The scene of a shooting in Surrey this summer. (Black Press file photo)

Province gives $500K to anti-gang program in Surrey

NDP follows through on promised funding to the Surrey Wraparound program that targets at-risk youth

The new NDP government has followed through on its promise to provide $500,000 for Surrey’s Wraparound anti-gang program.

The funding was part of the party’s commitment along the campaign trail in an effort to reduce gang violence.

There are currently 97 students in the Wrap program, which was launched in 2009, with another 35 students awaiting entry.

It’s said the new funding will eliminate the backlog of the youth program, which involves police working with the school district to identify and intervene with children ages 11 to 17 at risk of joining gangs.

“Wrap is a successful program that identifies at-risk youth to help keep them out of gangs in the first place. It should have stable and secure funding, not waitlists,” Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said in a release.

“People want to feel safe where they live and know their child won’t be lost to the dead-end path of gang life,” he added. “It’s time to target gang violence in our neighbourhoods head-on. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”

The government says evaluation of the Wrap program — which involves counselling, mentoring, recreational activities, mental health support and more — has shown a 67 per cent decline in the negative police contacts of participants.

In March, when Premier John Horgan was campaigning and promised this funding, then Liberal MLA Amrik Virk said it’s “appropriate for the public to get a fulsome picture.”

The Wraparound program, he said, helped more than 500 students under his government’s watch. He accused Horgan of pulling “numbers out of the air, pre-emptive of grants that are imminent” from the Liberal government.

“Mimicry is the best form of flattery,” Virk said at the time.

Virk said his government has spent $64 million annually on a “full suite” of anti-gang enforcement in B.C., featuring the Gang Exit Program and End Gang Life Program, which he said has to date reached 20,000 students.

Virk expressed pride that Wraparound is funded through the proceeds of property seized from gangsters.

B.C. has provided $535,000 to the Surrey Wrap program since 2009, mostly through civil forfeiture grants.

The Surrey Wrap project has received the bulk of its support from Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy: $880,000 between 2008 and 2011, $500,000 from 2011 to 2013 and $3.5 million from 2015 to 2020.

Meantime, the provincial government says it is also taking action on gun and gang violence by working in partnership to implement the Surrey Accord, reviewing recommendations from the Illegal Firearms Task Force, seeking to “further support” police efforts to disrupt the illegal drug chain and pushing the federal government for increased penalties for dealers.

The NDP government also vows to push the federal government to bolster B.C.’s federal RCMP complement, and pursue the province’s share of the $100 million in funding the federal government announced as part of its plan to help with guns and gangs.

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Police asking for help to find 11-year-old last seen in Surrey

Shauntae Joseph has been reported missing two other times since October 2019

Influx of cross-border visitors to Peace Arch Park sparks concern COVID-19 could spike

Police, parks officials say patrols, education and signage have all been increased

Barn catches fire in Surrey

Fire department says ‘pressurized containers’ inside the structure

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Langley Lodge ordered to swab all residents staff, new cases discovered

Four new cases – two residents and two staff – have been confirmed at the long-term care home

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

Most Read