Letter from a reader: “Is there anyone looking out for the interests of the general public here???”

Catching up on the emails from my contact page here on the site today, and received this letter from a reader in Delta, who has cancer and is forced to travel to Surrey for treatments – via transit. I rarely post letters from people here, but this one really struck me.

He has noticed something that needs some attention in the city of Surrey, and he is not happy about it. And although I have noticed the sidewalk had been out for a very long time as well, I did not think of the impact it would have on those going to and from the many health care resources located just a couple of blocks down by the hospital, in particular as he writes, you are not aware of this in advance.

He makes some excellent points.

Your Worship Ms. Linda M. Hepner
And Members of Surrey Council
13450 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3T 1V8

Coast Capitol Credit Union
Board of Directors
4th Floor, 15117 101 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3R 8P7

Hon. Tod Stone
Minister of Transport
PO BOX 9055
V8W 9E2

Dear Madams and Sirs

For the Last Month I’ve had the Curse of Cancer and the Treatments to Battle the disease .

Which take me unfortunately to Your Community .

I’m forced to travel by transit to the Surrey Cancer Centre .

The curse has robbed me of a portion of my sight my ability to drive!

What I’ve found that is absolutely amazing is that the whole time period that I’ve been attending the Cancer Clinic and BEYOND THAT I’ve Been reliably informed .

There has been a EXTENSIVE closure of the Side walk along King George Highway STARTING on the Eastern Side of the Roadway for what appears to be Several Blocks Heading to the South . Thus Blocking off Pedestrian access to the King George Skytrain Station from the South for a Prolonged Period .

Forcing Hundreds of Pedestrians SOME Of Whom are Elderly and Infirmed , On Wheel chairs, with other Health Issues that are using this Route to get to the Main Hospital in the area .

One would THINK that the Developer Especially a ” Community Oriented Organization LIKE Coast Capital Credit Union Would Put the Interests of the Members of the Public FIRST and foremost ??? And expedite repairs and construction that Interfere with the Use of a IMPORTANT PUBLIC ACCESS ????
This incident further confirms a pattern here in the Lower Mainland Where DEVELOPERS and Speculators seem to have FREE Rain with are PUBLIC STREETS and Access they seem to have e NO PROBLEM blocking off roadway and public amenities and denying access to Public Properties at Will THIS is a Prime Case in Point .


We have all sorts of Contractors and Business organizations Lobbying for the Industry’s WHOM is Looking after the Interests of the PUBLIC HERE ???

During My frequent passes of this sight I have YET to see anyone actually WORKING to resolve this Blockage of a Important safety and access route for Pedestrians .

There is a Problem here as This Creates a Long and Laborious detour to Infirmed People Especially IF they are Not aware of the Detour in advance .

It forces people to make long waits on NUMEROUS Traffic control Lights and pass over a Major Highway several times Depending on How they Make there approach .

For Healthily Individuals with TIME on there hands No Problem !

For the elderly and sick it is a Impediment to access.
Just WHOM is looking after the interests of the PUBLIC when it comes to these Projects ? WHY has this been permitted to continue ??


Yours Richard Swanston

Delta BC V4M 2H2

I’m sincerely hoping Coast Capital as an involved community member, can address this situation. Richard is but one person who took the time to write- how many others have been in this situation but have not been able to do the same?

While ambulatory patients can use the Fraser Health employee shuttle, it is only if space allows and you have a doctors note- employees etc are given preference. And, I’m not entirely sure how many people are even informed this exists. http://www.fraserhealth.ca/your-stay/amenities-and-services/shuttle/

That shuttle however,doesn’t help people who are not patients,but simply needing to get to the doctors office,have tests, visit patients etc. who still may be elderly or infirm.

**Update. Coast Capital has advised they are looking into this and speaking with the developer and the city to see what can be done. I will keep this post updated as I learn any new information.

11 Comments on “Letter from a reader: “Is there anyone looking out for the interests of the general public here???”

  1. I am very sorry for this Mr. Swantson. Unfortunately, the City of Surrey cares more for developers.

    This has been going on for years. McCallum started the development, Watts carried on and it exploded under her, Hepner is just following. Ordinary citizens are not on the radar. Watts is hoping to be off to Ottawa after leaving the city in a huge financial mess with unnecessary building, but infrastructure has not kept pace. Not up to the developers, up to the taxpayers of Surrey. I know, developers pay too, but you can bet it is very small when you consider their winfalls. City of Surrey hit every household with an extra $100 this year, they called it a levy for recreation and culture. What the hell is that?? Plus the usual tax increase. One would think “sidewalks” could at least be maintained. But no, not in the City of Surrey.

    Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery.

  2. I’ve lived in Surrey for most of my life and for the most part have loved it and defended it. No More. The last 10 years has seen a shocking and precipitous decline in liveability. Sure, we have nice new (and obscenely expensive) library and city hall buildings, but we also have increased and a spreading rate of crime, an endless destruction of trees and massive amounts of construction without synchronized increases in roads, schools, hospitals and policing. Under Dianne Watts and her party, and now continuing under Linda Hepner the prime goal and motivation of council seems to be development at a breakneck speed. That’s where the money is and that’s where this council’s priority lies. The general public, as your writer ponders, seems to be there to pay taxes and take what they’re handed.

  3. Well if my elderly parents are any indication.
    Perfectly smooth sidewalks are a danger.
    Trip/falls are going to be the norm in the near future as the average age of Canadians increases.
    Both my parents are in fairly good physical shape for their advanced ages. ( mid 80’s)
    My mother tripped over a nonexistant crack in the sidewalk and fell…..
    Off to the emerg ward via ambulance for an exam, xray, stitches, bandages, prescription pain killer, etc…..all on the taxpayers dime.
    My elderly dad( who has had several minor strokes) and drags his left foot slightly when he walks, insists that he will NOT use a walker. Another expensive taxpayer bill waiting to happen,…
    Canaries in the coal mine?
    One wonders how many similar “accidents” like this happen every day all over Canada costing the health system(insert taxpayers here) billions per year.

    Oh and the other interesting thing about the emergency ward in their tiny rural town…….FULL of young drug addicts waiting for prescription renewals…..I’ve never seen anything like it. The ‘waiting room” has aproximately 40 seats. Of which 90 % were taken by young ( 20-30 yr old) addicts…. scratching, sniffling, twitching, scab covered, lost souls…..
    A 4 hour wait at 8am….unless you are brought in by ambulance….
    My cousin, who is an ER nurse in that province, said “its epidemic” …….AND the ‘smart” drug addicts have learned that you dont have to wait for hours if you arrive by ambulance…..so they calmly call for an ambulance( which is free if you’re on welfare) and wait for its arrival so they can “jump the line”.

    Fun times

    Free oxycontin or fentynal for repeat drug addicted patients ?
    It would certainly reduce the break & enters or violent home invasions of elderly people.

    I can just see it now.
    The piece of feces that attacked the poor lady in Surrey will claim, when finally caught, that he was under the influence of drugs at the time and didnt know what he was doing.
    He’ll be sentenced to 5 years and serve less than 2, be released on probation and do it all over again.
    The Canadian “justice” system.

    • You ‘sound’ disapproving, NCV……tut, tut….but I agree. AND I AM A PINKO!! I am a feint-hearted, limp-wristed, whiny, bleeding heart about most things generally speaking. Honest! (ask me about hunting bears for sport). But 95% of the health budget is consumed by ‘lifestyle screw-ups’ and those in the last year of their life (usually the elderly but also the aforementioned screw-ups). THAT’s insane! I have no problem with your parents even if they are in denial about their age – they did their time. They paid their taxes. But, if you make bad choices all the bloody time, then I don’t wanna bail you out or even wait an extra five minutes if I or an otherwise worthy individual has an emergency. Once? Twice? Maybe three times? At some point, anyway, enough is enough of that and it is just enabling – not helping. Small compromise – they need a few more street clinics for the nincompoops to keep them away from hospitals and such and that should be enough.

  4. Wow that went off track…. lol… Ledcor tweeted to me yesterday:

    ” We regret construction has led to pedestrian inconvenience. We’re working w/ City of Surrey & thank everyone for their patience.”

    Of course, having driven by there, it still is the same disaster it has been for months. A reader pointed out that in Vancouver this kind of long term disruption rarely occurs. They scaffold over a portion or make an alternate route.This is a major hub at King George Station and not an easy walkaround for the many people using health care services on the same side of the street.

  5. Rosewood and glenwood intersection,boy nearly dies in Surrey because city says within limits for speed by 2 kWh?

    • Yes I saw that-the neighbours asked for traffic calming and the study showed drivers were only 2kmsph off from the speed that would have allowed the installation of traffic calming devices. I hear this is a bad problem in North Surrey from people dodging the Port Mann bridge and trying to take shortcuts to the Pattullo.

      • Yup.
        A friend of mine has been “saving” himself $6 a day by dodging the new Port Mann. Cant say I blame him for saving $6 every day. Now if only he’d quit smoking…………

        • Government solution: take out old free bridge and replace with new tolled bridge. Everybody pays more (except insiders with passes). Take out old free tunnel, replace with tolled bridge – to be fair. Raise ferry fares and cut schedules. Consider tolling Alex Fraser. Raise gas taxes. Raise transit fees. Give trees away. Give natural gas away. Cut education and health care. Claim better business skills. Get elected again. Works every time.

  6. And a drive by the construction site shows me the sidewalk is still inaccessible, and still making for a long detour for those coming by skytrain or bus to access healthcare,or hospital services. A sign on the site says the sidewalk has been inaccessible since June of this year until September. No attempt was made to find a way to make access along this side. Quite disappointing to see people still showing up and discovering the mess there.