Steering committee to be set up for Surrey Community Courts

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PIC 3Surrey: The Liberal government is promising action on one of the points in the five-point plan the New Democrats have put forward to help build a safer, healthier Surrey.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and Attorney General Suzanne Anton have agreed to set up a steering committee looking at proposed community courts.

“While it is too early to say whether shovels will hit the ground, at least there is an intention to look at one of the five points,” said Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains.

Now we would like to see similar commitments on the rest of the New Democrats’ Surrey Accord.”

Local community courts are just one of the five points proposed by Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains, Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell and Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston in the Surrey Accord. The plan also calls for regulation of recovery homes, commitment to a mental health strategy similar to Vancouver’s, and the creation of more accessible social housing.

At a recent community consultation hosted by Hammell, Ralston and Bains, the public voiced concern at the recent rise in crime, violence and social problems in Surrey and demanded action.

“We hope this is the start of all three levels of government signing onto the pillars of Surrey,” said Hammell.

“It’s encouraging to see Mayor Watts and Minister Anton following one of our recommendations,” said Ralston.  “We’ll be watching and speaking with the so-called advisory committee to ensure they follow through.

“For too long, governments have made empty promises but failed to address the challenges facing our city.  We need significant, long-term change, and that change must start today,” said Ralston.