SURREY – Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Jagrup Brar and Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston commend the passion shown by the parents and young people who attended the anti-violence rally in Surrey on Wednesday evening.
“When young people fall victim to senseless gun violence, it is tragic and heart wrenching,” said MLA Jagrup Brar. “The community has not only demonstrated great leadership by coming together in this rally, but has shown the deep sense of love we have for our youth in Surrey. Our government is committed to work with the community to keep our youth safe.”
“Senseless violence has taken the lives of far too many youth,” said MLA Bruce Ralston. “Our government is committed to working with parents and youth in Surrey to ensure that no more families have to go through the losses we have seen in recent days.”
Ending the gun violence that is taking young lives and threatening bystanders will continue to require strong, strategic prevention and enforcement efforts – with a long-term commitment from all levels of government, police, teachers, parents and others, and the New Democrat government is doing its part.
Last fall, Premier Horgan announced $31.3 million over three years for critical enforcement and public safety initiatives, including:
- New, dedicated anti-trafficking teams with the provincial RCMP and CFSEU-BC, the provincial gang unit.
- More boots on the ground to go after, arrest and prosecute dangerous and violent drug traffickers, to disrupt the drug supply line in communities.
- Enforcement resources for all police agencies through the province’s gang unit – including more funding for projects that specifically target traffickers, to stem the flow of fentanyl into B.C.
- Increased support for police-based community outreach and funding for multidisciplinary approaches.
- Bringing together mental health, social service and police agencies to proactively reach people who are seen to be at elevated risk.
The government has also begun immediate work on some of the 37 recommendations of the Illegal Firearms Task Force. An intelligence-led illegal firearms trafficking team has been created by expanding the mandate of CFSEU-BC as the province’s gang unit. This establishes a centralized firearms intelligence hub to compile and analyze data. CFSEU-BC’s illegal-firearms strategy also includes cross-border investigations into domestic and international firearms traffickers.
Given the proven track record of Surrey Wrap in helping hundreds of families and turning young students away from gangs and crime, one of our government’s priorities was to secure its future and work to alleviate the waitlist. In October, an annual funding of $500,000 was secured for the Surrey Wraparound program, commonly known as Surrey Wrap. Since this funding was secured, the capacity for the program has increased by 10 percent.
This is just a start – the New Democrat government will be announcing further, strategic investments in gun and gang prevention and enforcement in the months ahead, with emphasis on measures that can help save lives.