Tory safety minister praises Tory MP for helping make Surrey safer

OTTAWA — Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney has thanked his Conservative colleague Nina Grewal, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, for her "outstanding work” in helping to make Surrey safer for its residents.

Blaney made the comment Wednesday in the House of Commons after Grewal asked him for an update on what the government is doing to help Surreyites exposed to the ongoing "drug turf war." Absent in that update was an estimated time of arrival for more police officers in the city.

There have been 28 shootings in Surrey and North Delta since the beginning of March, many of which police believe are linked.

Grewal told Blaney that Surrey residents are "demanding action.

"Gang violence is threatening the safety of law-abiding Canadians and we cannot stand aside while this violence goes on," she said.

Blaney responded, "I am proud to confirm that we are providing 100 more RCMP officers as requested by the government. We are also providing $3.5 million, 20 times more than the Government of British Columbia asked us for."

Outside the House, Grewal said Canadians have been clear "they want their government to get tough on crime, and that is exactly what we are doing. We will not stand by and allow our citizens to live in fear."

But Jasbir Sandhu, NDP MP for Surrey North, said the Conservative government has yet to provide a timeline for when the 100 new police officers will arrive.

He said he and his Surrey colleague Jinny Sims, NDP MP for Newton-North Delta, have been steadily pressing the government for answers for roughly eight weeks now. "They have provided no concrete timelines for when the officers will be here," he said. "The only people that have been shouting about the violence in Surrey is the NDP."

The Now sent an email to Grewal asking when the 100 new Mounties will be arriving in Surrey. A representative from the MP’s office replied with a statement from the Ministry of Public Safety: “The RCMP is working with the City of Surrey to ensure that officers arrive as readily as they become available.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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