The City of Surrey has become Canada’s first International City of Refuge to offer temporary sanctuary to persecuted writers and artists. Surrey joins 60 cities, which include Paris, Oslo and Mexico City that have committed to the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) protecting writers and artists who are in peril in their own countries because of their professional activities.
“I am proud that we have been designated as Canada’s first City of Refuge for writers and artists who are persecuted, imprisoned or worse for expressing their thoughts or creative ideas,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “Surrey has a long history of being an open and inclusive community. As we have opened our doors to Syrian refugees, this is another example of our City’s progressive approach to offering a safe haven to those fleeing oppression and persecution.”
Together with partners Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University, the Surrey Public Library and PEN Canada, Surrey will provide a “safe haven” for a writer-at-risk, giving them a respite from danger, fear and persecution, and a platform to continue their work.
Details of the project were formally announced during Surrey’s Creative City Summit, project coordinator Liz Hughes says the official designation means Surrey will welcome a writer-at-risk to live in the city for two years.
Working with Norway-based ICORN, which qualifies the applications from writers-at-risk, a candidate will be chosen to settle in Surrey. A fundraising campaign is being established to support the writer and the writer’s family, as they become part of the city’s culturally vibrant community.
Voices of Support
Judy Villeneuve, Surrey City Councillor
“In so many ways, Surrey already is a place of refuge to the thousands of immigrants and refugees who have been welcomed here. As a City of Refuge, it fits with the goals of the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) to strengthen the integration of newcomers and build a more inclusive and welcoming city.”
Helge Lunde, Executive Director, ICORN
“More than 100 applications from persecuted writers and artists reach our ICORN office each year. This high number reflects the sad fact that the conditions for those who dare to give voice to ideas and debate, those who challenge existing societal norms and concepts, has in no way improved in the world today.”
“We are therefore delighted to have the first Canadian city, the city of Surrey, joining our network to host writers and artists at risk, and take concrete action to protect and promote human rights and freedom of expression. With such strong partners involved, we feel assured that the program will run smoothly and become a model for future ICORN cities of refuge in Canada. “
Anne Giardini, Chancellor of Simon Fraser University, author and former member of the PEN Canada Board of Directors
“Surrey is a dynamic, growing community committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive city for all residents. As the latest city to join the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), Surrey joins cities and regions around the world in offering shelter to writers and artists at risk, advancing freedom of expression, defending democratic values and promoting international solidarity.”
“In many countries, writers and artists are subject to censorship, harassment, imprisonment, bodily harm and death because of what they say and write. As an ICORN member Surrey will offer long term, temporary shelter to those at risk as a direct consequence of their creative activities.”
Steve Dooley, Executive Director, SFU’s Surrey campus
“SFU’s Surrey campus is thrilled to partner with the City of Surrey and KPU to help designate Surrey as Canada’s first City of Refuge. Having worked closely with the city on refugee issues, I feel strongly that the writer will be a beacon of hope for the many refugees who call Surrey home. Together, we are working to open doors that might have otherwise been closed on these important literary voices.”
“There will be great opportunities to link the writer with students, faculty and staff at both SFU and KPU. This initiative also shows our students that we recognize and value literary excellence, no matter what the underlying struggle.”
Dr. Diane Purvey, Dean of Arts, KPU
“Whether driven out into the wider world by famine, conflict, or environmental disaster, people from every quarter of the world have long found refuge in Surrey. It is one of the nation’s most cosmopolitan and complex cities, rapidly growing in part because it presents to the world a welcome mat.”
“Now it will also offer refuge and freedom to creators – writers and artists – whose voices place them in harm’s way. Membership in the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) puts Surrey in an outstanding global constellation of great cities. Kwantlen Polytechnic University is pleased and privileged to partner in these efforts to promote and defend freedom of speech, critical thought and creativity.”
Aislinn Hunter, award-winning writer, KPU faculty in Creative Writing and PEN Canada member
“As a Canadian writer I have never had to worry that something I’ve said or written might cause me to lose either my liberty or my life. I do not take this freedom or this country’s democracy for granted.”
“By banding together institutions of higher learning, the City proper, and member of the community and their resources Surrey is demonstrating to the world that we value the voices of the oppressed and silenced and that freedom of speech and the right to artistic expression is every individual’s right – in both peaceful and troubled times.”
Randy Boyagoda, President, PEN Canada
“PEN Canada celebrates literature, aids writers in peril, and defends freedom of expression. In light of our mission, and thanks to the generous and timely efforts of our partners in Surrey, BC and at ICORN, we are so very excited and grateful to mark the creation of Canada’s first city of refuge for a writer and for that writer’s family. Lives will be changed and new stories told.”
UBC is building a new three-acre campus near Surrey Memorial Hospital
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.
Surrey City Centre SkyTrain Extension Delayed
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.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ Top 10 “Least-Wanted Valentines” For 2021
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.
La Niña Could Mean A Dangerous Winter For Drivers, Here’s How To Reduce The Risk
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.”
Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED – MUGSHOTS”
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.
Name: JOHNSTON, Brock Daniel
Height: 5’10” (170 cm)
Weight: 160lbs (72 kg)
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
Name: MACLEOD, Christopher
Height: 5’10″ (177 cm)
Weight: 1681bs (76 kg)
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
Name: SERSON, Stuart
Height: 5’6” (170 cm)
Weight: 176lbs (80 kg)
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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