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A Culture of Failure

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The Trouble Facing Our Young Men

In July of this year I was blessed with the birth of my first child. Telling you that having a son is a life changing experience is a bit of an understatement. 120 sleepless nights later, I often find myself daydreaming about his future soccer games, and the new role I will have to assume; Overbearing Soccer Dad (worthy of a bumper sticker?).

I’m looking forward to the good times. However, I am also inconsolably nervous thinking about the tumultuous times I may face 13-15 years from now. Before turning into the functional man-child that I am today, I spent a few of my formative years getting into as much trouble as I could muster. If someone were to have asked me the age-old question ‘what do you want to be when you’re older?’ at age 15 I probably wouldn’t have given them a clear answer. That is in spite of the fact that, at that age, I was certain I wanted to be a gangster.

To be fair to my adolescent self, I never wanted to sell/grow/smuggle drugs, traffic humans, rob, steal, extort, or do any of the things typically associated with being a gangster. And yet, I knew that is what I wanted. Consequently, Grade’s 8 through 10 were incredibly self-destructive years for me. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a guilty conscience, and parents and siblings who love me dearly, so my self-destruction was not long lived. When I look back, however, I am forced to ask myself the same question over and over again: Why was I, like so many of the young men I see today, engaged in a cycle of self-destruction?

A Culture of Failure

Success is something beyond material comfort. Being successful means being true to yourself. Being successful means achieving your goals, while not becoming a worse person in the process. I believe that the strongest reason for why so many of our youth turn to such a nihilistic lifestyle is because young men from 13-17 typically view success as uncool. Any attempt at impacting society in a positive way – whether it be through artistic expression, or academic self-betterment – is usually met with ridicule. On the other hand, failing all of your classes, stealing your parents van, disrespecting a substitute teacher for absolutely no reason, is viewed as a form of comic relief.

The reason why I believe this is the most powerful ingredient in the idiot-soup that our boys have been drinking is because this culture of failure begins to manifest itself earlier than some of the other well-known culprits. Boys often develop this perverse sense of positive and negative behavior well before they develop any meaningful love for money and power, or a lust for women. While I will not be proposing any short-fix solutions in this piece, I am adamant that this should not be dismissed as boys-being-boys.

The suggestion that this culture of failure is either normal or universal is absolutely incorrect. I have spent numerous summers in the Middle East, where I often go to visit family and soak in the political instability. While in Jordan I discovered that entire neighbourhoods take immense pride in the fact that a youth from their school/city/street/family/district received the Kingdom’s highest cumulative score on the grade 12 final exams (the marks are made public and published in the local newspapers). Moreover, academic prowess in Jordanian society is not synonymous with either a poor social standing, or physical vulnerability. In other words, the stereotype of the bookworm-nerd does not necessarily translate into many other cultures. For those of you who are of Korean, Chinese, African or Eastern European ancestry, you may have made similar observations.

Many of the friends that I had 10 years ago are now adults with children of their own. Some have moved on to become teachers, bank managers, lawyers, and even police officers. It would be easy, then, to ignore this whole piece as simply the way things are. I think that is an irresponsible mistake that we have been making for too long. While a large number of my friends have grown up to become responsible adults, a sizeable figure grew up to become criminals, and many are no longer with us today. Even those who got their acts together after years of hoodlumism look back and lament over the wasted years of unproductivity; finishing University is hard enough when you are in your early 20’s, it is much more difficult in your mid 30’s.

I do not have a comprehensive action plan to solve this cyclical problem. But my primary aim, at this point, is to identify that we have a serious problem when our youth see success, productivity, community involvement, engagement, and universal respect, as uncool.

Bassam is an educator with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and is currently working on his Masters of Education. He has worked for several years in education, consulting on projects ranging from adult workforce development to the integration of culturally specific curriculum into primary education. Bassam is passionate about Politics – municipal, regional and transnational – learning, and the relationship between the two. On his spare time he enjoys reading fantasy novels and spending time with his wife and son.

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UBC is building a new three-acre campus near Surrey Memorial Hospital

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Surrey Memorial Hospital via BC Gov Photos

The University of British Columbia (UBC) has acquired a $70-million property close to Surrey Memorial Hospital for a new three-acre campus.

The new Surrey UBC campus will sit at the intersection of King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway, a 135,000-square-foot plot of land which is currently the Grace Hanin Community Church. This is an ideal location for the post-secondary institution given it is close to SkyTrain and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

UBC has a very strong representation of the Fraser Valley. There are nearly 3,500 students, 750 faculty and staff, and thousands of alumni who live in Surrey.

In addition, with a strong grip on health education, more than 4,900 health student and medical resident rotations take place in hospitals, primary care settings and clinics across the Fraser Valley.

“This is an excellent investment by UBC and will help thousands of students from Surrey and south of the Fraser get access to valuable post-secondary education in an accessible and transit-friendly location,” says Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre.

UBC’s strategic plan includes developing its presence regionally as well as improving access to post-secondary education in the Fraser region.

“We look forward to working with the City of Surrey, Fraser Health, First Nations Health Authority and regional partners to uncover the many exciting possibilities that this new project holds for the Surrey community and Fraser Valley, as well as UBC students, faculty and staff,” says Santa J. Ono, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor.

Consultations with UBC and the Surrey and Fraser Valley communities will begin next year.

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Surrey City Centre SkyTrain Extension Delayed

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Image via @jmv / Flickr

If you weren’t aware, there is an extension planned for the Expo line SkyTrain along Fraser Highway from King George Station in Surrey City Centre to Langley Centre.

This expansion would be 16 kilometres in length. It was originally planned to be completed in 2025, however residents will have to wait longer — three full years in fact — as the extension is now expected to be completed in 2028.

Why The Delay?

TransLink planned to complete the first 7 km of the expansion from funding that has now been cancelled. This $1.6 billion of funding was needed to reach the 2025 completion date. Additionally, the original date was pending a business case approval that was scheduled for the summer of 2020. Since neither happened, procurement of a contractor did not occur.

A contractor should have been procured by early 2021 to start construction early 2022. Hence the delays.

To give some scope, the entire project is estimated to be a $3.96 billion cost. Earlier this summer, the federal government announced $1.3 billion to help move the project along. This funding has not yet been formalized. The remaining $2.65 billion would be committed by the provincial government and TransLink.

Worth The Wait?

By 2028, the Expo and Millennium lines will grow to a combined fleet size of 427 cars. Specifically there will be 30 additional cars to serve the Surrey-Langley Extension.

The Surrey City Centre to Langley SkyTrain extension will increase the size of the network by 24%, it will be growing from 66 km to 82 km. This will add 8 new stations into the network from Surrey to Langley.

This means that, when open, there will be a capacity of 6,800 passengers per hour per direction. It also allows for room for growth, so the system can grow with the population and need. When the expansion is complete, its capacity will be more than 10 times the existing bus services along Fraser Highway.

Commuting time will also be cut down. The new travel time of the extended Expo line is expected to be 25 minutes faster than the existing buses. It will also serve those coming into Surrey. With no transfers, getting from Waterfront station in downtown to 166 Street Station in Fleetwood will take under an hour.

The Future is Bright

Once complete the extension will allow for easier access into Surrey Centre and Langley. Ridership is expected to grow in the area, even suggesting that there may be 62,000 daily passengers by the year 2035.

Needless to say, Surrey Centre in coming years will be getting more traffic without the traffic congestion.

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Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ Top 10 “Least-Wanted Valentines” For 2021

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ACTUALLY, IT’S NOT SO GREAT BEING “WANTED” ON VALENTINE’S DAY

HERE ARE METRO VANCOUVER CRIME STOPPERS’ TOP 10 “LEAST-WANTED VALENTINES” FOR 2021

Rewards up to $100,000 are offered for some of BC’s most wanted fugitives

VANCOUVER, B.C.: From the files at Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, here’s our annual list of the top 10 “most wanted” criminals and suspects who remain on the lam this Valentine’s Day. They could be far away, or in your neighbourhood.

(See below list of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ 10 Least Wanted Valentines. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. Your anonymity is guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada. You’ll never be questioned or called to testify.)

Tips to Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and charge of any wanted criminal can lead to a reward of up to $5,000. For three of this year’s most wanted, Crime Stoppers has partnered with the national BOLO (Be On the Look Out) Program to make available extra large rewards of $50,000 to $100,000.

“Some of these fugitives have been missing a year or even longer, and with four million pairs of eyes around the province, someone should eventually spot one of them,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

“Tips work. We received more than 5,000 anonymous tips in 2020 leading to 72 arrests and 135 charges laid. 21 off those arrests came from tips specifically about gang or illegal gun activity.”

Conor D’MONTE | WANTED FOR MURDER

$100,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 43 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 201lbs (91kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Marks: Asian characters tattoo on right shoulder, “Conrock” tattoo on left shoulder, tiger & dragon tattoo on left upper back, left eye piercing

John Norman MACKENZIE | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 60 , Height: 5’9” (175cm) , Weight: 196lbs (89kg) , Hair: Gray/Brown , Eyes: Blue

Cong DINH | WANTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 34 , Height: 5’6” (168cm) , Weight: 132lbs (60kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Ryan EASTON | WANTED FOR ASSAULT, POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR DANGEROUS PURPOSE, BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER

AGE: 44 , Height: 5’44” (180cm) , Weight: 175lbs (79kg) , Hair: Brown-Gray , Eyes: Brown

Naseem MOHAMMED | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE, RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING POLICE/BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER, DRIVING WHILE PROHIBITED

AGE: 22 , Height: 5’5” (165cm) , Weight: 122lbs (55kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Jeremy David MORGAN | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, USE OF AN IMITATION FIREARM TO COMMIT A CRIME, POSSESSION OF A LOADED RESTRICTED FIREARM, BREACH OF PROBATION.

AGE: 33 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 170lbs (77kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Blue

Roderick MUCHIKEKWANAPE | WANTED FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER

AGE: 42 , Height: 6’0” (182cm) , Weight: 217lbs (98kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Skyrose JAWBONE | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, UTTER THREAT TO CAUSE DEATH/HARM, FAIL TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION ORDER.

AGE: 39 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 230lbs (104kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Upper back – middle: lotus flower and left leg: rose

Trevor SMITHEN | WANTED FOR FORCIBLE  CONFINEMENT AND ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM

AGE: 37 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 181lbs (82kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Right Forearm – T.R.U.M (truly real unique man), Left Forearm – 4 1 5, Right Upper Arm – Drama faces, M.O.B – Hated by Many, Loved by Few

Jordan WEIBE | WANTED FOR BREAK AND ENTER, COMMIT INDICTABLE OFFENCE AND FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION.

AGE: 32 , Height: 5’10” (177cm) , Weight: 150lbs (68kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Hazel

About Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Anonymous tips may be provided though Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-855-448-8477 (new number) or 1-800-222- 8477, online at solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs or guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim.

Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to check back later and collect their rewards. Find MVCS on Twitter: @solvecrime.

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La Niña Could Mean A Dangerous Winter For Drivers, Here’s How To Reduce The Risk

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Plan ahead for safe driving in winter conditions

In many parts of the province, drivers are beginning to experience winter conditions and snowfall on the roads. With the forecast of La Niña, a climate phenomenon that results in abnormally cooler temperatures, B.C. is set to experience a colder and wetter winter than previous years.

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is urging motorists, workers and employers to prepare for winter driving conditions with its annual Shift into Winter campaign.

All B.C. drivers—and employers with workers who drive for business purposes – need to prepare for the winter months ahead. Winter driving conditions can be dangerous across the province – from rain and fog, to snow and ice. Even the most experienced drivers are challenged by cold temperatures, slippery roads, and reduced visibility.

In B.C., the average number of crashes where someone is killed or injured due to ‘driving too fast for the conditions’ more than doubles from fall to early winter—on average from 99 in September to 220 in December. Further, 28 percent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur in November, December, and January.

The Shift into Winter website provides information for drivers on how best to prepare for winter driving as well as information for employers around planning, implementing, and monitoring a winter driving safety program. Employers and supervisors can access an online course and use resources provided in the employer toolkit – which includes a sample winter driving safety policy, recommended procedures, and customizable templates. In addition, an online quiz tests drivers’ and employers’ knowledge.

The Alliance encourages drivers and employers to adhere to these tips to stay safe on the road this winter:

  • Plan ahead and check the current road and weather conditions on DriveBC.ca.
  • Install a set of four matched winter tires with the 3-peaked mountain/snowflake symbol.
  • Give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Slow down – the posted speed limit is the maximum speed under ideal driving conditions. Reduce your speed below the speed limit and drive with extra care.
  • Maintain a safe following distance – look ahead and keep at least four seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Invest in winter driving training – learn how to brake safely, get out of a skid, and become familiar with how your vehicle handles in winter weather.
  • Register and attend a free webinar to learn about practical B.C. driving tips.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees who drive for work, regardless of whether they drive a company-owned or personal vehicle. ShiftIntoWinter.ca provides information and resources that can help reduce the risks employees face when driving during winter.

Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC | “Most employers in B.C. have workers that drive for work—whether full time like truck or taxi drivers, or as part of their job like sales people, community health nurses, or trades workers. Employers should start preparing now by accessing resources through the Shift into Winter website to ensure their workers have the information and tools they need to drive safely this winter.”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED – MUGSHOTS”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED” is a weekly fan out service based on information provided by police investigators who need public assistance in making our communities safer by identifying individuals involved in committing crimes.

If you have any information regarding the individuals listed here, please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. You could be eligible for a reward of up to $2000 upon arrest and charge. You will never be asked your name or have to appear in court.

Subject: 1

Name: JOHNSTON, Brock Daniel
Age: 40
Height: 5’10” (170 cm)
Weight: 160lbs (72 kg)
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue
Wanted: *Canada Wide * Bank Robbery and Sex Assault .
Tattoos: *Right upper arm “cat”,* Chest “Death before “Dishonor”
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 2

Name: MACLEOD, Christopher
Age: 34
Height: 5’10″ (177 cm)
Weight: 1681bs (76 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Wanted: *Canada Wide* Break Enter and Commit – Theft Under (x17), Break Enter with Intent (x3), and Mischief in Relation to Property
Tattoos: *Left Hand – “FUCK IT WERE 10, CM”, On fingers, Cross, Diamond, Chest – RT Side – Devils Head, LT Side – “MOM” Right Upper Arm – Grim Reaper/Skulls
Warrant in Effect: June 17, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 3

Name: SERSON, Stuart
Age: 39
Height: 5’6” (170 cm)
Weight: 176lbs (80 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Wanted: *Canada Wide*.Robbery – Use Firearm All Others, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Under, Fail To Comply with Probation Order, Mischief in Relation to Other Property,
Tattoos: *RIGHTER UPPER ARM “Warrier” Tribal art, LEFT SHOULDER- “Scarface” ,- NECK- Chinese symbol “81”, LEFT FOREARM- Dragan
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: New West Parole

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