hospital and Cancer Centre (NSHCC) will help meet the needs of a growing and aging population in Surrey. The scope of the project includes 168 inpatient beds, emergency department, medical imaging department that includes computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), surgical suite, pharmacy, laboratory, and academic space. The new cancer centre will include an oncology ambulatory care unit, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, functional imaging including PET/CT, cyclotron, and space for six linear accelerators (five equipped at opening). The scope of the project also includes a childcare centre and underground and surface parking. The new hospital will be designed to achieve zero on-site carbon emissions and will be one of the first hospitals to achieve this status in Canada. Construction is planned to begin in summer 2023 and the new facility is planned to open for patients in summer 2027. The capital cost of the project is estimated at $1.66 billion and is fully funded by the Province. (Health Service Plan, p. 26)