Opposition grows to mega-casino proposed for Surrey
South Surrey residents gathered at a town hall meeting on Nov. 14, 2012 to voice their opinions on a proposed mega-casino and entertainment complex. (CTV)
CTV British Columbia
Published Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:15AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2012 9:16AM PST
Hundreds of people showed up to a town hall meeting Wednesday night to voice their opinions about a mega-casino and entertainment centre proposed for South Surrey.
A week after presenting their plans in detail to the public, Gateway Casino and the BC Lottery Corporation answered questions about the proposed development.
The $100-million complex would be built near Highway 99 and 10th Avenue and would include restaurants, a hotel, theatre and a 60,000square-foot casino.
Emotions were running high at the meeting as residents of Surrey spoke out against the development.
"Putting a facility like this right as you cross the border just makes us looks like every other cheap, money grubbing little town all the way down the I-5,” one local farmer said.
"It is good agricultural land. If you pave it over, it is gone forever," he added.
Another attendee said the casino will increase crime in the city.
"Broken homes, families deprived of spending money, gangsterism, gang shootings such as occurred in Kelowna,” a resident said.
In response to concerns the development is too massive, Jim Lightbody from the BCLC claims it will be smaller than other Metro Vancouver facilities.
"While the South Surrey development is large relative to the people of Surrey, it is still a medium-sized facility when compared to other casinos in the lower mainland,” he said.
The public has until Friday to submit feedback to the company, which will be submitted to the City of Surrey before the proposal goes to the third and final reading.