Surrey First mayoralty candidate Tom Gill reveals part of his slate’s public safety platform Wednesday in Cloverdale. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey First promising free access to pools, rinks and gyms for Surrey youth

It’s part of the civic slate’s plan to fight crime and keep kids out of gangs

Surrey mayoralty hopeful Tom Gill says Surrey’s children and teens will get into the city’s pools, rinks and gyms for free as part of an effort to keep them from joining gangs and getting involved in crime, if his Surrey First gets elected.

“This is what leadership is about,” he said. “This is only the beginning of Surrey First’s commitment to doing things differently. Let’s build a better future by imagining our city together.”

Gill revealed part of his slate’s public safety platform Wednesday afternoon, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6 in Cloverdale. More of the slate’s plan, he said, will be unveiled next week.

“We need to get to our kids with positive programs and opportunities before the gangs do, and that means starting early,” Gill said. The free access would be “for the 125,000 Surrey youth aged 18 and younger.

“This is a $1 million annual investment in our future that will pay off in spades for decades to come,” he said.

“Keeping kids on the right path is as important over the long term as keeping criminals and guns off our streets in Surrey.”

“We spend close to $160 million every year on policing and we’ll continue to spend more,” he said, “but I also want to make sure we’re investing in our kids.”

Gill noted the city has 14 pools, five rinks and 11 community centres “with more on the way. “They’re the very best in the Lower Mainland and we’re going to put them to work alongside parents and neighbourhoods to provide our children with positive opportunities and experiences that help keep them safe and out of the reach of gangs. We know that gangs are targeting children as young as 10. This means that it is critical to provide alternatives to keep our children active, engaged in the community, with a positive outlook for their future.”

The mayoralty candidate also said Surrey First’s public safety plan includes the creation of a “centralized information hub” through which parents will be able to access anti-gang information and programs with a single 1-800 call.

“The Surrey First Plan will also provide additional intervention funding for more school and after-school programs as well as additional resources for RCMP outreach in local neighbourhoods,” Gill promised. “I will be actively reaching out to our partners in the federal and provincial governments to work with the city and join us with tangible dollars to match this five-year, $50 million plan, $30 million of which is devoted today to prevention and intervention initiatives.

“When we launched our campaign last week, I said that it was time to be bold. Today we have done just that.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

North Delta crime beat: Week of Sept. 9

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Proudly Surrey modifies child-care policy

Slate wants to use school board property for child-care spaces

Surrey school board wants to expand French Immersion program

District had to close program at Cougar Creek Elementary due to low enrolment

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income owners in Lower Mainland

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Most Read