A hospital in Cloverdale would provide ‘synergistic’ opportunities with the nearby Kwantlen Polytechnic University Tech campus, pictured here. (kpu.ca)

UPDATE: Cloverdale is the best location for a new Surrey hospital, says mayor

Surrey mayor says she will ‘personally’ make the case for a hospital in Cloverdale

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says she believes that Cloverdale would be the ideal location for a new Surrey hospital.

In an address at the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association’s annual general meeting on Monday evening, Hepner said a hospital built near the Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Tech campus at 180th Street and Highway 10 would serve a growing demand in the area and provide educational and “synergistic” opportunities.

The provincial government announced that they would begin concept planning for a new hospital in Surrey in December 2017. No budget or location was mentioned in the initial announcement. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the concept planning stage was a “significant review process” that could take up to a year to complete.

At that time City Councillor and Cloverdale resident Bruce Hayne made a case for Cloverdale to be the location of the new hospital, arguing that the need in the growing community, and the available land, made it a good contender.

On Monday evening, Hepner agreed, and proposed that there was a further opportunity for a working relationship with the nearby KPU Tech campus.

Hepner said that she had a discussion with KPU’s Vice President of External Affairs Marlyn Graziano as recently as Friday (Feb. 23) “on the synergy a new hospital could bring to KPU’s nursing program and to the opportunities that may exist for those in the trades to assist within that hospital.”

“She has fully agreed and I will now be personally making the case with our council and, provided they agree, to our provincial health minister that Cloverdale should be a strong consideration for a site for a new hospital,” she said.

Hepner told the Cloverdale Reporter that she planned to prepare a brief and to go in and speak with Health Minister Adrian Dix. “I want to make sure than when they’re doing the analysis, they consider all the synergistic opportunities,” she said.

“The only other place I could even see them considering is way north in Port Kells. And there is not enough people there yet. Not the same densification that we see elsewhere. [Port Kells is] an option, but I like the opportunity with the university here,” she said.

On Wednesday, Marlyn Graziano told the Cloverdale Reporter she had “one quick conversation” with Hepner but acknowledged “that’s how things get started.”

Graziano said there is undeveloped land on the KPU Tech campus, and that there would be great “teaching and learning opportunities” for many staff and students at a nearby hospital, but “in no way, shape or form is this a commitment. We’re talking about talking right now.”

“There’s a long way to go with this,” said Graziano. “Lots of people would need to be brought into the conversation. I think the mayor is hoping to get that conversation started.”

“Can KPU be a part of this? There’s no way we wouldn’t have that conversation,” she said.

With files from Trevor Beggs


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