Surrey NDP MPs call on Tories to help stop shootings

SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of shootings in this city.

Jinny Sims, NDP MP for Newton-North Delta, said the federal budget tabled Tuesday fails to deliver any solutions to growing gang violence here.

She and Jasbir Sandhu, NDP MP for Surrey North, noted the Conservative’s budget doesn’t even mention crime prevention, gangs or Surrey.

“It’s such a blatant disregard for public safety,” she said. “I am disappointed the Conservatives didn’t take the opportunity to make protecting our community a priority.”

Sims said seniors in Surrey are scared to leave their homes and parents are keeping their children inside because of the shootings.

She noted the Conservatives are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on fighting in Syria but are failing to protect citizens here at home.

Sims also questions why the Conservative government has also stopped conducting random inspections of containers coming into Canada, particularly with gun violence on the street. “They have no control and no oversight of what’s coming into the country,” she charged.

On Thursday, Sandhu rose in the House of Commons to question the government on its plan to deal with “a developing gang turf war in Surrey that has so far resulted in an alarming number of shootings and one homicide.

“There have been 23 shootings in Surrey and North Delta in the past six weeks alone,” he noted. “Residents are worried about their safety and the safety of their community.”

As for Budget 2015, he said, “It doesn’t even mention youth-gang prevention, gangs or Surrey. Conservatives are more focused on balancing the budget off the backs of the vulnerable than they are in making our community safe.”

So far the shootings have claimed one life, 22-year-old Arun Bains, the nephew of Surrey-Newton NDP MLA Harry Bains.

“At this point, we know very little about what happened,” the grieving MLA said in a written statement Thursday. “We are meeting regularly with the RCMP and we urge anyone with any information about this or any crime to come forward. Justice for Arun will not bring him back to us, but it may spare another family the immense pain we are feeling.”

Bains said society must support parents and teachers in “early and effective interventions when a young person is following the wrong path.”

He said he “will also be speaking out for more help in our education system.”

Meantime, he said, “If I can say one thing to all our friends and neighbours; hug your children. Tell them you love them as often as you can.”

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