A rally was held at Surrey City Hall Monday night to protest the city’s appropriation of the family-owned Riverside Golf Centre.
Owner Ken Poirier and several supporters arrived at City Hall by bus hoping to get the ear of council. But when they brought out their signs and placards they were told they would have to stay outside as the signs weren’t allowed inside City Hall.
For more than 50 years, the par-3 course and driving range in South Surrey has been in Poirier’s family. But this summer, the City of Surrey expropriated the property to build a marsh and extend Crescent Road.
Poirier spoke on the steps of City Hall, outlining what he would like to see done with the land.
WATCH: Golf course appropriation being fought in Surrey
“They have these wonderful grandiose plans, but they’re not looking at the effects that they’re going to have on the individual members of the society…taking our little 16-acre plot of land used by thousands of people..for a freshwater marsh, which is going to be used by far fewer people,” he said.
The owners were given $3.25 million for the land, but Poirier said there is no way he could start another business somewhere else with that amount of money.
“They’re taking away our livelihood, they’re basically throwing us out from our own neighbourhod, paying us so little we can’t even stay where we’ve been for the last half-century.”
No one from council is speaking publicly about the pleas to save the Riverside Golf Centre. In a news release, they stated the owners can pursue legal action if they are dissatisfied. If not, they need to be gone by the end of January 2016.
-With files from Jill Bennett and Justin McElroy