Surrey councillor ‘disappointed’ with continued gun violence

The latest gun violence in Surrey was only two blocks from the home of Surrey Coun. Doug Elford.

A man was shot dead in a townhouse complex near 72nd Avenue and 139th Street late Tuesday night.

It’s the 13th shooting in Surrey this year, and Elford says he’s fed up.

“I’m a little bit disappointed that it seems to have reared its head again. This was close to my house again, this last one, and it brings back the fact the reality that this is a problem in our community and it seems to be like five years on now that we’re dealing with the same issues over and over again.”

In the past before he was elected, Elford, many times, called for more “boots on the ground” by the RCMP.

He says more officers are coming with a new civic police force.

“What we’re going to be looking at is a different model very soon where we will have the ability to get more boots on the ground and change the way we govern and go about things.”

Pressed on how things will change with a civic force compared with the RCMP, Elford said he didn’t want to engage in a debate right now.

Meanwhile, a former Surrey councillor, who ran and lost against Doug McCallum for mayor in last October’s civic election, says he is frustrated at how McCallum is handling the transition.

Bruce Hayne says he realizes some may say it’s simply “sour grapes” to be speaking out now, but he says the issue is too important to stay silent.

He says an independent third party should have been brought in to report back to council so that it had all the facts before moving ahead.

Hayne says right now, “councillors are flying by the seat of their pants,” with little information about the costs involved.

“Well, they really are because there was not a lot of vigorous public consultation at all. It was a platform issue during the election campaign in October and that drew some attention. But there were no costs associated to it and so it was just completely guesswork on the part of the mayor as to how much it would cost to make the transition.”

Hayne says it’s unfortunate councillors are being put into a position where they have to support something when they don’t know what the costs will be.

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