December 9, 2015
The Honourable Christy Clark Premier
PO Box 9041 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9E1
Dear Premier Clark:
In a letter sent to you in September, we raised our concerns about ongoing violence in Surrey. We specifically asked you to request redeployment of skilled RCMP resources to Surrey and that a dedicated internal RCMP task force work full time to end this epidemic. A month later, we received a response from Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton with the most general of platitudes regarding public safety, an expression of concern and a list of prior government commitments with no promise of further action. We did not receive a response from you.
Since then, the violence in Surrey has continued. Shockingly, this week four schools were locked down after shots were fired nearby, affecting hundreds of children and families. That incident followed last week’s shooting on the grounds of an elementary school – the second in three months.
Given the extent of this crisis, and with particular consideration of the proximity of children and schools to these recent incidents, we feel the response offered by Minister Anton is insufficient. No community should have to endure an average of one incident of gun violence each week, as people in Surrey have this year. They deserve better.
We wrote to you directly for a reason. This is a crisis, and it deserves your attention. We asked you to take decisive action to ensure that 100 additional officers be added to Surrey streets immediately, even if it means redeploying RCMP resources from other areas. We also asked that a dedicated internal RCMP task force work full time to end this epidemic of gun violence. Minister Anton refused the first request, and failed to respond to the second. Concern is not enough. Failure to act is not good enough.
After months of silence from you, today we reiterate these calls. Minister Anton’s response does not recognize the crisis facing the people of Surrey.
I am hopeful that we will receive a response that includes new action, not simply a list of your government’s existing commitments. It is only too clear that the resources and actions your government has taken to date are insufficient in tackling this crisis.
John Horgan, Leader
New Democrat Official Opposition
Harry Bains, MLA
Sue Hammell, MLA
Bruce Ralston, MLA
Mike Farnworth, MLA
Opposition Spokesperson for Justice