The new civic slate Proudly Surrey, fielding six candidates for local government in the October elections, has revealed its 17-page platform on how it would deal with gang violence.
“Surrey First has enjoyed a sweeping majority on our city council for ten years and has little to show for that lost decade,” its executive summary states.
Proudly Surrey’s platform summary was released to the public Tuesday morning, at the same time the Surrey mayor’s gang task force revealed its six recommendations for tackling the same problem in a 100-page report.
“We offer a clear, coherent, comprehensive vision of how to make our community safer,” the Proudly Surrey executive summary promises. “It begins with an understanding that we are in a competition with gangs for the minds, hearts, and bodies of our youth. We intend to win that competition by any and all means at our disposal.”
It tackles the issue with “three main approaches” that include “delivering better services and opportunities,” developing a “bigger, smarter, more connected police force” and “redesigning our communities to increase safety and reduce crime.”
|Former BC Green Party leader Stuart Parker is with a new civic slate in Surrey dubbed Proudly Surrey. (Photo: Facebook)|
Proudly Surrey’s six candidates seeking office includes former BC Green party leader Stuart Parker. He, Adam MacGillivray and Felix Konguy are pursuing seats on city council while Rina Diaz-Orellana, Diane Ng and Dean McGee are campaigning to be school trustees.
The document states it’s currently “embarrassing to admit that sometimes we are losing out to gangs because they can do a better job, in the short term, of providing services and opportunities adolescents and young adults want or need. We must do better.”
Among some of Proudly Surrey’s proscribed fixes are setting up martial arts and self-defence classes in community centres, “pulling out of TransLink” and providing “better nighttime bus service,” setting up a busing and equipment bank program “to eliminate barriers to kids playing sports,” and setting up a Surrey youth hiring program.
Proudly Surrey would also end the RCMP’s contract in Surrey and “phase-in a South Fraser Police Department,” increase Surrey’s policing budget “to pay for a 30 per cent higher officer presence,” increase second-language training for police, and advance “beat cop” policing.
Moreover, new bylaws would set maximum hedge and fence heights under the Proudly Surrey plan, sidewalks would be rerouted to improve safety, ensure that all residential streets without sidewalks will get them, and permit low-cost subdivision and rezoning of residential property into “a new neighbourhood corner store zoning. Parks staffing and park maintenance budgets would be increased. Also, the slate would waive permit and variance fees for the “expansion or addition of front porches, patios and decks” towards encouraging an “eyes on the street” approach to reducing crime.