Observations

The Surrey Policing Transition Report

The Surrey Policing Transition Report was released on June 3rd at 1:00 pm, and is 189 pages in length. The closed Council meeting only lasted two hours before the report was voted on and sent to the Provincial Government in its present form.

I read for two hours and could only manage to get to page 123. By the time I made it through the document, I spent nearly three hours and had made notes with 27 questions. How informed was Council in the two hours they had, to disseminate the information, before they sent the report to the Provincial Government?  Why did they keep the report out of the community engagement process? These are the questions I hope are answered as the rest of the public is left wondering how factual the numbers are.

Today I was on Pulse FM and had the time to speak with host Tara Lopez about the transition report and what the Mayor says it will cost.

https://soundcloud.com/pulse1077/micinthecity-on-pulse-mornings-june-4-2019

The interview opened up the dialogue with respect to the numbers. Both in budget numbers and the numbers of personnel.

What I found during my second read-through, were some deficits surrounding the Special Investigations Section. Specifically, Sophie’s Place, which starts on page 94 and continues on page 95. What caught my eye was, in the report where it said there is “child friendly space for children up to and including 18 years of age living in Surrey…” Sophie’s Place provides care for children zero to nine years of age.  With this glaring incorrect statement, I began to look at this part of the report with greater intensity.Sophie's Place - Child Advocacy Centre - MikeStarchuk.com

Sophie’s Place holds a dear spot for Surrey Fire Fighters as they are the ones who, in 2012, created much of the space for this program. Let me give you some background.  Sophie’s Place is the 1st child advocacy centre to open in B.C.  It’s a place where children that have been sexually or physically abused can go and get wrap-around service from specialized RCMP officers, victim services, counselling and much more.  As a firefighter I was part of this group when it was first set up in 2012. 

Currently there are seven specialized RCMP CASO (Child Abuse and Sexual Offence Unit) working at Sophie’s Place investigating abuse against children aged zero to nine. 

On February 7, 2019 Mayor Doug McCallum and Surrey City Council unanimously passed a corporate report
https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/CR_2019-R027.pdf 
to enter into a 10 year lease and expand Sophie’s Place with an additional 11 Special Victims Unit officers and two staff, so that services could be expanded to include children aged 10 to 15. 

In the Surrey Policing Transition Report, those 11 officers and two admin are clawed back, and services to abused children ages 10 to 15 are taken away. We cannot let these vulnerable children fall through the cracks. We cannot allow this Council to endorse a Corporate Report in one month, and then a few months later, dismiss those details and omit this here.  To state that any additional resources will come from Surrey PD Sex Crimes Unit is nothing short of ludicrous. There is nearly one new file opened every day. The expansion of programming for youth 10 to 15 years of age, is the reality of what is happening in our society.

Stand UP and SCREAM at the top of your lungs for these young victims! If we don’t, the predators win.

Stats:

  • 1 in 3 Canadian girls will be sexually assaulted before reaching adulthood
  • 1 in 6 Canadian boys will be sexually assaulted before reaching adulthood 
  • 1 in 5 children will be solicited sexually while on the internet 
  • 60% of children sexually abused never report their abuse.

 

 

At The Newton Exchange

A great morning with the transit users in Newton with everyone looking forward to using LRT in the near future.
The riders were excited about the youth passes for those 18 and younger, and all were very happy with the Surrey First platform on public safety.

Remember to get out and vote this Saturday for Tom Gill, Mike Starchuk and the Surrey First team.

Mike Starchuk - With Commuters and Surrey Fire Fighters At the Newton Exchange - MikeStarchuk.com Mike Starchuk - With Surrey First Candidates and Surrey Fire Fighters At the Newton Exchange - MikeStarchuk.com Mike Starchuk - With Commuters and Surrey Fire Fighters At the Newton Exchange - MikeStarchuk.com Mike Starchuk - With Commuters and Surrey Fire Fighters At the Newton Exchange - MikeStarchuk.com

 

 

Surrey Municipal Election – Advance Voting Dates

In the Surrey Municipal election, it is important that everyone’s voice is heard, and each individual is given a chance to cast their vote.

To that end, below are the dates to get out and vote:

ADVANCE VOTING:

October 6th, 10th, 11th, or 13th.

ELECTION DAY:

October 20th.

The advanced polls are held at six locations throughout the city of Surrey, and are open 8 am to 8 pm.  The advanced poll locations are:

  • Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre
    13458 107A Ave.
  •  Guildford Recreation Centre
    15105 105 Ave.
  •  Fleetwood Community Centre
    15996 84 Ave.
  •  Newton Seniors Centre
    13775 70 Ave.
  •  Cloverdale Recreation Centre
    6188 176 St.
  •  South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre
    14601 20 Ave.

 

To find out more information, please click here to visit the City of Surrey’s 2018 Municipal Election website.

 

 

Farm Fresh Sundays

Farm Fresh Sundays - MikeStarchuk.com

The last Sunday of the Farm Fresh Sundays is just around the corner. Sunday the 24th (Tuesday the 26 at Tap Restaurant) is the last weekend where you can choose from menus that feature local produce in restaurants in all of our town centres. There has been great feedback and support for this project and I look forward to next year. The imagination of the Chefs, to keep it local and great tasting, is amazing.

Our newest participant, Greek Islands (Fleetwood) will be having a draw for a couple of $50.00 gift certificates for those who order from the Farm Fresh Sunday menu. I wish them well with this added bonus to promote our local agricultural producers. It’s no secret I left there, last Sunday, full and delighted to support our local economy.

Participating Restaurants are:

  • Bozzinnis – 13655 104 Avenue, Surrey – website
  • Elements Casino – 17755 60 Avenue, Surrey – website
  • Maharaja Restaurant – 8148 128 Street, Surrey – website
  • Old Surrey Restaurant – 13483 72 Avenue, Surrey – website
  • Greek Islands – 9547 152 Street, Surrey – website
  • Tap Restaurant * – 101-15350 34 Avenue, Surreywebsite
  • The Taphouse – 15330 102A Avenue, Surrey – website

* Tap Restaurant will offer their menu on Tuesdays, as they are closed on Sundays.

 

Bon appétit!

 

 

New Ideas for New Farmers

Thanks to Stefania Seccia from 24 Hours, for taking the time to meet with me today, to expand on the thoughts and ideas that will give an opportunity to a new generation of farmers. Stefania allowed me, as the Chair of City of Surrey’s Agriculture and Food Security Advisory Committee, to speak to the growing (no pun intended) issues surrounding our farming community. The Surrey Virtual Incubator Farm Project will develop a one-stop shop web portal for aspiring young farmers to get basic agri-business information on how to farm. The project will provide the knowledge for new farmers looking for access to lands that are under-utilized in Surrey. The platform will be similar to sites like VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner), where landowners will be able to list and provide details of their property and interested farmers can review and make contact for a lease arrangement. Surrey will be the first municipality in BC to take such an innovative and proactive approach to promoting the land lease market in BC’s agriculture sector.

This is innovation and imagination at it’s finest.  I can’t wait for a lunch in a Surrey restaurant in 2016, where 80% of the meal is grown and processed within our City boundaries. If we can get some hops grown in the City, I’ll see what can be done to get that meal closer to 100% from Surrey!

(Sadly, the article and other content from 24 Hours Vancouver, is no longer available.)