Surrey Tory, NDP MPs weigh in on Vermeersch murder

SURREY — Local MPs from both sides of the House are calling on the Conservative government to better protect society from dangerous offenders following the death of Surrey teen Serena Vermeersch.

Her alleged killer, Raymond Lee Caissie, 43, is a violent high-risk sex offender who was released into the community in the summer of 2013, under supervision, with 12 court-ordered conditions.

He is expected to appear in Surrey provincial court on Thursday, Oct. 2nd.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay said in the House of Commons this week the government is committed to ensuring the “worst of the worst” face serious consequences “so Canadians can continue to feel safe in their communities.”

Nina Grewal, Conservative MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, said cases such as the Vermeersch murder “make it clear that we must continue to make the protection of our community a top priority, especially when it comes to protecting children.”

She said it’s “outrageous that convicted rapists whom authorities believe likely to reoffend can be permitted to move into our community and prey upon innocent young women.

“Innocent people should not have to live in fear because our laws are not strong enough,” Grewal added. “As parliaments we must do more to ensure that dangerous offenders are not released back onto the streets to prey upon new victims.”

Local NDP MPs Jasbir Sandhu, representing Surrey North, and Jinny Sims, representing Newton-North Delta, released a joint statement that “all levels of government have a responsibility to ensure that every Canadian feels safe in his or her community.”

Sandhu and Sims noted Vermeersch’s death “raises many troubling questions” concerning what can be done to prevent violent crime and stop high-risk criminals from reoffending.

“At the federal level, we are committed to doing everything we can to build a safer Surrey,” the NDP MPs’ statement reads. “We owe that to Serena, to her family, and to every member of our community.”

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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