I find Mayor Linda Hepner’s recent comments regarding the spate of shootings across Surrey very troubling.
On the one hand, she says that the shooters are holding the city “hostage,” while on the other hand she says that “it’s still a safe city.”
Leaving aside the obvious contradiction in her remarks, it is mind-boggling to me that the mayor can call our city “safe” when there have been more than 30 shootings in the first quarter of the year alone. If the shootings continue at this pace, there will be over 120 shootings by year’s end. This is simply unacceptable.
I am also troubled by the mayor’s previous response to the violence in our community. I recall an interview that she gave last year where she complained that the media asked her for a statement every time there was a shooting, and that the mayors of other communities are not asked for their comments when there is violence in their cities. In response to the most recent shootings, she stated that “everybody’s hammering, where’s the mayor? I know what’s going on.”
With all due respect mayor, the citizens of this community look to you for leadership. When there are issues such as rampant gun-related violence, we need to hear publicly from our elected officials that they are aware of the issue, that they are making it a priority, and that they are doing everything they can (within their power) to address it.
We need reassurance – not leaders who remain behind closed doors and certainly not leaders who complain when they are asked to address issues in their community.