Surrey EconomIQ Insights

Your Surrey economic insights podcast with a regional, national and global context

​Sit down with some of the brightest minds in the Metro Vancouver region in this podcast as we discuss the stories and insights driving Surrey, and the region’s, economic growth.

Surrey has recently topped the charts as Western Canada’s second fastest growing city with a population over half a million. As the region's next rapidly rising metropolitan centre, join us as we converse with industry and business experts in exploring the trends that drive metropolitan growth and the business opportunities they attract.


Surrey City Centre and Bridge

Our Episodes

13. Food in the Age of Crisis: How innovation in agritech is helping the next generation of growers

Length: 22 minutes

In our latest episode of Surrey EconomIQ Insights, we explore the need for sustainable and innovative food solutions in the age of crisis to help create a more resilient food system for all, and how that innovation in the agritech sector is helping the next generation of growers. Join us as we chat with Kevin Meier, the vice-president and general manager of Argus Controls, which over the last 40 years has provided plant-centric control and automation systems for the world's most demanding commercial, horticulture, bioscience and specialty crop applications. Surrey-based Argus Controls is one of the leading brands, particularly in North America, when it comes to environmental controls for any indoor growing, such as greenhouses and vertical farming.


12. Fires, Floods and Nature's Fury: 'We can't prevent the shaking, but we can certainly prepare for it'

Length: 27 minutes

The "Big One" has been looming over the heads of British Columbians for decades, but what is the reality of ongoing and future natural disasters in our region? How can cities and residents prepare for these? What are the opportunities for businesses? We chat with Jeri Grant, the co-chair of Great BC ShakeOut; Naomi Yamamoto, president of BC Earthquake Alliance board; Teron Moore, founder of Northwest Seismic Consultants; and Shelley Morris, part of the City of Surrey's Emergency Support Services and assistant fire chief with Surrey Fire Service.


11. Explosions, fires and collapsing floors - avoiding permit pitfalls. Interview with City of Surrey's Rémi Dubé

Length: 23 minutes

How do we position ourselves to secure permits and accelerate our development process? We sit down with Rémi Dubé, the City of Surrey's Building Division Manager to discuss some permit considerations to streamline approvals and pitfalls to avoid when choosing and developing a site for a business expansion or relocation. Plus, hear some of the unfortunate permitting stories of developments gone wrong.


10. Next wave of BC's cleantech engineering talent graduates from SFU Surrey. Interview with Simon Fraser University's Kevin Oldknow

Length: 29 minutes

Simon Fraser University's School of Sustainable Engineering made it's debut as a first-of-its-kind program in Western Canada in 2019 and, this fall, they will be graduating their first cohort. Join us as we sit down with Kevin Oldknow, Director of the program, to discuss the types of talent that are emerging from this program, their passions for tackling some of the world's most pressing sustainability problems, and how the program itself is evolving into the future.


09. Metaverse Meets City - A World First From Seoul. Interview with Jihyun Kim from Metaverse Seoul

Length: 16 minutes

South Korea is in the process of creating the world's first metaverse city, planting the seeds for a metaverse ecosystem called "Metaverse Seoul". Join us as we sit down with Jihyun Kim, Director of the Seoul Convention Bureau and a member of the Metaverse Seoul team to get some insights on their vision for how metaverse technologies can enhance the services the city can deliver to residents.


08. Metaverse - the next million dollar investment or hype? Interview with Metaverse Group's Michael Gord

Length: 18 minutes

What is the metaverse? In which metaverse do business opportunities lie? How can businesses take advantage? Should they, or is the whole topic over-hyped? We sit down with Michael Gord, Co-Founder and COO of the Metaverse Group to get some answers to these questions, exploring the metaverse's current and potential impacts on inudstry with the first and leading vertically integrated real estate company fcocused on the metaverse economy.


07. To invest or not to invest? High inflation business real estate considerations with Prospera Credit Union's Ed Michielsen

Length: 20 minutes

With 31-year record high inflation rates coinciding with Metro Vancouver industrial land scarcity, expanding businesses are facing a question of whether buying or leasing is the best path forward. We invite Ed Michielsen, Vice President of Business Banking and Leasing with Prospera Credit Union to provide his insights in light of these uncertain times.


06. Where is Metro Vancouver's missing middle? Great Migration Insights with Simon Fraser University's Andy Yan

Length: 20 minutes

The missing middle - young families looking to establish roots - are an attractive demographic of talent for businesses and the latest census data provides some clarity as to where these people are increasingly found. Join us as we sit down with Andy Yan, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University on where this early career demographic is choosing to live and why, as well as how businesses are starting to respond.



05. Breaking the Silos for Agritech Innovation: Interview with AGtech Innovation Sandbox's Sylvain Moreno

Length: 17 minutes

Boosting agritech innovations to strengthen food security has been a major topic of discussion as global supply chain challenges are felt at local grocery stores. Pacific Economic Development Canada has recently invested $10 million into Simon Fraser University's AGtech Innovation Sandbox (AGIS), which brings together multiple regional academic institutions, government and industry to support businesses in scaling-up and commercialzing agritech innovations. Hear from Sylvain Moreno, AGIS's scientific director and a regional innovation leader, on how this program will be breaking barriers to bring new game-changing technologies to market and create quality jobs.


04. Pandemics, Floods & Wars - Building Supply Chains During Crisis

Length: 22 minutes

The last few years have seen us experiencing a fair share of emergencies, from the COVID-19 pandemic to flood-inducing atmospheric rivers and wildfires. Join us as we gain unique insights on how businesses can participate in building community resiliency for these crises. In this podcast, we welcome Shelley Morris, Assistant Fire Chief with the City of Surrey for her local emergency preparedness perspective, as well as Andrew Wynn-Williams, Divisional Vice President of BC for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, who provides insights from BC manufacturing businesses.


03. Revving up Electric Vehicle Manufacturing in Canada: Interview with Damon Motors' Dominique Kwong

Length: 24 minutes

"...We have a great responsibility - not only as a company, but obviously our responsibility is to our customers and largely our responsibility is to the industry. We are revolutionizing an industry. We are the future of motorcycles and in order to make those bold claims, we have to do things that are different, but not different just because. Different for a purpose."  

As the world vies to produce more electric vehicles in light of historic high gas prices, we sit down with Dominique Kwong, Co-Founder and COO of Damon Motors to get a peek into the mind behind the vision of the world's smartest and safest electric motorcycles. Join us as we discuss the challenges and opportunities in the electric vehicle manufacturing space and what is necessary in developing an electric vehicle ecosystem in Canada.


02. Looking at Surrey for a Competitive Edge: Interview with Prospera Credit Union's Ed Michielsen

Length: 20 minutes

"I hate to say, it's about being competitive. So for us to be competitive you needed to do the right thing for your members and for your employees. And so when you focus on the members and the employees - the fastest growing city in the Lower Mainland with the most opportunities, the competitive advantages of affordability, strong growth and some of the additional benefits of Surrey..."  

What business trends are shaping the region and how is it effecting company growth and relocation? Join us as we sit down with Ed Michielsen, Vice President of Business Banking and Leasing with Prospera Credit Union, one of Canada's largest credit unions. We discuss the key trends Prospera is seeing, as well as the driving forces are shaping business location decisions, including their own headquarters.


01. The Great Migration: Census Insights with Andy Yan

Length: 24 minutes

"The shift [of public to private investment in Surrey] is now. This census occurs in the middle of the pandemic so there is a dynamic of 'what is the legacy of COVID' that has yet to be seen. We begin off the tremendous disruption that COVID has made in everyone's lives, but now it's shifting over to a type of acceleration of the trends we were looking at prior to the pandemic."  

What does the latest census tell us about where migration is happening in the Metro Vancouver region? Join us as we discuss with Andy Yan, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University on who is moving, where they're moving, why they're moving and why you should care. 



Stay Connected

Subscribe to our Invest Surrey Insights to be updated on the latest episodes and get additional insights fresh in your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Disclaimer: The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this podcast are for general information only and should not be considered professional advice. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the podcast represents the personal opinions of the speakers and not of the City of Surrey.