The price to pay is far more than Newton residents should have to.

My heart stopped at news today that a woman had been severely beaten in what appears to be an attempted robbery outside of the Newton Arena. http://www.thenownewspaper.com/woman-not-expected-to-live-after-savage-beating-near-surrey-s-newton-arena-1.774064?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_campaign=hootsuite

Foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with her, her family and her friends – this was a senseless crime that in my opinion, should never have occurred. While Surrey residents who do not live in Newton are passing this off as a random incident that could happen anywhere, both longtime residents and businesses in the area are outraged – but sadly none of us are surprised.

Both the RCMP  and the city of Surrey have long been aware of the growing issues in Newton, which has suffered greatly as a direct result of the ongoing gentrification of Whalley and the northern portions of King George Boulevard, ( known as City Centre in recent years).

In news clips and reports today, both the Mayor and councillor Hepner declined to talk about the issues in Newton, saying it was a conversation for another day. With respect to them, and to the victim – it’s not. It is a conversation that must be had today and for very good reason – preventing further crimes in this high risk area.

It was June 2008 when after reaching a level of concern over the degradation of what was then my neighbourhood of Newton, I called CBC news to see if they would be interested in doing a story about the situation. After touring around in a van with Susana da Silva and her cameraman, the city was contacted for a response and was told by Mayor Watts that Newton had not been forgotten and that it was in fact, Newtons turn to be the focus.

The Newton Plan was unveiled at the June 16th council meeting and within a few short weeks following the story it was endorsed by council. A mural was painted on the Newton Rec centre building, planters were placed along 72nd avenue and well, we got some funky decorations for Christmas glamour. http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/1337.aspx

Time passed – years in fact – and nothing else came to fruition. Back in 2008/2009 there were meetings – I attended a few that went no where – and that is where the Newton Plan ended.

The bus loop was never moved, and although it was recently redone, the lighting is terrible and it’s not a place you want to wait for a bus for alone after dark. Sometime, waiting alone during the day is bad enough. Crime continued to escalate in the Newton core and surrounding areas, reported to Block Watch captains, but rarely to the public.

I’ve been in receipt of many emails from the community policing contact in Newton and have shared the concern of the lack of reports to the public in different situations. A couple of years ago there were ongoing assaults and robberies in the Unwin Park  area, yet the public wasn’t warned until many had happened. Same thing with the jewellery heists that were happening early this year- it wasn’t until a few occurred that RCMP warned the public.

I’ve written far too many times about the issues of Newton, the lack of security, the changes that could and should be made. The ice rink, the rec centre, the bank and the mall are all located around a treed area that while lovely to look at, is without a doubt welcome cover for criminals and drug related activity. The volunteer youth patrols do nothing to deter the drug and criminal activity. And the RCMP? Are quite simply too overwhelmed to really make a dent. With nearly 1000 people moving to the city every month,it is logistically impossible to maintain the standard of policing, even if the city does add 12 more officers.

Ironically, in 2012, the city started the Central Newton Cultural Commercial District Plan in a mainly industrial area of west Newton http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/12125.aspx, which looks wonderful,grand and visionary… but once again leaves Newton Town Centre out in the cold! Why?

This latest tragedy strikes close to home for many today. The victim is a mom, who was just going about her business being a mother and part of her community. It could have been anyone who uses the facilities. It could have been me, or your loved one. As contact and fellow Newton activist Jude Hannah told the Now today:

“We have been calling on the city to take action and this is absolutely the worst nightmare. And I feel so upset, I feel so angry, I’m so disappointed… This was what we feared would happen, and we warned them.”

The building that houses the ice rink, also houses a city operated pre-school, with a fenced in area where the children play out back – along side a deserted road where criminal activity happens constantly. Parents come and go to drop off their children, in the midst of the epicenter of  Newton town core.

And while we all share our prayers for todays victim, let us not forget the first, December 16th victim, and extend our prayers and healing to them as well.  We know nothing about the  first victim – no details are available.  Why is that? Should the first victim be any less deserving of our outrage? My thoughts are with them today, as well. ( update: this Province story tells us she was a woman in her twenties who got off the bus at Newton Exchange and was assaulted, suffered some injuries and went to hospital. She was later released )

No one can say what would have happened had the RCMP reported that first assault ( which is reported to have shared similarities to this one, which makes me wonder how badly that victim was hurt) but I firmly believe a forewarned public is a forearmed one.

Newton isn’t just an un-fulfilled plan sitting in a file in cabinet at city hall, it’s a community of working families and businesses who were promised in 2008 that it was their turn to be the focus. They’ve been waiting ever since and they deserve better. They deserve to be safe when they take the bus to work or school. They deserve to be safe in their own workplaces, and they deserve to be safe in their homes and places of recreation.

The transformation of Whalley into Central City and Innovation Boulevard are certainly visionary ideas on the part of the city…and have been lauded as such by the city and unknowing media who can’t or haven’t seen the entire picture. But how visionary is it to simply move one communities problems ( Whalley)  into another (Newton) a few kilometers away? It’s not.

Unfortunately, Newton has become the new Whalley, and  Whalley’s Woes have become Newton’s Nightmares.

**** are you a Newton resident? To get involved in taking back your community, email newtoncommunityassociation@gmail.com *****

57 thoughts on “The price to pay is far more than Newton residents should have to.

  1. Urban Rider

    Surrey and Diane Watts did nothing to help the residents of the Beladean Motel and Trailer park when their power was cut off due to a construction accident. Those people were left to freeze. It took a fund raiser by regular folks to help one fellow. An 88 year old lady should have been helped by the city. Beladean is in Newton.

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  2. Sharon

    I used to work in Whalley. Quite often on night shift (4 – midnight). Although I was in a secure building, surrounded by barbed wire in the parking lot, folks would still break in and steal stuff from the vehicles in the parking lot. While we were still in the building. It was terrifying.
    And, similar to what happened in Newton, the community police station was a block away.
    Officers used to park their personal vehicles in a parking lot that also was surrounded by barbed wire.
    You know the rest of that story. Yup, they got broken into as well.
    Happy to be retired now.
    And not living in Surrey any more.
    The level of crimes in Whalley, Newton, AND other areas is totally unacceptable.

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    1. Laila

      The Newton community police station is less than one block from the Newton bus exchange and the rec centre/arena.

      I take transit frequently in Surrey and while my youngest was in preschool, was in and out of the Newton exchange twice a day. Even in the day it’s dicey. I attended meetings several years ago on how to make the area safer and recommended getting rid of the trees – this is one case where conservation must not take precedence over safety – because they not only allow for cover, they leave a very dark void after dark where people can hide and flee through several different access/ exit points.
      The city decided to keep the trees, which was a ridiculous move and have only contributed to giving an under cover area to loiter/lurk and hide.

      It’s just so terribly sad. And Jude Hannah is correct, the city has been warned time and time again to take action in this area.

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      1. Peter

        When I had my store @ 72 and KG,the city hall plan was to upgrade Newton around 1986. They cobblestoned the core, added poor lighting,a wave pool and the bus loop. Then it all stopped. It went downhill shortly after that and continues to this day.
        I gather with many old friends in the 72 McDonalds between 8 and 10 pm nightly to discuss issues. There isn’t a night where we are not exposed to drugs, and hookers. They are spotted on small bikes with backpacks every night. We watch as folks with mental issues search garbage cans for clean cups for refills. They often wander around the restaurant looking for uneaten food. Prostitutes are in the washrooms “cleaning up” after a trick. Cops are called in several nights a week to deal with issues. Homeless gather @ the east entrance and sit sometime all night to keep out of the cold.
        A visit to the Real Canadian Superstore is a real eye-opener at night and many times during the day. They beg to return the buggy to score the loonie. They hang around near the bank begging for cash ALL DAY. Many of these folks have pets that suffer along with their owners.
        My friend at the hair salon keeps her store door locked quite often and has to escort her clients to their cars out back. Junkies often shoot up in the back parking lot. She tells me that business is down. (the pay parking issue didn’t help either). Her store is behind S.O. Foods.
        The city solution for this was a 96 bus to get the people the hell out of Newton, and push a casino. That’s what the city needs. Money laundering and gambling issues!
        Come see us one day @ McD’s for coffee after 8 most nights. We are retired folks and we are ashamed to see what has happened to our home. I haven’t even got started with with wire theft in front of my home and broken into sheds all over the place. I can take care of myself for the mostpart, but my friends are in their late 70’s and are scared.
        Talk to me @william edward on twitter if you wish. Take care and Happy New Year.

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        1. Laila

          So nice to have you comment here Peter. 🙂

          I know the area very well. Pay parking was a huge hit to the small retailers along 137. I avoid that Superstore if I can, the one on Scott Road is marginally better. Only dealers in the underground parking there to avoid.
          Like many, I avoid the area after dark at all costs. But I will try to get down there one evening to join you for coffee. 🙂

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  3. Stan Mortensen

    I know I will likely get shot down by the usual support the council at all costs group. Certainly on some issues I have of late come to support the mayor and council, despite my sense that they are for the most part aloof from the rest of us. Yes, I have met some of them and yes they do all tend to talk down to the rest of us, poor uneducated electors.
    The real problem is that there is literally no effective opposition on council and certainly there is no one councilor that can or will speak for specific areas of the city. I have long believed that Surrey does in fact require a ward system where councilors are elected primarily to speak for and be accessible and accountable to the local residents (yup I hear the voices rising already) of those areas specifically.
    In this sad situation where is the mayor and council in expressing anything other than a tut tut and fobbing off the press. Someone should be screaming from the roof tops about the lack of effective policing not just in this area but other areas. Someone should be decrying the lack of oversight by the provincial government in assisting the local administration in combating crime in areas of our city. Nope, you’ll not get a peep out Diane and company, you see you just can’t rock the boat.
    It is not rocket science to figure out that many of Newtons problems are a result of the ongoing renewal of Whalley (oops, I mean Central City). The elements that plagued the latter area are wending their way southward down KGB and have been doing so for the last 10 or so years. I wonder if we have to wait until the problems cross the Serpentine or Nikomekl before Diane and Company react. I have to wonder if this sad situation had happened at say Morgan Crossing would we get the same reaction from the mayor or would there be a different, more vocal reaction.
    I guess Diane will just have to put together yet another committee to look into this situation and report back to council on what is already known and apparent to all.
    You know, sometimes even good mayors and representatives can lose touch with those they represent and just sometimes they need to be reminded of who they represent.

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    1. Mike

      Stan, I’m not sure that it is fair or even reasonable to hold the Mayor responsible for the crime and violence that exists in Newton. The problems in this community have been there for a long time and it is a situation that will not be fixed overnight.
      I do agree with you though, that Surrey First council has lost touch with so many taxpayers in Surrey. Mayor Watts has muted any criticism of herself or the Cities policy through a slick public relations personae.
      Ask yourself if previous Mayor and Councils were better and I suspect you will say no, Can this Mayor do better? Absolutely! and she and her council will have to looking ahead.
      We all need to pull together in this difficult time.
      Our thoughts and prayers continue for the woman and her family impacted by this horrible crime.

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      1. Laila

        Stan I agree we need actual representation in the areas in each district.

        I don’t like thinking that if a councillor actually lived in Newton, things would be different, but I cant help it. Newton has a lot of lower income families, has innumerable social service outlets, a shelter, a transistion home, parole offices…. there is a heavy load in a very small area and its been that way for years.

        That being said, it has become worse since the heavy investment of city resources in transforming Whalley’s town centre into Central City. I’m not saying stop the changes that are being made in Whalley… I’m saying the city needs to make sure that it is not at the cost of another neighbourhoods safety and sustainability in Surrey.

        Mike, Clearly it cant be fixed overnight. But the city promised in 2008 that it was Newton turn, and they dropped the ball completely. Why? The new Newton Cultural plan is over around 80th and 128th, which is proposed to be billed as the new Little India area. Why is the city working on starting a plan there, when they haven’t taken care of the plan they had for Newton Town Centre?

        I do not believe the city will attract any new businesses or investment into Newton town core unless they make the investment first. And it cannot be simply window dressing. They need to meet with stakeholders and create an immediate action plan to address the security issues around that area first and foremost. The community volunteer patrols do nothing to deter criminal activity.

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      2. Dan

        Well Ms. Watts has been Mayor for over 8 years now. So she does deserve the blame. It would be nice if she did something for the people instead of developers for a change. All she has done is move the problem from Whalley to Newton.

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    2. e.a. foster

      Stan,

      you are quite correct. This would not happen at Morgan Crossing. The police would be posted there 24/7 patrolling on bikes. You know it and so do I.
      there isn’t any real opposition because the residents of Surrey didn’t vote for any. Having a ward system will not solve the problem. Right now only a minority are being effected by what goes on in Newton. it won’t change until there are several murders in the area, of middle class persons, and perhaps not even then. the financial supporters of the current crew in power have their own interests. Until the interests of the 99% are effected so seriously they can’t stand it any more, just expect the 1%ers of surrey to continue as is. of course one could look to New York where they finally had enough and voted a new Mayor into office, with a new attitude.

      it has been my experience people do not do anything to change situations they don’t like until things become unbearable. we are a long way from that right now.

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  4. chris mack

    I am personally very very angry and saddened by the attack on this woman in Newton. The person or persons who did this must be brought to justice. In a discussion with a police officer, he said that we have a legal system, not a justice system. He is absolutely right. IMO, the punishment must be in keeping with the crime. Without very sure and severe punishment for vicious crimes, there is no deterrent and the possibility of repeat offences. In talking to correction officers, rehabilitation is a joke. If lighting is a problem, get some more. We need to get a lot of cops out of their cars and get them doing walking patrols or bike patrols. We could also use some cameras in high crime areas. I have just told my wife to stop walking at night in our neighborhood. This crime just sickens me.

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    1. Laila

      I agree completely. The system is at capacity and is overworked at every juncture and that definitely plays into crime in general.

      Lighting is a huge issue here, along with the many access/flee points for criminals in this area, and the ample cover. It turns my stomach. So many families, women, students go through this area daily.

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  5. Curt

    As this mayor and council continue to allow the outrageous development with no infrastructure, policing, services (Dianne’s liberals’ cutbacks) in place this will get worse. So what will Dianne and council do? Get heavy handed for awhile, bring in more police? (She just had her huge RCMP headquarters opened here.) I doubt it, just move some officers there for awhile from another area. (Like the healthcare authorities did with the cleaning problem.) Or maybe the problem moves south, you know the Morgan Creek/South Surrey/Ocean Park area? I highly doubt it, the mayor and councilors reside there as well as some former and mla’s. No, can’t let that happen. Watts and the rest just play lip service to most citizens of Surrey except come election time (Nov.) It’s time people said enough of the deceit and shenanigans with the mayor and council who are, imo, in the pockets of developers and big business, not for the everyday citizen. Are your roads more congested? Potholes and in need of repair. Buildings on every corner; ALR land with semis and tractor trailers parked all lined up, I’m not talking 1or 2 units for the blueberry crop either. Condos on every corner of a major highway. Expert “City Planners”? And I have to wonder, where does all the money go from these development fees, or are they even being charged enough for development? (for the roads, services needed that should be put in before the development even starts) The chaos continues to grow at the expense of neighborhoods that have been around for along time. Our taxes continue to grow, services cut or contracted out at higher prices. Crime moves elsewhere. Watts and Co may have intended well at the beginning, but they’ve clearly sold out citizens of this City imo. The price to pay is far to high for a few gains.

    Sorry for the price this woman and her family have paid.

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  6. Terri

    Diane Watts and Council are to blame for the deterioration of Newton. They are so focused in buliding up Central Surrey that they’ve moved all the crime to Newton. Newton use to be a great place to live, not anymore. What did they expect? They have allowed all the instuitinons to be in Newton. They just don’t care. Why don’t they move them all to Cloverdale? Newton residents have asked for help over the last few years but have been ignored.

    It is so sad that this poor women may die It should have never have come to this.

    Maybe now they will clean up Newton for once and for all. I’m ashamed to say I live in Surrey

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  7. karen

    “In news clips and reports today, both the Mayor and councillor Hepner declined to talk about the issues in Newton, saying it was a conversation for another day. ”

    This is appalling. And you are right, that conversation needs to be now. But really, two people have been attacked (that we know of). This is a conversation that should have happened long ago.

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    1. Laila

      It was happening long ago… and has been ongoing via the Newton community association and long time residents/business owners who have been calling for action for years. It wasn’t the people who dropped the ball on this one. The question should be why does it have to take incidents like this to make changes happen?

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  8. I am not a resident of Newton but I have lived in just about every bad neighbourhood on the west coast from a ghetto in SF to the Downtown Eastside (from birth to 30) and the obvious lesson in all of it for me was: the city recognizes that there is a segment of society that is ‘not well’ and they prefer to just concentrate the social dysfunction rather than fix it. Newton is no exception. They will never fix it. Ever. It is the ghetto of the lower mainland and everyone living outside it sees it that way. Of course, when I was in the bleak neighbourhoods, I saw more than that and Newton residents are more than that, too. But all that is incidental ot he big myopic view. We all have trash bins and that is where we put the garbage and not our time and energy. Honestly, I have no idea how to make a neighbourhood whole again and neither does the council. The Downtown Eastside residents Association eventually became a political force (COPE) but skidrow is still skidrow. When I could, I moved away.

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    1. Laila

      I just can’t accept that J David. I won’t. Newton can be fixed. Yes it takes time and energy and most of all, money,but it can be much more than it is. The desire has to be there on the cities part to make it so. The desire and focus has been entirely in Central City and now, in South Surrey with the soon to be new neighbourhood going in down there… that is a story in itself for 2014.

      I lived close to the Newton town center area( right by Unwin Park) for many years before moving to the south part of Newton – you can search my tag Newton in my search function – and have seen and experienced much. I still shop and do business in Newton, but avoid the Newton bus loop at all cost if I can. Unfortunately from my neighbourhood, that is hard to do to make connections to other areas. People don’t realize how huge Newton really is.

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  9. Sanjit

    Thank you for speaking out Laila,maybe they will listen to you, they don’t listen to us. fyi Harry Bains has never done anything for Newtons crime.Hard to even find him in his office.

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  10. Curt

    Terri, you don’t move the problem to another area as you state. (Cloverdale/Clayton? Think they have their own problems.) That just moves it somewhere else and the mayor and council not dealing with the real issues. It’s time they did.

    And Laila, 2014 will be an interesting year for sure. Hmm, where to start? Campbell Heights continuation (with no proper transit let alone how it came to be) Seeing just recently the clear cut off of #10 and 144 (south of City Hall area) How many homes to go there? The continuation of the spread along 24th between 32 and 16th and 176 and 182, no it’ll run from 164th to 182? Talk is 10,000+ more people. The mayor’s property should receive a huge amount of $ if this proceeds. All this before any decent transit or infrastructure is in place. More congestion, more crime and at the expense of already established neighborhoods. Disgusting.

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    1. Laila

      I’m not sure why they chose to create a neighbourhood out in the middle of nowhere, where most have their own wells and there is no sewer. Oh wait, the owners group was comprised of majority developers…

      Lets keep the focus on Newton and how to prevent another tragedy from occurring. 😦 There is time enough for talk about the goings on in South Surrey.

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  11. Abby

    I just have one thing to say and it is mental illness. An attack like this is not just any old criminal trying to get $100 – it’s someone who has more than likely got an addiction tha has caused brain damage. Brain damage not only affects someone’s ability to reason but can make people really aggressive and angry. We need a provincial approach to deal with this issue more than anything else not a municipal approach. The province needs to start up Riverview with a separate wing for these type of people to contain them and them get them off the drugs.

    I see lots of good comments and think that people in general are beginning to recognize that moving the problem around is no solution at all.

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  12. Laila thank you for speaking your truth. People need to know what is really happening and if you weren’t talking about it then i can guarantee you that the local media wouldn’t touch it. I know for certain, as i have been told by a local reporter, that local reporters use the fact that you are on an issue as an reason for their editors to allow them to wade into areas that may be considered “off limits” by city hall. If you report it then they are forced to report it so you really are setting the trend. If you weren’t pushing this issue it would be yet another murder in surrey that is ignored. If the IHIT team was as good at policing as they are at PR surrey would be a much safer place to live.

    “In news clips and reports today, both the Mayor and councillor Hepner declined to talk about the issues in Newton, saying it was a conversation for another day. ”

    The only day and the only way that this mayor and council will speak to crime reduction is through media releases trumpeting their winning of yet another fraudulent award for public safety. The PR spin that is pumped out of city hall and the rcmp is dizzying, disgraceful and disgusting. The citizens of surrey are real people with real lives not just numbers to be sacrificed for control of the public purse and power. This regime has colluded with the murder of their own citizens by refusing to reveal the truth about what is really happening in surrey. It is unfortunate that the rcmp/city hall decided to conceal the truth about the earlier attack. One thing i know for certain is that as a society we cannot fix what we do not acknowledge and the orchestrated strategy to conceal the magnitude of crime in surrey so that this regime can continue to reward the Developers/Speculators that are raking in windfall profits and financing the current regime is unethical. When it is a gangsters who is murdered the person is “known to the police”. When it is a hockey mom then it is a “random event”. Both intended to minimize the reality that Dead is Dead.

    Now, this mayor, council and fordy all have blood on their hands. The cost of concealing the truth about crime in surrey to protect the interests of their big money financial supporters makes this gang complicit in the deaths and violence. The last thing that they want to do right now is clean up Newton.

    They have consciously chosen to push the crime out of the area of their new $200 Million Taj mahal-like City Hall and into Newton. None of this is an accident. It is carefully thought out and orchestrated. If they push it even further south they would be pushing it into their own communities of Morgan Creek and Ocean Park and you know that won’t happen. Newton is exactly where they wanted to move it and Newton is exactly where it will stay until this regime is ousted and the police are told to protect and serve ALL of surrey.

    Their failure to properly protect the public has cost yet more lives. Their mission to conceal the truth of what is happening in surrey is resulting in the death of citizens. When the Murders per 100K exceeds the magical number of 5 as they have in surrey (5.5) you not only surpass similar American cities to the south of us like Seattle (3.7) and Portland (3.3) by rates that are 50 and 60 % greater but you also enter the elite league of lethal american cities that are above the magic 5 that include NYC (5.1), Las Vegas (5.1), DFW (5.7) and Jersey City (4.4). And they allow it to happen so that their greedy profit sucking developers and speculators that finance their massive ($750K last election) campaign bankroll can continue to bleed profits from people. The entire effort by the mayor and council to collude with the developers and speculators to conceal the truth by restricting what they allow their contract police force to report and what the profit seeking media is allowed to print puts the blood of surrey on their hands. The inaction and the concealment of the truth is immoral. Councilor “ well it is legal you know” Hepburn and the rest of the political thugs may be technically correct but she is morally wrong. People are more important than Profits and those who don’t get that have lost their way.

    This regime that is holding surrey hostage has colluded with their contract police force and the media that they enrich with cash (over $300K a year to local media) to elevate surrey to the sad and sorry status of The Most Dangerous and Deadly City in Canada. I am confident that one day, when enough is enough, and the people of surrey are sick and tired of being abused by political elitists financed by dirty developer cash that they will awaken to the reality of what is really happening and will rise up to demand change that represents their wishes for the kind of community that they want.

    I have gone on far too long so let me leave you with one final thought. Could it be that there is a relationship between being The Most Under-Lit City in Canada and being The Most Deadly and Dangerous City in Canada? But of course that would mean that the taxpayers money in the public purse would have to be spent on the services that contribute to the safety of the public rather than being wasted on Glitzy Big Money Global Forums or being a piggy bank to the developers and speculators. If the Mafia was controlling surrey, I don’t think that hey could have done anything much different than what is happening right now.

    The great news is that people are starting to acknowledge how broken surrey really is and are beginning to ask questions and talk about it. My heart goes out to the woman who was beaten and to her family. My heart hurts for her and them the same way it has hurt for all of the others over the last few years.

    Laila thank you for your courage to speak out on the city’s strategy to knowingly sacrifice Newton in order to artificially create and finance a flashy new town center that they cannot find anyone to occupy. It is unfortunate that the real cost of those empty towers in Whalley is lives in Newton….ross buchanan

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    1. Laila

      Thank you Ross. Great comment. And I do think think you have a great point about being the most under- lit city in Canada. The new energy efficient lights are horrible and many neighbourhoods don’t have any street lights… or ones that are nearly blocks apart. Darkness is a friend to criminal activity. In more ways than one 🙂

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  13. Brett Mineer

    Great piece Laila. Newton has been sketchy for a long time – and your observations on the ground regarding Central City explain why it has gotten immesurably worse in recent years (although I still don’t feel brave enough to use Surrey Central SkyTrain station alone at night).
    CBC has a new Surrey Bureau Chief taking over within the next week – and he grew up in Newton. I would bet this will be an ongoing story Jesse will be very interested in.

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    1. Laila

      Please pass it on. It is not just Newton, but Newton is the new Whalley, speaking from experience. And sadly the victim has passed away. My only thoughts are with her family and friends.May they find some comfort in each other, and may justice be served.

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  14. Jean

    I live in south Surrey and I am sickened and enraged by yet another heinous crime in Surrey, My thoughts and condolences go out to her family, what a tragedy to have to suffer through.

    Make no mistake about it, the south part of Surrey is not being spared as Watts and her slate tear Surrey apart and destroy everything south of her beloved (Whalley) Central City which is not central where I come from. With no bus service down here and the thousands and thousands of people who will be living in all the towers already built and the ones to come, her arts center and towers on both corners of 19 Avenue & 152, multi towers planned for the Semiahmoo Mall, 5 and more to come at Thrift and 152/Johnston Road, and from Thrift down to five corners is all owned by developers/ investors just waiting for Baldwin’s generous hand-out of building permits. The road in White Rock in part is still only one lane each way and no way to widen it, in the Surrey part two lanes each way and already no parking on either side….and everyone needs a car to get around….con’t….

    jjjj

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  15. Jean

    and like I said then after all the meetings and BS peddled about the casino it IS happening and I understand it is being ‘bid on’ already. A gambling border town….brilliant.Thousands more cars coming and going 24/7/365 and all the crime that goes with casinos, money laundering, robberies on the streets and homes, suicides, families destroyed, etc. 16 Avenue is being widened and destroying more peoples lives as it butts up against the townhouses there and hundreds and hundreds of diesel trucks, some diverted from poor Morgan Creek who has been suffering for years along 32 Avenue with a thousand diesels a day passing within 30 meters of their homes and schools and playgrounds.

    The Now December 12, 2013, after murder # 23, Viewpoint, Michael Booth…Murder count…Task force a waste of time, money….in part…This whole task force is a tremendous exercise in wasting people’s time, energy and taxpayer dollars. Sorry Laila I tried to link to this but could only get his column from July 2013 hohum…It is insane down here and it’s only just begun.

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  16. e.a. foster

    Yes, now is the time to discuss these matters. Watts, not wanting to, has more to do with her political issues than safety concerns or the feelings of the victim’s family. Crime will always be with us. However, it can be reduced or moved around. Surrey’s actions lead me to conclude they favour, moving it around. its less costly for the City. Crime follows poverty. So when one area is “upscaled” the residents and those who prey upon them, move. Without proper social programs and policing efforts, crime is concentrated in one area. Now instead of dealing with it in this one area, the politicians choose to ignore it and hope it only impacts on those unlike themselves. This time that didn’t work. Someone who is middle class got “killed”. Politicians tend to forget not only the poor go into these areas.

    Surrey has long “advertised” their lack of tax increases. Well that comes at a price. Usually some one’s life. You need tax increases to keep up city services and to keep up with the growing population. As the population increases, there ought to be a corresponding increase in police. Now unfortunately the politicians in Surrey have opted to keep the RCMP. Vancouver, has its own police dept., therefore the Vancouver politicians have more control and say over how the work is directed. In Surrey, the RCMP don’t have to care. There is a 20 yr. contract. There are a few words about ‘reporting” to provincial/local governments, however, it isn’t as if the “chief of police” has to report to council and be held accountable. he can’t be fired. they can’t even transfer him. A city as large as Surrey needs its own police force.

    Diane Watts will only give lip service to this but there will be no changes and we can all get ready for the next assault. If Watts has higher politican aspirations, she might want to get the policing thing down straight. On the other hand, she appears to be quite happy being “mayor of Surrey for life”. Of course if a few more middle/upper class citizens get killed, that may change.

    As they say, you get what you pay for. you don’t want to pay for policing services, you don’t get them, and some times some one dies. Next time it could be “one of us”.

    Like

    1. Laila

      I don’t know how the city will even pay for increased policing. The budget for 2014 covers 12 new officers and if we end up having to pay our share for the new Billion dollar police station…? Go figure, we have the biggest RCMP headquarters here in Surrey… its a veritable fortress… and yet… what the hell are they all doing? Fordy says we need more resources in Surrey for the RCMP… Well why the hell did the city ask for the new facility to be built here? Why did the RCMP need such a massive new facility. Where has it gotten us? Nowhere, fast.

      How can we pay for more RCMP when the cities have to pick up the tab for their lavish headquarters Fordy? Answer that.

      Like

  17. Saddest thing of all is that it will not be long before someone else who cannot be smeared with the “known to police” tag is killed for what they have in their purse. It may well be in my neighbourhood, a couple dozen miles east of Newton, where the same downward social/economic trajectory of inner city Surrey can be found. Urban public relations bullshitters can crow all they want about Cities of the Future and Cities in the Country. What they say does not mean squat down here in the mean streets where far too many are just barely hanging on and more and more people are losing their grip on the illusory Canadian Dream entirely. The only solution, in my view, is community and workplace organizing. Until a lot more people are willing to get their hands dirty and not leave it to the authourities to take care of all we can expect is more soon forgotten headlines and more of the same.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Bang on. Far too many live in fear of speaking up and standing up. I would love to see Newton residents take back the community. Let the criminals know they are not welcome. I have a long time friend in Newton who used to spray prostitutes in front of her house with a garden hose until they eventually moved out of the neighbourhood. Perhaps someome needs to start spraying the creeps that make Newton unsafe to live in.

      Like

  18. Mosko

    Newton is not alone. Langley’s downtown core is rotting (thank you Peter Fassbender) and further east Aldergrove is showing worrisome signs. The focus of Watts and her toadies in council is all on Whalley (the inanely dubbed Surrey Central, which is about as far away from central as the Patullo Bridge).

    Watts was just in Israel, of all places, on a winter junket. Just how is a municipal mayor going to achieve anything other than a nice holiday on a trip like that? Surrey residents thought development could never be worse than under McCallum, then Watts came along and it’s been a developer’s wet dreamwhere anything and everything is for sale.

    The junkies, dealers, thieves and losers that Surrey used to be infamous for are all still there, they’re just being moved to Newton. Great plan. There needs to be help from the province, police and courts, but the current council has been in place long enough they have to shoulder most of the blame in the deterioration of Newton.

    Like

    1. e.a. foster

      that would not have saved the woman who was killed. the attacker most likely caught her unawares adn she would not have had time to pull her gun out and shoot. it would have just been something else for the thief to steal. This past year Canada had approx 580 murders, the least in 40 yrs. That 580 mark was passed in some single American cities. carrying guns has not solved the crime in the U.S.A., nor will it in Canada. What Surrey needs is more police officers on duty, a strategy for dealing with crime, and a strategy for dealing with poverty and social issues.

      Like

      1. Kreditanstalt

        But it’s not merely a question of “solving” crime. It’s a question of human rights – and of whether or not we think more government action can ever solve social “problems” anyway.

        Like

        1. e.a. foster

          government inaction never solved any social problems, this much I do know. Just check in Hondorous, etc. governments can deal with social problems. They can start by providing homeless shelters, affordable housing, better services for the mentally ill, subtances abusers, more cops on the streets–not in cars, etc.

          Guns never solved anything.

          Like

    2. Less than two weeks ago a young man of 19 was beaten to death by a 16 year old wielding a baseball bat, near the Sky Train line in the adjoining municipality of New Westminster. The 16 year old has had his identity protected because of the Young Offenders Act. The public isn’t even aware if he is still in custody, or is a friend to the attacker in Surrey. The public has been kept in the dark far too long. How are we supposed to know if a young offender, protected by law, is in our midst?

      Like

  19. Jean

    A special thanks to you Ross Buchanan, we can only dream of how a Ross Buchanan Surrey could have been if Watts and her hand-picked slate were not financed by the corporates in the last so-called election….BC Liberal style.
    White Rock is lucky to have you…Happy New Year!

    Like

  20. PS

    Storm the mayor’s office? Make enough noise to oust the local MLA? Can we the people start a vote of no-confidence? The mayor has sold Surrey to builders and developers…things need to change and it may be the collective strength of people that may bring this about. Not emotions and not talking to the deaf….

    Like

  21. Jeff

    This attack leaves everyone in Surrey/Newton with a feeling of unease. A wonderful woman was taken from her family and friends in a mindless assault
    I live in Central City and can say, without a doubt, that the new “energy saving” street lights are totally inadequate. Saving power is a laudable move but the lights no longer do their job. Streets are really dark, even under the lights. Even in the middle of Central City, along King George Blvd, it is difficult to see well enough to walk on the sidewalk after dark. Its noticable even in a vehicle. This mayor was in power when the lights were changed. Perhaps the lights could be brighter and a developer could be charged the real cost to service one of the many condo projects that seem to get a free ride.

    Our Provincial and Federal governments are also to blame. End this insane drug war and take the money off the gangsters while providing funds from the taxation to make our streets safer. That is a win, win situation that has been actively blocked by our politicians. One must ask oneself what benefit those politicians are gaining from prohibition. Are they getting money from the gangs? Are they getting money from the arms manufacturers? Are they getting money from the pharma companies to protect them from “herbal remedies”? Are they getting money from banks that launder the illegal profits? A good guess would be all of the above.

    Like

    1. Laila

      I urge you to lodge a formal complaint with the city on those lights Jeff. If no one complains formally,nothing will be done.

      Great discussion here. Great to see so much passion for change. Now to translate that into action and holding all accountable.

      Like

  22. Michael

    Besides Newton, a lot of Whalley’s garbage has been dumped on Guildford, Fleetwood and Cloverdale. I’ve lived in Fleetwood for many years and honestly it’s not what it was years ago. All I see are disgusting crackheads who zig zag on their bikes in the middle of the road, and try to break into other people’s cars. Don’t even get me started on the schizophrenic weirdoes who walk up and down Fraser Highway, muttering to themselves and leering at other people. I agree 100 percent, it’s time to re-open Riverview Mental Hospital and keep these schizoids off the streets.

    Like

    1. e.a. foster

      Michael, therefore but by the grace of god go you or I or someone we know. The issue isn’t getting “schizoids” off the street. It is providing proper housing for the mentally ill and disabled. it is providing proper treatment facilities for substance abusers adn then decent housing when they come out of treatment. Those “disgusting crackheads” you refer to were once someone’s child, spouse, loved one. Re-opening Riverview mental hospital would be a good start, but there also needs to be mental health hospitals in all areas of the province, not just in one location.

      Like

      1. Brian

        Typical Canadian Liberals: blaming the crime on everyone but the criminals themselves. If a junkie or theif gets tackled by security, that’s his problem. He should be making an honest living, but nonetheless this is Surrey so I’m not holding my breath any further.

        Like

  23. Pingback: From No Strings Attached: “We don’t need more task forces, we need results” | From Bosnia to Canada

  24. Kristen

    It doesn’t make sense that a community that is begging for help isn’t getting it. The city has grand plans for South Surreys Semiahmoo Town Centre and we don’t want any of it. Why doesn’t the city take those ideas and plans to an area that needs and wants it? Get the Newton Town Centre Plan back on track, clean up the area and stop these awful crimes.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Semiahmoo residents will have to really let the city know that during any public consultation,by writing letters to the editors of local papers and major media and via letters to council members and mayors.I certainly agree if the money is there to invest in that area – I understand the city is committing to make a huge investment in the tower/performance facility in exchange for use of it. Why not take the $$$ there and invest in Newton?

      Like

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