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“We don’t need more task forces, we need results” -Esmir Milavic

Strong words from Community Relations Strategist at @Surrey604, Esmir Milavic, on how to address the issue of violence and safety in Newton, as the community copes with the tragic death of Julie Paskall.

I agree with Esmir completely. And this is why.

                                        What happened to the Newton Town Centre Plan?

As I detailed in my prior post, the city of Surrey promised it was Newtons turn for rehabilitation and rejuvenation back in 2008, with sweeping changes to combat crime and rejuvenate the area: .

In fact, the Surrey First Slate even campaigned on a safe streets philosophy in the last election, committing to a new District Police station being built near the Newton Transit Exchange :


Sadly, very little of any of those plans came to fruition, because the core changes that plan was based on, hinged on a promise made to the city of Surrey by the former owners of the Newton Bingo Hall, Boardwalk Gaming.  That promise was not required to be fulfilled when the new owners took possession of the assets and left the city exposed in a manner they did not anticipate :

“After winning approval for a mini-casino in Newton, Boardwalk Gaming has sold the property to another company, leaving Surrey council angered about failed promises for the property.

In 2009, Boardwalk promised a $25-million investment that would see a revitalized mall and community policing station at 7093 King George Blvd. in exchange for a lucrative zoning change that would allow slot machines at Newton Bingo Country. The rezoning was in violation of Surrey’s existing gaming policy, but it passed on a five-to-four vote.”

Let’s not talk about the fact the city broke its own policy to get some freebies.

The facts remain, the Newton bus loop didn’t move to King George,there was no new Newton District Police station…and the city was left holding the bag for making promises they actually had no intention of keeping on their own dime.

And for the next 5 years, Newton continued a downward spiral, becoming ever more the new Whalley with every dollar invested in Central City. Surrey did become host to the new billion dollar RCMP headquarters – never mind that no city in BC wants to pay for it -even though it could potentially cost the city of Surrey nearly a million dollars in extra payments every year, to cover administration costs. ( you tell me where that money is coming from… )

What do we know?

We know that doing what the city has been doing for years in Newton – which is increasing police presence only in reaction to incidents, not proactively – isn’t working.

We know that the while the city has invested heavily in many other areas of the city, no effort was made to rework the Newton Town Centre plan once the promises of Boardwalk Gaming were no longer a reality.

We know that in fact, the city  instead went ahead with preliminary concept plans for another area of Newton far less in need than Newton Town Centre.

We know that despite Translinks quick rehabilitation of the Newton Bus Exchange to accommodate our new B Line, the energy-efficient lighting is considered by most transit users, to be completely inadequate at night. The amount of light given is weak in comparison to traditional lighting.

We know that the lighting in the parking lot and surrounding the Newton Rec Centre and Arena is completely inadequate, and in combination with several heavily treed areas, provide ample cover for criminal activity of all kinds.

We also know that Newton is a hub for social service agencies, corrections offices,bars,numerous beer and wine stores and the Bingo Hall with slots. Addiction, poverty and drugs are huge issues.

We know that the budget the city of Surrey has presented for this year, allows for 12 new police officers for the entire city. Hardly enough to keep pace with nearly 1,000 new residents every month.

We know that even by the RCMP’s own assertions, that the crime stats reported, may not match the actual amount of criminal activity in an area. Here is why, from the Surrey RCMP’s own site  :

“It is important to keep in mind that reported crime does not always correlate with actual crime. While some crimes are never detected, of those that are, not all are brought to the attention of the police. For various reasons, some crime types are more likely to be reported (or detected) than others. Information on consensual or what some might term ‘victimless’ crime (i.e., drug use, prostitution, gambling) will likely not be reported, and detection by police will require significant investments of time and energy.”

They go on further to state:

The data presented here may vary from previously produced reports and numbers may continue to change on a daily basis due to the dynamic nature of offences being reported, investigated and/or cleared. Further, Statistics Canada redefines criminal offence codes on an ongoing basis, which may result in changes to how crimes are recorded within PRIME.


Caution should always be taken when comparing crime data extracted at different times or by different agencies using different data sources and/or methodologies.

This explains  completely why the perception of crime is often higher than the crime stats the city relies on. How many people report drug deals going down? Prostitutes? An addict shooting up? If I called the police every time I saw a drug deal go down, I would be dialing all day.

Crime is not just perceived to be higher than the stats show… it is higher.

Many people don’t even report minor break-ins anymore because the RCMP in Surrey do not have time to respond to every call, and no one wants their house or car insurance to go up due to repeat claims.  This is the reality of Newton town centre residents, among other neighbourhoods including my own in the southern part of Newton.

Sadly, we also know that what isn’t working in Newton, all played as contributing factors to the death of Julie Paskall, because the city was well aware of every single point I make here. Newton residents have been calling for help for years, but not one level of government has been listening.

Where do we go from here?

I didn’t know Julie Paskall, had never met her and as much as I would like to, I can’t bring her back. No one can. But I feel a tremendous personal responsibility as a long time Newton writer who has extensively covered the issues of not only Newton, but all of Surrey, that I too, contributed to this situation. I should have written more, put more pressure on local governments, not let up. I know this damn area she was in, went in and out of that building twice a day for over 6 months.

I knew how bad it was.

The city knew how bad it was.

So did the RCMP right across the damn street.

Esmir is right when he says that we don’t need more task forces, we need results. ‘Fordy’s 40’ is a joke and the punch line is Surrey.  We don’t need more committee’s, we don’t need more consultation – there are years of documentation/consultation for the city to look to – the people of Newton have been crying out for help for so long they don’t remember what hope looks like anymore.

There are things the city can do immediately to improve public safety in the area- lets forget about beautification efforts right now. On New Years Eve, I spoke with Simi Sara on her show, and said the city needed to improve lighting immediately around the entire Newton Rec Centre  and either remove or light up the grove of trees that provide cover for criminal activity between the city facilities, Coast Capital Credit Union, and the mall. They  need to limit access/flee points to the arena and rec. centre – there are so many places and points criminal activity flourishes and is hidden.

Councillor Barinder Rasode has been interviewed since and agrees the city has not done all that it could for Newton, and needs to do more.

Translink needs to install brighter lighting immediately at the bus loop – the high efficiency lighting is simply not bright enough for the area. Assign a team of two or four ‘beat cops’ on foot or mountain bike to the town centre permanently. Highly visible, known to all merchants, and city staff. Quick to action, anytime.

These are immediate fixes that will improve public safety right away. In conjunction, the city needs to reprioritize it’s goals, and look at the load of the officers of the Newton Detachment.

They are overwhelmed many times, and that comes from a friend who is an officer in the Surrey RCMP. God help us if flu strikes the force with any ferocity. Even 12 new officers spread over the entire city won’t make a dent in what the city is dealing with in terms of calls. The RCMP also need to ensure that in all cases of any serious assault or robbery, they err on safety and let the public know – Knowledge is not only power, it’s safety.

 I would like to see the city make an immediate commitment to investment in the town centre in some manner. Re-prioritize public infrastructure investments or utilize the Capital Legacy Reserve Fund as a resource for investment.

With businesses leaving,and national coverage of this heinous crime, no one is going to invest in Newton Town Centre unless the city uses some of that “visionary planning” to initiate it. And this time, not via a deal to approve slot machines in one of the most at risk neighbourhoods, in exchange for a new police station etc. Slots have no place in Newton.

It’s not a cure, but it is a start. Newton is broken and the city needs to pick up where they left off in 2009.  A woman died because someone felt confidant enough that no one would see them rob her. And apparently, no one did. She had children, she was loved,  she had dreams…and I am willing to bet she gave far more than she ever asked for.

Residents of Newton must reach within, conquer fear and stand together against violence and city neglect. Alone you are drops, together you create a tsunami capable of toppling walls.

****Surrey RCMP offers the following reminders to residents:

If you are walking alone:

  • Be Aware- Know your surroundings and remove your headphones.
  • Trust Your Instincts-If something does not feel right, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Walk with Confidence-Keep your head up and know where you are going.
  • Only Essentials-Carry only the necessary identification, money, or cards that you need.
  • Keep in Touch-Bring your cell phone so you can make emergency calls.
  • Stay Visible-Stay in well-lit areas and don’t wear dark clothes at night.
  • Keys Ready-Have your car or house keys ready before you reach the door.

Minimize your risk:

  • Don’t carry large bags or purses
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash
  • Don’t carry important documents like a passport or birth certificate
  • Don’t make your valuables visible

If you are approached: If you are approached and verbally threatened or physically assaulted you can avoid further confrontation, by giving the perpetrator all the property they want. Do not fight back. Never engage in an altercation as it increases your chance of getting physically harmed. Although it is not essential, try to observe the perpetrator’s shoes, clothing, or visible markings like scars, tattoos or piercings to help the police in later identifying the suspect. When the robbery has ended and the perpetrator has left, call 911 to report the crime.
IHIT is asking anyone with information or who was in the area of the Newton Arena, Newton bus loop and the Newton Wave pool, between 7:00-11:00 p.m., on December 29 and may have seen any suspicious activities, persons, or vehicle to please call the IHIT Tip line at 1-877-551-4448 by email at

If you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip on their website at


  1. So all the solutions involve more government? More police – and more police stations? More lights…more cameras? Higher taxes? More power to the politicians…!

    Hope you trust them.

    This is a social problem. A job problem. An economic problem. Surrey is a bedroom, urban spraw community which simply doesn’t allow for neighbourhood self-sustainability, knowing one’s neighburs and community or jobs for all who reside there.

    LESS government might help: allow a mix of stores, shops and housing above those stores. Close some of the arterial roads. Cut taxes to the bone and downsize expensive services to improve livability for the low income, permitting them to stay in the community in times of joblessness. Allow any and all in-home businesses. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS: deny the crime word a profit. And allow people the right to arm themselves and take a load off the police.

    Surrey’s central problem is that it really is hardly even a community: it’s an artificial bedroom suburb.


    • I’m not sure if you see the same community I am talking about. You refer to Surrey Central, which is far from Newton. I am speaking to Newton. And yes, if you live here, commute through here and know the community as many do… yes, Newton needs real representation. Newton needs more police – the entire city does. YES, the Newton rec centre needs more lights and always has…

      Low taxes for too long without a concrete alternative source of revenue is how the province got into the mess we are in today.

      If you take time to look at the Newton plan that was not acted on, you will see that your suggestion for allowing a mix of residential/commercial is a part of it. As is the suggestion to close some arterial roads ( festival ‘Main’ street)

      Legalizing all drugs is not going to happen, so let not waste time on that.And from my experiences in Surrey, I sure as hell am glad that the ‘people’ don’t have the right to arm themselves with guns.

      Do you actually live in Surrey.. or just have an opinion on it?


      • How many of your commenters “actually live in Surrey”? Not many I’ll venture…but does it matter for the purposes of this discussion?

        Moreover, a more pertinent question might be, “How many who live in Surrey don’t actually leave the place on a daily basis (for any reason – shopping, earning dollars, whatever)? How many can spend an entire week in Surrey without exiting?

        How one can expect a sense of community to develop in what is really a bedroom suburb by throwing more money at it is puzzling…


      • Should only the Police who execute young men for drinking a beer outside a hockey game or the criminals who execute their own and innocent bystanders be the only armed people in our society.
        An acquaintance of mine was shot by a man with an assault rifle but not until after the Police were called informing them that the acquaintance was being hunted by the man with the assault rifle. The man with the rife had shown up at a local pub looking for him.
        The Police never showed at the pub and did squat until after he was shot and the assailant had killed himself. The RCMP are cowards.
        Everyone should be armed and then the criminals will be eliminated in short order or they will move to a safer location to conduct business. Where people are all armed crimes rates decrease substantially.

        Marine Corps General Reinwald was interviewed on the radio the other day
        and you’ll love his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning
        guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you
        gotta love this!!!! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It
        is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female
        broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to
        sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.
        FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going
        to teach these young boys when they visit your base?
        GENERAL REINWALD: We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing,
        archery, and shooting.
        FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?
        GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on
        the rifle range.
        FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous
        activity to be teaching children?
        GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper
        rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
        FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you’re equipping them to become violent
        GENERAL REINWALD: Well, Ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute,
        but you’re not one, are you?
        The radio went silent and the interview ended.

        Kennesaw Georgia required By Law to own guns
        Happy New Year


  2. What really worries me Laila, is the suggestion that the motive was robbery. I do not believe anyone beats someone this badly for robbery. This person wants to kill and has now succeeded. They will kill again. Robbery was the excuse, murder was the intent.


    • I don’t like to surmise, but there could be many reasons for this kind of anger. One is that the perp feared being identified so much he acted to ensure she would not be able to. The second is the worst. That he was angry and harboured an intent, or an outlet.

      He will be caught, either way, I firmly believe Sue.


    • Great article Jean, Michael Booth has done some very pointed columns about how things are dealt with here. He hits it right on the head in many ways.


  3. whatever possessed council to permit more gambling in an area such as this is beyond reason. You don’t put casino’s in areas which already have poverty and crime. it won’t help the situation, only make it worse. of course it would give criminals a place to go and that is maybe what was intended. Then of course the joke was on council. Those who obtained the re-zoning were able to sell the property for more money. As these problems progress in the area, it will drive downother property prices. Once that has been achieved, developers can move in, wait and then build, a long with a nice big casino.

    If council knew about the crime problem in the area and didn’t even bother to post a couple of extra cops there at night, insist transit put in better lights, you know someone had an agenda and it wasn’t to make things better for the people who lived there. the crimes which were being perpetrated in the area was perpetrated on people, those in power don’t really care about. Areas do not become run down unless there is something else at play. it might be interesting to look at how far down property prices went in Whalley before “re-vitalization” began.

    The only reason this has caught the MSM’s attention and hence that of the politicans, is that the victim was obviously not of that neighbourhood. Now Watts has a problem on her hands. She and council just never saw it coming in this form. Will they do anything? Most likely not. Warning to stay out of the area has been delivered. No one of the 20%ers will be traveling through the area. Problem solved.

    Now as to why someone would beat someone else to cause death? who knows. We don’t know how badly the victim was beaten or was it a “lucky” blow on the part of the perpetrator. Was it some one high on drugs? We may never know. If there is no crime scene evidence and the video in the area, which at best is most likely slim, this may well go down as an unsolved crime. of course if a large enough reward is offered, some one may come forward. The size of the reward will most likely depend upon how much political trouble the politicians are in or how prominent the victim was. This may sound cold, but having lived for a long time and watched a lot of cases where people were murdered…………just remember the 49 women who went missing on the DTES.


    • Very sad. I’ve been very vocal against the slot machines going into Newton for years. And it was known to the city that if the South Surry Casino proposal was not approved, that those slots would and could become permanent in Newton. It’s appalling to see the clients in there.

      I honestly don’t know what the RCMP expect to accomplish with their command centre parked down there today, other than making a big show. It’s very unlikely someone with a tip is going to walk up to an officer in public and tell all. Stranger things have happened though.


  4. I didn’t become fully aware of the dangers that Newton posed until my good friend and co – worker Wayne Bell lost his son Devon Allaire-Bell on the grounds of Frank Hurt High school. Devon and his friend Jack were stabbed by 5 cowards and Devon lost his life. He was 19.

    Although there is a good idea who the cowards are, there have been no arrests to date.

    Two young men who were simply kicking a ball around a school field and in the end, a mother loses her son.

    A memorial that is chained to the school fence and is routinely vandalized is tenderly kept up by Devon ‘s parents. What was an ugly, over – grown park filled with garbage, disposed needles and condom wrappers, and the make shift campsites of homeless people are cleaned up and out by the Bells and their friends on a regular basis. Brambles cut back and or removed, new shorter growing plants placed in the areas cleaned out.

    The bulk of this work is done by Devon ‘ s family and the only thing that was ever asked for was a re – naming of a relatively small wooded area that was a former disgrace. Presentations were made to the city and the only reply was “if we changed the name of a park every time someone was murdered we’d run out of parks” or “all of the parks next to the schools in Surrey, carry the same name”, even though there is plenty of evidence to prove otherwise.

    There was a chance to honor a fine young man… Now there is the same opportunity for a woman who could have been anyone’s mother. A hockey mom. And the city should honor her in an area where they desperately failed her. Outside what should have been a safe place. Where our children go to play and our parents watch.

    Right now I’m ashamed to live in this city.


    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts Gord. Devon’s family has done amazing work in that park… its sad to hear his memorial gets vandalized often. Where did the lack of respect go?


  5. So many problems bereft of solutions.
    The old Rootin, Tootin, Newton, has now become an ugly “challenged” area. As Vancouver is pricing the poor out of the City, the poor, with their problems are moving on and sadly Whalley and newton are at the end of the line.

    Surrey is becoming a city of ethnic and income ghettos, the Indian population here, the wealthy there, and the poor, well in the Newton area. (Don’t believe me, good friends were literally forced from their house because they were the only non-Indian family in blocks). The City of Surrey, not wishing to hinder its Mayor’s, a one Dianne Watts, future political chances has done little to quell the many problems that infest the city.

    The wealth of “tear-down” houses and a very weak and inept police force has now left portions of the city wide open for drug dealers, with an ample supply of drug/crack houses and grow-ops. Much of the “big”money behind the the festering sore that has become Newton, do not sully themselves with the day to day drug operations (the Bacon Brothers are middle management), rather they are restaurateurs, developers, and other successful business types, who are big financial supporters of politicians. Really, has anyone really asked the important question of why so many wealthy people have made so much money when they pretend that it is luck and hard work; just where did the investment money come from???

    The downward spiral, that is now Newton, cannot be solved with brighter lights or more shops, or even more police, but a societal change and I do not see that happening. Until we curb political donations, shine a spotlight on how the wealthy made their money; and revamp our social welfare policies, the evil that is hovering over Newton will continue to hover, adding more and more victims as time goes by.


  6. Interesting perspective and food for thought. However one cannot deny that very much like we take safeguards around our homes to improve our safety, cities must also think in the same manner. Dim lights allow the issues to continue hidden from view, as do overgrown areas of trees and shrubs. Darkness is a friend to everything bad in Newton, and people who transit through the area, use the area around those city and Translink facilities deserve the basic right to be safe. So, I disagree with you on that. It’s common sense.

    Yes, a societal shift needs to happen but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, I agree. So we work with solutions to create the best situation we can, with what is available. If the will is there, Newton can and will change, very much like Whalley is in some areas. But the will has to be there.

    its important not to mix the issues – what is going on between the gangs in Surrey, is one issue and while it relates to many issues in Newton, it’s not to blame for all of them. There are many things wrong in Newton that have nothing to do with the drug trade: there are a lot of young single moms, a lot of poverty – not all due to addiction or drug/criminal involvement – and there are safety issues due to the petty crime… which more often than not does relate to drug addiction… but can also relate to poverty alone.

    To simply sit and do nothing and use the excuse that a societal change is needed, is not the answer. Small changes can have big impact on a community. I’ve seen it happen.


  7. Another problem I have is that for all single mom’s living in poverty there must be dead-beat daddies and why are they not forced to support their children? Is this not what Clucks’s BC Liars family thing is all about?
    The liquor bar in the billion dollar RCMP digs needs to be shut down and removed competely. Anybody who goes to and from there, inclulding visitors from city hall, etc., would be driving a car most of the time when they leave. Why in the hell do we have to pay for a bar for people when they are at work?
    These people who work for us are completely out of control.


  8. Obituaries Obituaries Place an Obituary Place an In Memoriam Classifieds Autos Homes For Headline News:
    Surrey residents call for immediate action to make Newton safer after hockey mom’s murder
    Early morning house fire in Surrey kills one, sends seven to hospital
    Rasode says Surrey’s strategy for Newton isn’t working
    Surprise marriage proposal on stage in White Rock (WITH VIDEO)
    UPDATE: Man arrested in connection to fatal fall from Whalley highrise released
    LETTER: Surrey needs to stand up and show some pride
    UPDATE: Man arrested in connection to fatal fall from Whalley highrise released
    Homicide team continues to investigate
    Surrey Now
    January 1, 2014 09:56 AM

    Surrey RCMP and the Coroner’s office were investigating on New Year’s Day after a woman fell to her death from a highrise building on 100th Avenue in Whalley. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has taken over the case. (Photo: WARD PERRIN)
    Surrey RCMP and staff from the Coroner’s office remove the body of a woman from the ground beside a highrise building in Whalley Jan. 1, 2014. The woman fell from the building. (Photo: WARD PERRIN, PNG)
    Previous Next Surrey RCMP and staff from the Coroner’s office remove the body of a woman from the ground beside a highrise building in Whalley Jan. 1, 2014. The woman fell from the building. (Photo: WARD PERRIN, PNG)
    WHALLEY — The man arrested in connection to the “suspicious” death of a 19-year-old woman who fell from the 26th floor of a Whalley apartment New Year’s Day has been released.

    IHIT spokesman Sgt. Adam MacIntosh said the woman fell at about 1 a.m. Wednesday from an apartment near King George SkyTrain, in the 13000-block of 100th Ave. Two RCMP officers in the area on an unrelated matter witnessed the fall. A 23-year-old man, with whom police say she was in a relationship, was arrested at the scene.

    Police said Thursday that no one was in custody and no charges had been laid.

    MacIntosh said police were initially called to the scene in response to a possible domestic disturbance.

    Mounties have visited the residence in the past for other domestic disturbance calls, he added.

    MacIntosh said the 23-year-old suspect has a criminal record made up of relatively minor offences.

    The deceased is described as an African-Canadian woman. Further details of her identity were not released.

    The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team continues to work on the investigation.

    “Our goal right now is to try and determine from him what were the circumstances that led to her falling to her death and if the circumstances were criminal in nature,” MacIntosh said Wednesday, before the man was released.

    Surrey had a record-high 25 murders in 2013, including the death of hockey-mom Julie Paskall, 53, who died Tuesday of injuries suffered during a brutal attack outside a hockey arena in Newton.

    The New Year’s Day fatality could end up being Surrey’s first homicide of 2014.

    Anyone with information relating to either of these cases is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or Anonymous tips can also be made through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

    -With files from the Vancouver Sun

    © Copyright 2013


  9. I think it starts with Mayor and Council squeezing themselves onto a bus on a Friday night going from Surrey Central to Newton loop and then go for a walk over to the library.


  10. Ruth, great idea,but that isn’t going to happen, or if it does there will be RCMP body guards, a ton of media, and a lot of political supporters. It would be nice to send them out by themselves or in 2s to see how they fare, how the citizens of Surrey live. Council needs a real reality check, not a guided tour.


  11. surrey council is a joke… any conditions on a property can be passed on to a new owner…. Surrey is FAMOUS for violence and murder but nothing is done… Hey Mayor… can’t fix it then resign


  12. “If I called the police every time I saw a drug deal go down in Newton, I would be dialing all day.” Newton may be a little worse off in that regard than some areas but your quote applies pretty much everywhere. Our society, including its police agencies, gave up the drug fight a long time ago. The arrests still being made are just for show. Just meat for the justice grinder to paraphrase Tom Wolfe.


  13. we need the ward system most of the councilors leave south of #10. When the people i south surrey said no to slots Diane stepped in and stopped them but when we went meetings and said we didn’t want more slots in Newton they pushed it through anyways. it is also the voters fault if you look at turn out people in south surrey turn out in force but those in the north don’t


  14. 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.
    Mike, FYI -A repeat of my earlier post on Laila’s previous blog.
    Dianne Watts imo would be well aware of the fact that it is being ‘bid on’ right now.


  15. my heart goes out to the victims family. may their loss be a catalyst for effective change,
    there is no one cause or one solution. management of police and city resources is an issue as is councils response to such issues.

    we move our various social issues around our community’s yet we do not to ensure all of the supports in place .
    and even if all were in place would this crime still have happened ?

    only the killer knows


  16. From a very reliable source:

    ” More info on our dreaded casino that we said nonononononono to..
    With the new Addition to Reserve legislation…. . Watch for the return of the South Surrey Casino at the same location with SFN “partnering” with Gateway Casinos on what they will declare ATR land. The new legislation exempts them from any and all local laws including zoning. The contractors are already bidding on the project. Ms. Watts didn’t have to look bad and support it…imo,perhaps she knew that it would go forward as a FN ATR project. She looks good to the south surrey community to oppose it and she imo knew all along that Gateway had the ATR that conveniently takes it out of the hands of Surrey.


  17. Laila,

    When you spend more than a couple of minutes a day talking about the federal, provincial and for us municipal governments in Surrey it makes me feel like I need a really good cleansing like a steam bath!


  18. politics anywhere can do that to you Jean.

    I really like to see the discussion going here, some great ideas, some not so great ideas but a lot of thoughts and input. I think there are two ways to deal with this. The ” Must be addressed immediatel for public safety” portion. The lighting, the trees etc. That is the responsibility of Translink and the city on their properties. Engaging local businesses to ensure their properties are well lit and secure.

    Then the work of the mid-term and long term begins. But it begins now with the immediate changes. Those changes could be done with a couple phone calls and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Also, although there are definitely a lot of stories with regards to Surrey, let’s keep the focus on this issue and this tragedy. There are many people working for change right now and keeping the focus is very important. 🙂


    • You are so right on this one Laila. When an everyday Mom, neighbor and friend loses her life in such a senseless fashion, we are all outraged. Screaming at the moon might make us feel better but it won’t change anything unless we all come together and fix this part of Surrey.

      The Mayor and Council deserve a large share of the criticism. I’m finding that many of this administrations supporters in South Surrey are starting to question why more was not done and needs to be done in Newton.

      The Mayor likes to refer to stakeholders, and there are many.

      Some that need to step forward include the local media who have granted our Mayor “movie star status”. I’ve never advocated “throwing rocks” as a means for change, however, the media has a vital role to fill and that’s to keep the public informed and ask the questions that need to be asked… good, bad or not.

      City Planning staff and Management need to “Plan and Manage” better than they have. Too often “agendas” are advanced along the easiest path going forward. Opportunity to design and build quality projects that will survive the test of time are needed. Too often, long term goals are traded for short term success resulting in the worst urban sprawl ever.

      Developers, investors and builders have enjoyed front row access to decision making, often hiding behind “the process” while excluding any real public input.

      Like any profession, Surrey needs to partner with reputable individuals that stand in the sunshine like everyone else.

      Our Mayor and her councilors need to understand that “managing the big picture” requires that the “little things” get done and are done right.

      Its convenient to say a 1000 people per month come to Surrey. Without the infrastructure of roads, schools, hospitals and businesses, it will not flourish. Surrey’s growth is not a excuse to abandon neighborhoods and leave others at risk.

      We all need to remind ourselves that the vast majority of men, women and children living in Surrey are good people.



    Newton Residents Fearful, Furious and Frustrated…

    It’s difficult to write about the murder of Julie Paskall outside the Newton Arena and Rec Centre on Sunday December 29, without getting emotional. This was the worst kind of crime. An innocent victim beaten to death, most likely by one of the many desperate addicts who now frequent the area.

    I moved to South Newton 27 years ago, back when it was still a semi rural community, with abundant wildlife and babbling brooks everywhere. It felt peaceful and safe. It’s hard to recognize the place today. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I accompanied my now grown-up son to swimming and skating lessons at the Newton Rec Centre, never fearing once for our safety. That has all changed.

    We need some answers from Mayor Watts on the ongoing neglect of Newton, the heart of Surrey.

    Why did the city of Surrey approve the monstrous John Volken facility currently under construction at the corner of King George and 68th Avenue, despite nearly 1000 residents voicing their opposition ? This complex will bring another influx of vulnerable residents, into an already struggling community. We can say with a fair amount of certainty that had the application for a “Life Skills Academy” been for South Surrey or Cloverdale, it wouldn’t have stood a chance.

    Why did Mayor Watts choose to vote NO against the South Surrey casino last January, knowing that this meant the existing gaming facility would remain in Newton along with slot machines. There could not be a worse location.

    Why has the city of Surrey ignored the calls to enforce their own “unsightly property ” bylaw and not demolished the former public market building which has remained vacant for 15 years? It has been described as a hobo jungle and is a haven for drug users and dealers and squatters. There is a process in place to remove buildings like this and charge the costs back to the land owners long with taxes.

    Why were there no police foot patrols in the neighbourhood where Julie was attacked? With a community policing station only 2 blocks away, in a neighbourhood known to be sketchy?

    Why were several lights out at the entrance to the arena on the night Julie Paskall was assaulted?

    Why do the powers that be in Surrey, continually put themselves in the position of needing to fix problems that by their own decisions they helped create?

    In the coming days and weeks, Dianne Watts needs to make some important decisions for the future of her city.
    The writer of this blog has been a supporter of Mayor Watts-voted for her in every election. I think I was her 6th follower on Twitter. And for the last 9 years my spouse and I have owned rental properties in the City Centre (Whalley) area. We believed in and supported the mayor’s drive to revitalize downtown Surrey. That area needed help, but not at the expense of another town centre. Pushing the problems south along the King George has been a disaster. A Downtown Eastside for Surrey.

    We don’t have all the answers, but now is the time for action and solutions.

    Let’s get to work. First for Julie Paskall and her grieving family, and then for everyone who calls Surrey home.

    Note* The Newton Community Association is holding their monthly meeting this Monday Jan 6th at the Newton Seniors Centre 7PM. Everyone is welcome to attend.


  20. Interesting to hear the comments about how poorly lit the area is and then connect the dots to the fact that the bureaucrat behind Canada’s Least Lit City, which has cut the cost of developing to the developers and put tens of millions into the pockets of the Surrey First Developers has been promoted from City Engineer to City Manager.

    Yes, Vinny Lalonde who in my opinion along with others is complicit in the death of Julie Paskall has been rewarded for creating the worst lit city in Canada and has filled the pockets of developers with cash. Sure the developers make off like bandits with mega profits and sure Vinny gets his big promotion but at what price? He gets promoted and others get snuffed? Is it any wonder that the worst lit city in Canada is also The Most Dangerous City in Canada? And what does it tell you about the culture at city hall and what does it tell the others employees at the city when this kind of behavior is rewarded and put in the most senior leadership role.

    Here is the city of surrey policy for repairing street lights. Too bad for Julia Paskall. A lot of people can die in 2 or 3 weeks. And if that is their standard for what they consider acceptable service you can only imagine how long it really takes.

    ” Street light repair: within 1 to 2 weeks of your request, unless the light’s out because of wire theft. When the light’s out because of wire theft, repair can take up to 3 weeks.”

    So the mayor and councilors can say whatever they want but this is all about rewarding the developers by reducing costs to develop surrey and it continues to kill people. Some get promoted and huge salaries of nearly $300,000.00. Others get savagely beaten to death


  21. I have a question.Where was the mayor for the last week?She showed up here the day after and no one saw her since then until today on the Bill Good Show.She was gone.Ms. Rasode was here, she talked to me,and to everyone.She said the city was wrong,did the wrong things. The mayor didn’t say anything for a week,no shows,no radio,not here.Where was she when we needed her support?

    Also I listened to her today and she keeps yakking about her gang task force and making it sound like it was for Newton,it wasn’t for us in Newton,it was for the gangbangers shooting each other!That has nothing to do with us here in Newton! The city has ignored us for years,broke their promises and didn’t take care of the area like they said they would.I am glad you and Doug and that renewton lady and Liz and others have always listened and tried Laila.But see if you can find out where our mayor was when we needed her.I will always remember Ms.Rasode taking the time for me.


  22. It is an outrage that the law prohibits law abiding citizens from carrying any kind of defensive weapon, whether it is a small canister of pepper spray or even a handheld taser. We can thank Kim Campbell, who as justice minister under the then PM, Brian Mulroney, rushed through Bill-C17 in 1991, effectively banning members of the public from carrying these weapons for protection against muggers, sex predators and psychos. Criminals carry knives, guns, pepper spray and any other nasty weapon they please, and without the slightest regard for public safety.

    Now, in the wake of the appalling death of Julie Paskall, the RCMP are now telling Newton residents (and everyone else in BC) “not to resist” their attackers and give them everything they want. Does that include “non-resistance” to sexual molestation or even rape? The RCMP, in fact, have given the criminals the green light to do their worst to us. Julie Paskall may not have even heard her attacker approaching, but if a few more criminals ended up with pepper-spray in their face or even gunshot for their troubles, the criminal fraternity would begin to think twice about attacking “defenceless” members of the public. However, a none of the major political parties seem to be to concerned about changing the rules in our favor, one has to ask if the Liberal party and the NDP are really the “parties for women’s rights” that they claim to be?

    With “friends” like unsympathetic legislators and the RCMP determined to keep us “non-resistant,” vulnerable and defenceless, who needs enemies?


  23. And by the way. I do not condone violence in any manner except in defence of property or/and self. The best case would be for all weapons be destroyed so that no one at all is armed including all states and their agents. Since the states and their agents will not give up theirs is there any logical reason why people who wish to protect themselves should give up theirs.


    • While I respect everyones right to have an opinion,please refrain from the gun control law debate on this thread. The last thing we need is to turn this tragic event into a reason to pack guns. I strongly feel more people carrying weapons on the street is the last thing we need right now. Please refrain from taking this discussion in that direction.

      “Dog spray” for joggers is not uncommon in Surrey. We have a lot of dogs here 😉


  24. Fine, lets not talk about gun control (which does not affect the criminals one bit), so what about crime control? Why is it we only see the police in force in a high crime area when an innocent member of the public has been murdered? When the RCMP have finished “pulling out all the stops” to catch Julie Paskall’s murder, will they just disappear again?

    As a former soldier and current owner of a growing security agency, I can tell you that putting plenty of mature, well-trained people in uniform on the streets really does work. Indeed, the growing street gangs of feral youths in Britain are fearless because of the ineffective and unarmed police over there, so some neighbourhoods are hiring security guards to do the policing for them.


    It’s funny, when the security company in the video started answering emergency calls from frightened neighbours and dealing with problems far faster and more effectively than the monumentally useless British constabulary, the police magically re-appeared back on the streets, clearly embarrassed that a security firm that was doing a better job than them.

    While some police chiefs can argue that public safety is not a commodity than can be bought and sold, it IS, nevertheless, a necessity. The absence of the police on our streets, coupled with longer and longer response times for 911calls will, inevitably create a void. The question is, who will fill that void, the criminals, or private security? its already happening in the UK and the USA.


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