VICTORIA – Parents, educators, police and community leaders gathered in Surrey Tuesday night to find solutions to the fatal escalation in gun violence, and they called out for more resources in crime prevention.
“As I sat with hundreds of families in Tamanawis secondary last night I heard the anger and frustration,” said John Horgan, leader of the B.C. New Democrats. “But I also heard a tremendous amount of passion for the communities of Surrey and Delta. I heard parents and teachers ask for help. I heard inspirational young adults challenge their peers to do the right thing.”
A strong theme of the evening’s discussion was that crime must be stopped where it starts, at home and in schools.
“The message I heard loud and clear from the community is that they desperately want to help. The tips line is great for crime that has already started, but I heard from several parents who know their child’s future is hanging in the balance but they don’t know where to turn. They want to engage with their schools and with the police,” Horgan said. “And there are success stories in Surrey schools right now, but these prevention programs do not have the resources they need. In fact, Premier Clark is taking millions of dollars away from our school districts.”
“This community has endured 22 shootings in six weeks, and lost a young man to violence over the weekend,” Horgan said. “I asked Premier Clark to commit to putting the necessary resources into the Surrey school district’s crime prevention programs and she ducked the question. That’s not good enough, and I find it very troubling.”