Surrey: In light of the recent shooting and deaths of the two teenage victims, Jaskaran Singh Jhutty and Jaskaran Singh Bhangal, the Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre, Randeep Sarai, sheds light on the seriousness of this incident and shares his continued efforts to improve public safety in Surrey.
MP Sarai acknowledges the recent gun violence against the two boys as a tragic loss for the Surrey community and extends his deepest condolences to the families affected as well as to any others who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. He adds, “I sympathize with the two families who lost their young family member as I have also experienced losing family and friends in similar violence-related incidents.”
With two decades of serving as the Director of VIRSA to establishing the South Asian Community Coalition Against Youth Violence, this issue proves to be particularly important to MP Sarai. He shares, “Although Surrey residents may be aware public safety is a priority for all levels government, another life lost hurts no less. In the past, I have lead various initiatives combating gun and gang violence, and since being elected one of my first endeavors was to conduct a series of town halls on public safety throughout the constituency. Furthermore, our government has been committed to ensuring that public safety remains a top priority for Surrey, and will continue to do so.”
There has been a strong commitment from the federal government as well as local governments and partners towards improving public safety in Surrey, and here is a list that highlights recent contributions being made:
- A $60.4 million five-year commitment to build a new RCMP forensic laboratory located at the RCMP headquarters in Surrey
- The Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention formed to review existing programs and initiatives that target gang related violence and formulate new recommendations for enhancing or expanding existing programs and implementing new initiatives.
- The hiring of an addition 100 RCMP officers in Surrey to fight gang crime
- Investment of $43 million annually in the National Crime Prevention Strategy to develop cost-effective ways to prevent crime among at-risk populations and vulnerable communities
- Investment of $327.6 million over five years, and $100 million annually thereafter, in new funding for a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities through prevention, intervention, and enforcement measures
- In March 2018 held a Summit on Criminal Guns and Gangs with representatives from provincial and territorial governments, municipalities, Indigenous communities, law enforcement, academia, and youth and community organizations from across the country
- Implementation of Firearms Legislation, Bill C-71: An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, which aims to prioritize public safety and effective police work, while respecting law-abiding firearms owners
Upon reviewing this list, it is evident that our governments take this issue very seriously and are actively responding to the needs within our community. MP Sarai also highlights that, “With the rapid population growth in Surrey, there needs to be greater measures for maintaining the safety of the thousands of people living, working and transiting throughout Surrey. Our government has taken careful consideration of local components when delivering policy and when making investments to build safer communities, which is why there is infrastructure such as the forensic lab being built in Surrey versus anywhere else Canada. And on a local level, as the Federal representative on the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Prevention, a major focus was planning for a promising and safer future.”
MP Sarai expresses that, “Fighting gun and gang violence is a constant challenge and one that all levels of government must constantly be vigilant about.”