The community chapter of Canada’s largest advocacy organization representing 330,000 members has joined forces with the KEEP THE RCMP IN SURREY B.C. CAMPAIGN & will be seeking petition signatures.
Surrey, B.C. (January 29, 2020): The White Rock Surrey chapter of CARP, Canada’s largest advocacy association for older Canadians, is once again gobsmacked by Mayor Doug McCallum’s total disregard for seniors in the City of Surrey.
“First he put a freeze on new RCMP officers and firefighters, then he passed a budget in a matter of minutes that funnelled much needed funds into a Surrey Police Department that few taxpayers want,” said chapter president Ramona Kaptyn. “Now he is restricting and hindering Uber and Lyft from serving Surrey customers.”
CARP is calling on the Mayor, who is a senior himself, to try being a senior without a car who needs a ride home after shopping for groceries, or who needs to go to the doctor unexpectedly, or who has to go somewhere when it’s too cold or rainy to be taking a bus or sky train. Waiting for a taxi can take forever.
But it’s not only the ride sharing debacle that has CARP rattled. Canada’s largest non-profit association representing more than 330,000 older Canadians has joined forces with the KEEP THE RCMP IN SURREY B.C. CAMPAIGN. It is actively seeking more signatures to add to the current petition which already has more than 39,000 signees.
CARP White Rock Surrey feels the Mayor’s new budget will lead to higher taxes which many, especially low-income seniors, will not be able to afford.
“Money is being diverted from many other worthy causes, including new sports facilities, to pay for a new police force. Families, including grandmothers, must get up as early as 4 a.m. to take youngsters to hockey practice because there are not enough rinks,” said Kaptyn.
Some CARP members have also said they are afraid to go out after dark because they do not feel safe. This is going to lead to isolationism, which leads to health problems, which become a needless burden to our already overtaxed health-care system.
CARP National stands with its White Rock Surrey Chapter in demanding that Mayor Doug McCallum reverse his devastating budget, which undercuts a variety of services for seniors, their children and grandchildren. The budget also imposes a hiring freeze on new RCMP officers and firefighters. It’s critical that seniors are safe in their communities in order to reap the considerable benefits of social inclusion in healthy aging.
The Chapter is also supporting initiatives of four Surrey city councillors who are opposing the budget which was passed in a matter of minutes on December 16 amidst loud protests from many Surrey residents in attendance. They are Councillors Linda Annis, Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial and Steven Pettigrew. It particularly applauds the recent motion by councillor Brenda Locke calling that “The existing process being followed to consider transition from the RCMP to a Surrey Police Force be immediately suspended until a sufficient, respectful and transparent consultation process that meets the federal, provincial and municipal obligations to consult with our First Nations peoples affected by the proposed changes has been adopted.”
CARP’s reasons for joining forces with those opposing the budget and a new Surrey Police Force are as follows:
- A new Surrey Police Department (SPD) means fewer officers than we have today: 805 SPD vs 843 RCMP.
- RCMP guarantee a full contingent of officers, even when officers are off sick or on vacation, while the SPD model cannot back-fill vacancies.
- RCMP have one officer per car. The SPD model mirrors That of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) which has two officers in a car, reducing overall policing capacity and fewer cars on the road.
- Car 67, the specialized unit which pairs an officer and mental health professional, will be discontinued under the SPD, all when the need is climbing.
- Sophie’s Place, which supports children who are victims of abuse and neglect, will have fewer officers.
- The VPD has more than 1,400 members; the SPD will have barely 800, yet Surrey’s population is growing faster than Vancouver’s and will soon exceed it.
- The “11 per cent” cost increase of the SPD vs. RCMP cost cannot be verified by anyone at Surrey city hall because the numbers do not appear to be real and don’t add up.
- With no corporals, staff sergeants, or superintendents, the SPD model offers few, if any, chances for promotion, making SPD less attractive than other forces to career officers.
- The Mayor proposes running “two” police forces during transition, a costly and chaotic proposition.
- Surrey doesn’t need the SPD to have a community police board, that can be done now with the RCMP.
- Training prospective SPD officers will be a serious challenge because the Justice Institute is already at capacity in terms of the officers they can train each year.
- Changing the badges of the officers will not solve gang crime.
Here is a partial statement from Surrey Councillor Linda Annis “I think the idea of the SPD and the way the Mayor is dealing with it deserves a failing grade. There’s nothing about the transition report that gives anyone any confidence that we’re spending money wisely, or even solving a policing or public safety problem. The Mayor and his four supporting councillors have ignored the community, ignored taxpayers, and are trying to ram through the SPD at any cost. You only must look at the new city budget to see that the transition to the SPD is swallowing up every available dollar, which means no new RCMP police, no new firefighters, and no new rinks, parks or community centres. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to grow, but cutting back on police and firefighters.”
Locations where people can sign the KEEP THE RCMP IN SURREY B.C. petition are as follows:
- Art Knapp, 4391 King George Blvd.
- Ethical Addictions, 1558 128 St., Ocean Park
- Surrey New and Used Building Materials, 17861 64 Ave.
- Instant Imprints, 15292 Croydon Dr. , South Surrey
- Aquarius Dental, 19390 68 Ave.
- Vlassis Greek Taverna, 10026 King George Blvd.
5 Restaurants and a New Year in Surrey!
Another new year approaches: Surrey 2022 here we go! But with the new Covid restrictions, where are you going to enjoy this Friday night, whether you intend to celebrate New Years Eve or just celebrate because it’s Friday?
We have a list, albeit a short one, of restaurants that are open on New Year’s Eve.
Open until midnight. Reservations are recommended but not a must. This Surrey restaurant is well known for their Canadian dishes, complemented by an exciting list of cocktails, BC wines, and local craft beer, in an open concept restaurant with high top tables and chairs. Bones: they will be offering an all day happy hour on Friday.
Open until 2am. The Clayton is a unique choice. Although there will not be a party they do have a DJ, along with classic tasty Canadian dishes and appetizers, plus 3 incredible fire tables available in their fully covered & heated patio spaces. Also, they have a ton of drink specials, just in case you might be drinking responsibly during your visit.
Open until 10pm. Featuring a $60 New Year’s Eve menu, The Cabin is a solid choice for a Pacific Northwest experience featuring seafood, “AAA” steaks, gourmet pasta, local craft beers, and a healthy selection of wine. It should be noted, as of right now, 7:30pm onwards is fully booked, however we’ve been told there might be some cancellations. You can and should put your name on the waitlist.
Open until 10pm. Featuring traditional Afghan cuisine. If you live in Surrey, you know this place is amazing. If you don’t, that’s ok, just watch this episode about them on CBC Vancouver’s YouTube. Mom’s cooking never tasted better. Now, perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “Nothing special here, where’s the party!?” however, since many restaurants are closing early this year, and especially living in one of the most diverse cities in BC, what better way to enjoy your end of year than with a local culinary “staycation” at one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants!
With that said, last but not least by any means:
Open until 1130pm. Serving a delicious blend of Nepalese, Indo-Chinese, and Western Cuisine. Like we said, while in Surrey, try something new. Allow your tastebuds to create a mini celebration for you, safely at your table.
Have we helped? We certainly hope so!
No matter how you plan to enjoy this Friday December 31, stay safe, stay warm and we wish, as always, the very best for you and your family.
See you next year!
Desire Kokuvi Amouzou
The best trails to explore in Surrey this fall
There is something beautiful about walking or biking along a trail full of trees with changing leaves and this is the perfect time of year to experience it. Surrey Centre has some amazing trails to explore in the Green Timbers and Holland Park areas that are perfect for a leisurely stroll, a jog, a bike ride or a family affair that the pets and kids can join. Here is a list of the best trails to check out.
Holland Park Loop
Holland Park is a popular park in Surrey, one that hosts plenty of outdoor events, music festivals and gatherings. On top of that, the park also includes a trail loop perfect for a leisurely stroll. The Holland Park Loop is 0.8 kilometres long and is good for all skill levels. The trail is popular for walking, running, and road biking. There are often dogs seen on the trail when it’s nice out, and it’s a great place to take the family and kids. This loop is best used from April to November.
Birch and Willow Trail
Part of Green Timbers forest, the Birch and Willow Trail is a 1.8-km loop. This trail offers scenic views as it features a lake that is often full of ducks. It’s a great walk for kids as well, and has plenty of signs to follow. The trail is popular for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. The gravel makes it a nice trail even on a rainy day.
Birch Salal and Douglas Loop
Another loop in Green Timbers is the Birch, Salal and Douglas Loop. This is a bit longer at 2.9 km. This loop also features the lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is flat with lots of shade. It’s a great place to go for a walk, jog, or bike ride. There is an area for picnics by the lake where you can take a rest after your exercise. This trail is often used for hiking, walking, running, and biking. There is limited parking in the area, so be prepared to walk to the trail.
Salmonberry, Yellow Arum, Douglas Fir and Hemlock Loop
If you are looking for a longer trail in Green Timbers, you will find the Salmonberry, Yellow Arum, Douglas Fir and Hemlock Loop. This is a 5.6-km loop. As the name implies there are beautiful trees along this hike. The trail is acceptable for all levels, though it is a bit longer so it’s best to prepare ahead. The trail is popular for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. In certain spots the trail comes close to the road, and some areas can be waterlogged at times, but it’s an enjoyable walk all the same.
Hawthorne Park Loop
Hawthorne Park Loop is a 1.9-km trail in beautiful Hawthorne Park. There is a lot of nature to take in here including plenty of beautiful wildflowers making this loop a favourite among birdwatchers. Good for all skill levels, this trail is popular for walking, running, and nature trips. Dogs are welcome on this trail but must be on a leash. This area is very popular amongst hikers and runners, for good reason.
Willow, Cedar and Pine Trail
There is one more Green Timbers trail worth mentioning. The Willow, Cedar and Pine Trail is a 2.6-km back trail. The lake is accessible from this trail as well and it is suitable for beginner hikers. This loop is great for a walk or run.
5 ways Affordable Housing will Benefit the City of Surrey
Lack of affordable housing has quickly become one of the largest barriers in preventing homelessness in British Columbia. Having served the Lower Mainland for the past 50 years, Options Community Services and Habitat Housing Society are working to provide safe, affordable rental units for the local community.
Options provides essential social services in Surrey, Delta, White Rock/South Surrey and Langley. Recently, the organization has partnered with 50 local women to help raise $1.5 million in funding for a new affordable housing building in Surrey, BC. The money raised in this partnership will go towards the 100-unit complex at 81st and King George Boulevard. Of these 100 units, 30 will be market rentals, while the remaining 70 will be well below market rates —designated as affordable housing, with rent starting as low as $375 per month. This building and the resources connected to it will make a monumental impact on the community. Here are 5 ways that this building will directly impact Surrey:
1. Additional Resources:
Not only will the affordable housing build feature 100 new rental units, but it will also feature several community services provided by Options. These services include Early Years, special needs services for children and mental health outreach. Having these programs available for tenants in the building will be a bonus for all.
2. Build Relationships:
Whether it’s a social worker or an elementary school teacher, having and maintaining long-lasting relationships is crucial to establishing roots in a community. These networks of support will help at-risk individuals and vulnerable people build stability in their lives and increase their sense of community. Knowing there are people in your neighbourhood that can help support you can be a relief for individuals who do not have friends, family, or any other source of support.
Currently, the housing market is very hot and the number of buyers is outnumbering the available stock. This applies to both home buyers and renters who are looking for affordable places to stay. This building offers 100 brand-new units that are affordable for low-income families. These families otherwise might not have any other options to turn to and be forced to consider unsafe housing conditions. Priced at $375 monthly for a one-bedroom, these homes can change the lives of those who are in need.
4. Increased Safety:
By having a door to lock and a place to call home, the safety and security of the community is enhanced. Far too often, vulnerable peoples are subjected to unsafe conditions or forced to make tough choices. Many of these individuals are women fleeing violence, refugees, displaced seniors, at-risk youth or persons living on a disability income. . Housing such as this will better protect these groups and ensure that they have access to safe, secure and affordable places to live.
5. Job Growth:
The success of our vulnerable community members is a success for us all. In communities with affordable housing, there is often a growth in job opportunities. A study by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing found that affordable housing projects created nearly 330,000 jobs in New York between 2011 and 2015, with many of them being permanent or long-lasting contracts (source). From engineers to health care workers, the growth of a community can directly contribute to an increased demand for workers.
The Women of Options campaign was created to support the build at King George and 81st. More information and a profile on each of the 50 Women of Options can be found at womenofoptions.ca. Community support is vital to ensure its success. To learn more about ways to help or donate, please visit womenofoptions.ca.
Plastic Bag and Foam Takeout Container Ban Planned To Come Into In Effect November 2021
The City of Surrey moves a step closer in eliminating the negative environmental impacts of plastic bags and other single-use Items.
At last night’s Regular Council Meeting, Council approved the Communication and Education Plan to prepare businesses for the ban on plastic bags and foam takeout container and cups, planned to begin in November 2021.
“I’m proud that Surrey is anticipated to be the first city in the Metro Vancouver region to implement a ban on plastic checkout bags,” says Mayor McCallum.
“Council has been leading the way on green initiatives and this step is proof of the measures we are prepared to take to protect and better our environment. This move affirms Surrey’s commitment to reducing landfill waste and pollution created by these types of materials.
In the coming months, we will be working closely with our business community to support them on this very important initiative that is good for our citizens, our communities and our City.”
The City will lead a comprehensive communication and education plan to help businesses phase out and eliminate the use and distribution of plastic checkout bags, foam cups and take-out containers.
The plan outlines key tools, resources and awareness activities which will prepare businesses and the public for the upcoming ban.
The plan will include:
- A business toolkit;
- Virtual information sessions;
- Brochures; and
- Additional engagement activities and resources.
Other municipalities, provinces, and the federal government are making similar commitments to reducing unnecessary waste and pollution caused by short-lived plastics that are designed for limited use with limited recyclability.
For more information on Surrey’s please visit our site.
Surrey Libraries Offers Access to O’Reilly eBooks and Videos
Surrey Libraries is excited to announce the addition of O’Reilly eBooks to its list of online resources. This platform offers over 35,000 eBooks and 30,000 hours of video courses on technology, business, design, science, engineering, travel, hobbies, health and more, all free with a Surrey Libraries card!
O’Reilly has books and videos for makers, gamers and tinkerers. There are more than 100 hobbyist titles including a STEAM Lab for Kids and The Lego Build-It Book, Volumes 1 & 2. More than 900 books from the “For Dummies” series are included, as well as over 150 titles on job-seeking and career development.
The resource also has technology learning paths like SQL Fundamentals – SQL for Data Analysis and Database Design, case studies like “Pinterest’s Journey to the Cloud,” and countless hours of video instruction on topics like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Linux Fundamentals, or Amazon Web Services.
We’re excited to welcome you back to our branches! Check our website for information on hours and available services and what we’re doing to keep everyone safe.
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