AFTER years of BC Liberal neglect, it’s time for a government that will actually tackle gang violence in Surrey, said BC NDP Leader John Horgan on Monday.
“Surrey has been neglected by Christy Clark – and as a result one person, on average, every week is getting shot in BC’s fastest growing city,” said Horgan.
“People deserve to feel safe in their homes and on the streets of their community. That’s why I will immediately act to keep kids out of gangs by increasing funding for Surrey’s Wraparound program.”
Horgan committed to increasing funding for Surrey’s Wraparound program to $500,000 a year, and to making it a stable, annual commitment.
Horgan’s funding commitment will allow the program to meet the high demand for help. Currently, up to 30 kids at risk of gang involvement are sitting on Wraparound’s wait list instead of getting help.
“We know the Wraparound program works. It keeps kids out of trouble and starves gangs of new recruits,” said Jagrup Brar, the NDP candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood. “But Christy Clark would rather spend money on tax breaks for her rich friends than on keeping Surrey families safe.”
The Wraparound program is a partnership between the Surrey School District, the RCMP and the city. Former clients of the program credit it with convincing them to leave gang life, and helping them graduate.
“People want gang violence to stop, and they are frustrated that the BC Liberals have failed to take this issue seriously for years.” said Garry Begg, NDP candidate for Surrey-Guildford, and a former RCMP officer.
“It’s clear Christy Clark has been too busy working for the rich and big corporations who paid her $300,000 second salary to take the concerns of people and families in Surrey seriously.”
“In 2016, the total number of shootings in B.C.’s second largest city was 58. In 2015, there were 56 shootings in Surrey,” noted the NDP.