Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to call on the government to act now to address the gang violence that is happening in my community of Surrey. Crime levels in Surrey have reached crisis levels. There were 27 shootings in the past two months.
I stood in the House multiple times in the last number of weeks demanding that the government take action on the issue and I still have not received any concrete answers or commitments from the government. People come to Canada because they want to give their children a better future in a country that is safe. It is simply unacceptable that there are communities in this country where parents are afraid to let their children play outside in case of a lone bullet.
A first step in resolving this problem would be providing Surrey with the necessary resources to deal with escalating gang violence including youth gang prevention programs. Youth gang prevention programs funding in Canada is unstable and inconsistent. That is why I have introduced Motion No. 407 that calls on the government to provide stable, long-term funding for youth gang prevention and intervention programs. I hope my Conservative colleagues will vote in favour of the motion and work together to keep our families and children safe.
I am urging the government to work with us to find solutions to fix this alarming problem. However, in order to find solutions for this problem, we need the government to be transparent about the current situation. Last week I stood in the House with a number of questions for the minister that were not answered. I asked the parliamentary secretary at that point to be aware that I would come back to the House at this time for those answers. Hopefully she will provide us with those answers.
I do not want to hear talking points. I do not think people in my community want to hear talking points, so I will repeat the questions again.
The parliamentary secretary keeps talking about $2.8 million in crime prevention funding in Surrey. The minister says it is about $3 million, so which one is it? Is it $2.8 million or $3 million? These are the kinds of questions I had for the minister last week and I hope she comes prepared.
What is the itemized amount for spending on crime prevention in Surrey? What components are grants or contributions? What is the government's definition of crime prevention? Which departments were involved in spending with what amounts?
What I keep hearing from the government are the same talking points from the parliamentary secretary and the minister, but still no action to deal with the gang violence problem.
The parliamentary secretary will stand and tell us the Conservatives have brought in 30 new laws to deal with this and she will say “that member voted against it”.
This crime wave is happening in Surrey despite the number of laws they brought in. They are not sufficient. We have been telling them that we need to invest in communities and crime prevention programs. Experts have been telling us at committee that we need to invest in crime prevention. Crime prevention pays. A little investment goes a long way.
The parliamentary secretary is also going to tell us that Conservatives have increased the funding for the RCMP. The fact of the matter is they cut the funding for RCMP in 2012 by $195 million. Now she is going to tell us they have increased it for seven straight years in the last eight years. If it is increased by $2 million each year, yet they take out $195 million, I think Canadians can do the math.
I urge the parliamentary secretary to answer my questions. My question is not what the government has done or what the Liberals did wrong. My question is what are the Conservatives doing now in my community? What is the government's plan to deal with escalating gang violence? When will the government approve the 100 RCMP officers the city has requested? What will it take for the government to prioritize public safety?