Surrey BC. Ken Chang. Since 2008, the Surrey Summit has heard from a variety of prominent international speakers and presenters, including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Sir Richard Branson, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes, as well as business and economic experts and commentators from Canada, the United States and Britain.
This year the Surrey Summit will be inaugurated by Minister of Finance Mike de Jong. The 2014 Surrey Summit will look at what can be learned from the economies of Australia, Greece and Israel, with invited speakers and help of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, George Papandreous and Israel’s Ehud Barak.
Former Mayoral candidate Vikram Bajwa had questioned the Mayor on the expenses by the Surrey Tax payers, while hosting former President George Bush and Bill Clinton, including their security by RCMP. CBC, investigated and reported over a bill of $ 47,000.00, which was denied by Mayor Watts, whereas the RCMP details were not obtained on the security. It is a common practice for Bill Clinton to charge $ 250,000 and George Bush costs of $ 200,000 as speakers. PACE Group, were and are the event contractors for past and 2014 Surrey Regional Economic Summit and due to privacy laws, the Fees charged by all the speakers are not in the public domain.
Sukhi Hayer, a business man of Surrey is very skeptical on the “mindset”, of Mayor of inviting former National Leaders of foreign countries, while ignoring the Regional Economic issues, concerning Surrey. Sarb Atwal, calling the Surrey Summit a Luncheon of the Mayor’s friends, on Surrey Taxpayers money, reminds the Mayor on her failures to contain the crime in the City. It has been rated as the Top 10 cities in Canada for crime and homicide.
Debra Stewart wants to know, how many millions did the past Regional Summits bring into Surrey’s economy , while the Mayor continues to “boast of her high profile”, Surrey Summit. While we asked Vikram Bajwa on the Surrey Summit, on which he commented “Mayor should divulge the Fees paid to Political Leaders,Former Presidents, Prime Ministers, including she should let the public know how much is the Australian Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, President George Papandreou and Ehud Barak are being paid as speakers, including their Air Fare and Lodging”.
Cindy Martin questions the Mayor on her political ambitions in inviting World Leaders, when cities like Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver invite corporate houses for their Regional Summits. “Surrey which has one of the largest Indo-Canadian population, has never seen a former Prime Minister or President of India, invited to Surrey”, said Tom Sidhu.
“She aspires to become the Prime Minister of Canada, by inviting Former leaders of foreign countries”, said an insider at City Hall.