Hundreds attend vigil for slain Surrey hockey mom

WHALLEY – Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil Saturday night to remember Julie Paskall, the Surrey hockey mom who died after being attacked outside the Newton Arena.

 

Police are still looking for her killer.

 

Paskall, 53, was waiting for her teenaged son to finish officiating a hockey game when she was attacked on Dec. 29.

 

She died in hospital two days later, on New Year’s Eve.

 

Her husband Al Paskall spoke at the vigil, held at Holland Park in Whalley. Julie had been his high school sweetheart and they’d married almost 35 years ago.

 

"Look way inside and think about what’s happened here," he told the crowd. "We don’t need to change the laws, we don’t need to change the courts, we need to change ourselves.

 

"We need to take better care of each other," he said. "We’re all people here. There should be no way somebody should be able to do this to another living thing."

 

Sadly, only several blocks from where Paskall was attacked, a 25-year-old Surrey man was slashed with a machete early Monday morning.

 

Surrey RCMP received several 911 calls from residents in the neighbourhood of 141st Street and 75th Avenue, shortly after 1 a.m., reporting that a group of people was attacking a man and that one of the attackers had a machete.

 

"They also advised that there was a large amount of blood," said Surrey RCMP Staff Sgt. Murray Hedderson. Police found the victim bleeding heavily from slashes and he was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition.

 

Police had yet to arrest a suspect at the Now’s print deadline. Witnesses saw the attackers leaving the crime scene in a van.

 

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

 

NDP UNVEILS SURREY ACCORD

 

On Jan. 14,, the NDP unveiled its plan to address the city’s crime, mental health and addictions issues, as well as homelessness.

 

The NDP’s five-point plan, dubbed Surrey Accord, would include all levels of government and calls for increased policing, creation of a community court, regulation of recovery homes, a mental-health action plan as well as non-profit and supportive housing.

 

NDP leader Adrian Dix unveiled the accord at Newton Cultural Centre, where he was joined by local NDP MLAs. Dix said Surrey is growing rapidly, but added that challenges come with such growth.

 

Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton, said the city’s police officers are overstretched, while Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell said mental health is a very significant issue in the city.

 

She said too many police resources are spent responding to calls involving the mentally ill. She called for more resources for those suffering from such illnesses in the community.

 

The MLAs hope to press for the adoption of the accord when the legislature’s spring session begins on Feb. 11.

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