The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)

Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

Safe Surrey Coalition council members congratulated themselves Monday night before council unanimously authorized city staff to purchase 16 adjacent parcels of land in Newton for future parkland, road alignment and civic projects.

It involves 7.24 acres, part of which embraces the former site of the Rona store at 6965 King George Blvd., which closed permanently on Jan. 26.

READ ALSO: Surrey retailers on losing end of online purchasing trend

Councillor Laurie Guerra said council has heard so often that Newton has been neglected, “time and time again.

“But not today,” she said. “Along with the main promises that the Safe Surrey Coalition campaigned on, of bringing the SkyTrain down the Fraser Highway, and a municipal police made in Surrey by Surrey and for Surrey, and smart development, we promised that we would look to put a community centre in Newton. Once again, promise made, promise kept.”

Councillor Allison Patton echoed that.

“What I’m excited about is it’s going to be designed by the people in that community, uniquely for the community,” she said. “Another one for our books – promise made, promise kept.”

Councillor Doug Elford called it a “very exciting purchase.”

“The potential of this site is just incredible,” he said, also noting the community “over the years has said they felt they’ve been neglected in terms of investments and this certainly is an opportunity for us to respond to that.

”I live close by, it’s rife with prostitution and petty crime and it needs a change. Whatever we develop on this site, it’s going to be a huge improvement to the area.”

READ ALSO: Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Meantime, the four councillors not with the Safe Surrey majority, balked at the political navel-gazing.

“I realize we are two years into our term, I think this is probably, there is 730-odd days left before the next campaign, but if we’re going to be talking about what we campaigned on and bring back mottos and stuff, I don’t think this is the right venue for that,” said Councillor Jack Hundial, of Surrey Connect.

Councillor Linda Annis, of Surrey First, said the project is “long overdue, Newton’s been waiting for good things to happen to them in the past number of years” and it will be “a real asset to the community.”

Councillor Brenda Locke, of Surrey Connect, said it’s a “great opportunity not for Newton, but for all of Surrey.”

“I also want to say we are here for all the residents of Surrey, whether they voted for us or not, so having political statements that come from these tables is in my mind inappropriate,” she said. “I too, though, will be looking forward to seeing the financial piece to that because that’s really going to direct what we can do.”

Councillor Steven Pettigrew, who sits as an Independent, said as far as parks go, “the more the merrier,” but asked his council colleagues, “Is this what we’re going to be going through for the next two years…has the election started tonight, has the campaigning started tonight?”

Surrey’s next civic election will be held on Oct. 15, 2022.

“I really don’t relish sitting here for the next two years listening to all the accolades of certain parties,” Pettigrew said. “Let’s just focus on city business.

“So I would ask that council just stick to the business and stop promoting their own parties, it’s really self-serving and I would hope this is the last of it and I don’t have to keep saying this. It’s very inappropriate.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, of the Safe Surrey Coalition, was the last to speak.

“We actually during the election did hear from our community that this is one of their top priorities to get this, to get some type of recreation facilities in Newton,” he said.

“This will be fast-tracked because the need has been there for so long.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lisa Werring, Surrey Christmas Bureau boss, inside the charity’s new home. (Submitted photo)
‘Toys, toys, toys, we need toys’: Surrey Christmas Bureau calls for donations

‘It’s been a challenging season to say the least. Every day is a new adventure,’ says bureau boss Lisa Werring

Sukhi Sandhu, organizer of Wake Up Surrey. (File photo)
Wake Up Surrey welcomes Lipinski as city’s new police chief

But Surrey Police Service will not solve Surrey’s gang violence on its own, Sukhi Sandhu says

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Extras in Promises include many who currently serve in uniform in law enforcement, the military and the Canadian Border Services Agency. Contributed photo
Movie traces Punjabi soldiers’ role in battle during Second World War

Surrey director and White Rock councillor participate in film project

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead police to illegal lab in North Delta

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Most Read