ED Blog

Opening the Surrey campus doors for SFU Public Square's Community Summit

March 07, 2017

More than 100 high school students visited SFU’s Surrey campus yesterday (March 6) to kick off a day-long event, part of SFU Public Square’s ‘Who Needs Canada’ Community Summit. The theme of ‘Doors Open in Surrey’ was international trade in action in the City of Surrey. Their stop at SFU Surrey was really a primer for their day of touring Surrey facilities where international trade is a key focus.

The campus visit gave us an opportunity to show how, at Canada’s ‘engaged University’—and through initiatives like SFU Public Square (a platform for community involvement and input on issues affecting us all)—we roll up our sleeves to work with the community to tackle issues of the day. With that in mind, students heard from and interacted with a panel that included Nina Cagic, director of technology and innovation for B.C.’s Ministry of International Trade, Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, Tammy Huston, investment manager at Export Development Canada, and Jordan Tinney, Superintendent and CEO of Surrey Schools. We discussed how international trade affects us all and engaged with the students in the process.

They learned that while Surrey is recognized as a national and international trade hub, there are costs and benefits for the city and those who live here, with the demands that accompany greater trade flow and a growing population factored in. Why should they care, and how does this affect them? In true Public Square fashion, the questions sparked a stimulating conversation before sending them on the next leg of the day—tours of PowerTech Labs, one of North America’s largest testing and research facilities, in nearby in Newton, and Fraser Surrey Docks, the largest modern, multipurpose marine terminal on North America’s West Coast.

How will international trade impact Surrey in the coming years? Students are clear on one thing: the benefits should outweigh the costs. Their enthusiasm was impressive, and I have no doubt that whatever issue they tackle, great young minds like these here in Surrey will have a key role in shaping the city’s bright future.

Steve Dooley
Executive Director, SFU's Surrey Campus