Living – and learning – in a Third World country page 27
A ﬁery decade of ﬂamenco page 30
Thursday September 1, 2011 Serving Surrey and North Delta www.surreyleader.com
Remote-controlled vehicle can take crash and crime scene photos
HST defeat could limit building new schools
RCMP drone takes to the air by Jeff Nagel
‘Not a lot of optimism’: Minister
RCMP ARE TESTING an aerial drone that can hover over crash sites
and crime scenes to take photos or beam video back to officers on the ground. The remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle should help crash analysts get better, faster images to reconstruct what happened. RCMP Insp. Norm Gaumont, head of traffic services in the Lower Mainland said it will allow police to reopen roads to traffic faster after crashes than when a helicopter has to be called in. “Sometimes we absolutely need an aerial shot of the scene and we keep the road shut down longer than we need to,” Gaumont said. “This fits in a suitcase and we can have it flying in minutes.” The Draganflyer X6 – built by a Saskatoon firm – costs $30,000, weighs just one kilogram and can carry either a digital still camera or a high-definition video camera. Officers are permitted to fly it at altitudes of up to 175 feet and at speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour. The lower altitude RCMP are testing the means it can also get much Draganﬂyer X6 for a year. It’s more detailed images than hoped the camera-equipped helicopters. An officer on ﬂying drone will allow police the ground can wear video to reopen roads more quickly after crashes. View video of it in goggles and see what the drone sees. action at surreyleader.com “There are a lot of potential uses for this technology but it will not be used for any type of surveillance,” Gaumont said. Similar drones are already used by police in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Gaumont said the RCMP here will test the unit for one year before deciding whether to buy one. Some defence industry analysts have predicted the era of manned combat jets is ending – the U.S. F-35 fighter now in development will likely be the last new design before military drones take over entirely. But Gaumont said he doesn’t foresee that happening anytime soon with police drones replacing helicopters such as Air 1. “These things are very light and there are a lot of limitations,” he said of the Draganflyer. The testing will determine how accurate it is and how the craft performs at night or bad weather, he added.
by Dan Ferguson & Tracy Holmes EDUCATION MINISTER George Abbott
EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER
Peter Busink, 67, made his 150th blood donation on Wednesday. The Surrey resident began donating 40 years ago as a student and has been visiting the clinic faithfully every 56 days for the past 15 years.
kept using variations of the word “challenge” during a half-hour conference call with reporters this week to discuss the coming school year. “It may be a somewhat more challenging school year,” the minister said. “There’s not a lot of room for optimism.” He was talking specifically about the deadlocked contract talks with teachers, but he sounded equally gloomy about the impact of the HST defeat on funding for new schools in Surrey and Langley, where population growth in some neighbourhoods has outpaced school construcGeorge Abbott tion. “It (the HST defeat) adds an additional dimension into what is a challenging situation,” the minister said Tuesday. There is a need for capital investment, Abbott added, but it won’t be easy to fund. Even without the loss of revenue from the HST, the drop in revenues created by the international economic “meltdown” has forced the government to tighten its belt, Abbott warned. “It is not a time we can be expansive when it comes to spending,” he said. See GOV’T / Page 4
Editorial 6 Letters 7 Life 27 Arts 30 Classiﬁeds 33
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Drivers believe one thing – but do the opposite Tickets rise despite poll showing most people are convinced of the risks of phoning and texting while driving by Jeff Nagel A NEW POLL SHOWS B.C. drivers overwhelmingly believe talking or texting behind the wheel on a mobile phone is extremely dangerous. Yet 16 per cent admit talking recently on a handheld phone and nine per cent admit they texted or emailed while driving. The Ipsos Reid survey conducted for ICBC found 87 per cent of respondents believe texting or emailing while driving is one of the riskiest behaviours on the road and 50 per cent believe talking on a handheld phone is as risky as drunk driving. The results come after RCMP said they ticketed 2,043 Lower Mainland drivers over a six-week period this summer – nearly twice as many as the 1,197 tickets for $167 issued in the same period in 2010. RCMP Insp. Norm Gaumont said the ticket blitz showed lots of people continue to text or talk on their phones – even 18 months after B.C. brought in its distracted driving law. “It’s a new phenomenon that’s come upon us – a young generation that are really tied to their devices and they can’t let them go,” he said. “I see it every day. People are still using their Insp. Norm Gaumont phones, still texting. They’re looking down at their knees.” Distracted or inattentive driving is the number one cause of 45 per cent of fatal crashes in the Lower Mainland, Gaumont said, adding it’s the worst rate of any region in the province. “It really causes devastation on our road ways,” he said. Gaumont said another RCMP ticket blitz in September will again target illegal use of electronic devices and failure to use seatbelts. More than half of drivers surveyed in the Ipsos poll reported seeing other drivers break the ban on handheld device use several times a day. The top excuses for using a hand-held phone while driving? Forty-two per cent said it was a very short call or they use the speaker function. Others said they pulled over after answering (37 per cent) or they were stopped at a red light (29 per cent). Still others said they don’t have a hands-free system or that “it’s simply a force of habit.” “Many people don’t realize that it’s also illegal to take a call or text while waiting in traffic or stopped for a red light,” said Fiona Temple, ICBC’s director of road safety. “You lose 50 per cent of what’s going on around you when you’re talking or texting on a hand-held device. This makes you four times more likely to get in a crash.” For info on distracted driving penalties and tips on safe use of cellphones, see www.drivecellsafe.ca.
“They’re looking down at their knees.”
Summer scream Surrey’s Nyaja Corwe, 6, with her mother Janay, hang on as they ﬂy high on the Spring Ride at The Fair at the PNE. The annual Vancouver fair continues through Sept. 5.
Port Mann Bridge passes half-way mark Milestone for what will be B.C.’s biggest bridge by Jeff Nagel THE NEW ELECTRONICALLY tolled
The new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge is now more than 50 per cent ﬁnished. It will be tolled electronically, like the Golden Ears Bridge.
Port Mann Bridge is now half built. Politicians and construction crews gathered at the new span Saturday to mark the 50-per-cent completion milestone. The new 10-lane bridge across the Fraser River is the centrepiece of the $3.3-billion Port Mann/ Highway 1 expansion project. The bridge will reduce congestion, cut commute times and ease goods movement, according to Premier Christy Clark. “Once complete, commuters will save an hour a day in travel time,” she said. Eight of the lanes of the bridge are to open by late 2012 and tolls will go into effect at the same time.
The other two lanes open in 2013. Bridge users will pay a minimum $3 to cross one-way, provided they use a transponder or pay within two days – otherwise the cost will be $5.30. The base toll rises 2.5 per cent a year. The bridge is projected to initially raise at least $175 million a year in tolls, a figure which assumes it carries 20 per cent more paying vehicles than crossed for free in 2007. Even so, it will take several more years of traffic growth and at least a further 15 per cent boost in revenue before it reaches the break-even point where tolls match the outgoing payments to the private partner that builds and maintains the project. It will be the biggest bridge in B.C., with an 850-metre-long main bridge deck and an overall length including See PORT MANN / Page 5
By the numbers Q 157,000 tonnes of concrete Q 250,000 tonnes of asphalt Q 28,000 tonnes of rebar and 13,000 tonnes of structural steel Q 45 kilometres of cable Q 16 kilometres of pile and ﬁve kilometres of drilled support shafts
4 Surrey/North Delta Leader Thursday, September 1, 2011
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Gov’t: ‘It’s time for them to act’ From page 1 “We don’t have that choice.” While Surrey School Board chair Laurae McNally said she has heard government officials talk of having to tighten the purse-strings, she said Wednesday that she believes they recognize Surrey’s unique position as a growing school district. “(Finance Minister) Kevin Falcon is on record… as saying the HST will affect operating situations, but it won’t affect capital
projects because they’re job-creating projects,” McNally said. Abbott spent a day touring the Surrey district earlier this year, and echoed the sentiments, she said. “They’ve made the comments publicly… we’ll just have to wait and see,” she said. McNally noted Premier Christy Clark has been talking about a jobcreation strategy, and suggested new schools would fit the bill. “A good way to create jobs here locally is by building schools,” she
FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER
Residents of Surrey held a rally for new schools in March. Education Minister George Abbott said the capital funding situation remains uncertain due in part to rejection of the HST. said. “I do believe, truly, they understand we’re an anomaly in the province.
But it’s time for them to act.” email@example.com
Caution: Students crossing Black Press THE RETURN of school speed zone limits on Sept. 6
also means the return of parents driving their children to school. But parents are being asked to avoid educational institutes, if possible. David Dunne, director of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation safety programs, said parents who drive their children to and from school pose the biggest danger to child pedestrians and cyclists. “The congestion caused by so many vehicles creates a very dangerous environment,” he said.
Reports of drivers making U-turns, stopping in nostopping zones, backing up into crosswalks, rolling through stop signs, ignoring school safety patrollers and letting their children out from the driver’s side into oncoming traffic are all too common. The most common offence, however, is speeding. In an effort to address the issue, www.preventable. ca will launch its “Have a word with yourself ” campaign Sept. 6-9 in Surrey school zones. Drivers who speed in school zones risk fines of $138 to $483 and the possibility of having their vehicles impounded for up to 60 days. For more information visit www.BCAARoadSafety.com
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Thursday, September 1, 2011 Surrey/North Delta Leader 5
Surrey man robs gas station to pay dinner tab Diner charged in ‘unusual’ crime in North Vancouver Black Press A YOUNG MAN from Surrey found a
novel way to pay his restaurant bill in North Vancouver last Friday. Police say Cory Henderson, 21 ate at Browns Social House on Lonsdale Avenue at 18 Street and left the restaurant at about 9:30 p.m. without paying his $38 bill. When cornered by restaurant employees, he allegedly told them to call the police and said he would be at a nearby gas station. Moments later the North Vancouver RCMP received a hold up alarm from the neighboring Esso gas station.
Henderson allegedly held a screwdriver to an employee’s neck and robbed the gas station and then returned to the restaurant and paid the unpaid bill with the just-stolen cash. The North Vancouver RCMP were at the scene in moments and arrested him. Henderson was held in custody over the weekend and released on bail. He faces charges of robbery, fraudulently obtaining food and possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose. “Fortunately no one was injured in this most unusual robbery,” said Cpl. Richard De Jong. “It is not every day a criminal will tell a victim what his next move will be and then go and just do it.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project Permanent Traﬃc Pattern Changes and Construction: Abbey Drive and 100 Avenue in Surrey As the construction of the new Barnston Drive Overpass continues, two permanent traffic pattern changes will occur in the coming weeks as follows: August 26, 2011, access to and from Abbey Drive at 176 Street will be permanently closed. September 6, 2011, access to and from 100 Avenue at 176 Street will be permanently closed. Access to Pacific Academy School will be via 104 Avenue or the 160 Street Interchange. The 176 Street Interchange and Barnston Drive are being redesigned and reconstructed to minimize traffic on local streets and provide future connections to the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the Golden Ears Bridge. The new Barnston Drive Overpass, which is scheduled for completion in mid-to-late November, will improve traffic flow between the neighbourhoods on the east and west sides of 176 Street and help to improve safety by preventing highway traffic from using local roads.
For more information, or to sign up for construction updates via e-mail, please visit the PMH1 Project web site at www. pmh1project.com, call 1 866 999-7641(PMH1), or e-mail email@example.com
Port Mann: Old bridge will be demolished once new one done From page 3
traffic lane in each direction separated from other highway traffic that will be dedicated approaches of just over two to users going directly kilometres. between Surrey and Port A total of 288 Coquitlam. cables will hold up The project is also the bridge, anchored supposed to bring a new to 160-metre high Highway 1 RapidBus towers. service running from a The lanes will new park-and-ride in include an HOV/bus Langley via north Surlane in each direction, rey to Lougheed Skyas well as a five-metre Lekstrom Train station in Burnaby wide path for bikes in less than 25 minutes. and pedestrians. But TransLink says it doesn’t There will also be a local
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yet have the money to operate the Highway 1 bus service, which is one of a number of proposed expansion projects that depend on increased funding. Once the new bridge is complete, the old Port Mann Bridge will be demolished. Transportation minister Blair Lekstrom thanked the project’s 1,500 workers and appealed to bridge users and project neighbours for continued patience and safe driving during in construction zones.
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6 Surrey/North Delta Leader
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Published and printed by Black Press Ltd. at 5450 152 St., Surrey, B.C.
PUBLISHER Jim Mihaly
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n what can only be con- the HST went over like a sidered curious timing, lead balloon – people saw it Premier Christy Clark as yet another tax. A toll on the Port Mann, toured the new Port Mann Bridge site Saturday where there are few “free” – one day after the defeat of alternatives available, is a specific tax to pay for the HST was confirmed. The tour was to mark the the $3.3 billion cost of the bridge and improvements halfway point in completo Highway 1. It and the tion of the bridge. It was an Golden Ears Bridge will be occasion for the provincial the only two tolled bridges government to unwittingly remind regular bridge users in the province. This means Surrey of a new tax they will start residents will have few paying sometime next year, alternatives to crossing the when the first eight lanes of river without paying a toll. the bridge open. That tax, One alternative will be to of course, is the toll to use use transit – but the transit the bridge. service that is scheduled to The toll will be as low as use the bridge is unfunded. $3 per trip for those with Another transponders. alternative is But for regular the Pattullo commuters, that Bridge, is $6 per day, which is old, which is another narrow and $120 per month, can’t take a if they work 20 great deal of days a month. additional When former traffic. The premier Gordon Alex Fraser Campbell announced Frank Bucholtz Bridge and Massey plans to build tunnel will a new Port likely become much busier Mann Bridge in 2006, the announcement was received the day tolls kick in on the Port Mann. with enthusiasm throughSuggestions about more out Surrey and the Fraser Valley. At last, someone was universal tolling of bridges have thus far fallen on deaf recognizing the worsening ears. It appears that Surrey, congestion on the bridge, Langley, Abbotsford and which is far more than a Coquitlam residents will commuter route. pay for the bulk of the It is part of the Transbridge costs. Canada Highway. It is the The new Port Mann main route between the Bridge is replacing an existCity of Vancouver and its ing bridge which has been surrounding suburbs, and Surrey and the Fraser Valley. in operation since 1964. It has served the area well, but It is also the major access it has been jammed with point from the U.S. border to Vancouver and Whistler; traffic for years. The new wider bridge to ferries from Horseshoe is badly needed, but the Bay; and between Vancouadditional financial demand ver and the Interior. His announcement came it will place on bridge users is patently unfair. at a time when the B.C. The province needs to economy was booming. Most people who wanted to rethink not only how the bridge is financed, but how were working, and the idea a broader, lower cost per of a toll bridge didn’t sound trip, tolling program could so bad. help pay for the new bridge That was then, this is now. The economy is far dif- and ease TransLink’s finanferent. While B.C. is holding cial woes. Surrey residents should its own, as compared to not be paying an unfair the U.S., many people are share of the overall tax burvery concerned about their den for transportation. finances. That’s one reason
2011 The Surrey/North Delta Leader is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent within 45 days to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org
LAST WEEK WE ASKED:
Do you think Surrey should ban leg-hold traps? Here’s how you responded: Yes 89% No 11% CAMPING
The tentacles of technology
ast weekend began about a month ago. Fortunately, I thought, as we rolled down Daughter, husband and baby were sitting Highway 8 west of Merritt, cell service evaporated. around the patio table when talk turned to The iPhone would be tucked away until Sunday camping. afternoon when civilization once again appeared Son-in-law, I’m certain, had never really seen through the windshield of the truck. dirt until he first visited our place from the cities However, ever the optimist in technical wonder, of England. However time and travel have accushe sent off a text message, and hit ‘send’ just before tomed him to life in Canada, and the fact that not we pulled off the pavement. I thought that would everything is paved over. be it. So during the patio chat he mentioned that he After an hour and half of dirt trail, the last seven would enjoy going camping. kilometers taking up 60 minutes of that, we arrived Ever one to push the envelope, I offered up a at the lake, grateful for the rock-strewn track probackcountry fishing trip, complete with ‘never viding solitude and the lake all to ourselves. been in one before’ paddle around a lake in a tippy A while later, after setting up camp, lighting a canoe. campfire beside which I was ensconced with a cool The enthusiasm was at first muted, and since the one (even at 1,500 meters it was a very hot day, the women in the group refuse to ‘camp’ fire for ambience only) the son-in-law in anything less than a four-star hotel, enthusiastically exclaimed “I got a it was with some mild convincing reply.” that we finally determined just the After a surprised, “You’ve got to be two of us would embark on the ‘great kidding!?!?!” from me, we discovered adventure’. that for some very odd reason, in the Thus last Friday morning, the truck middle of virtually nowhere, a cellular loaded the night before and the canoe phone signal would fade in and out. mounted on my rough-country huntThere went my plans for a technoing trailer, we set off for a high elevafree weekend. The thoughts of just us, tion lake northwest of Merritt. canoe, tent and axe, experiencing the Now the son-in-law is a technophile. vision of ourselves as rugMark Rushton Canadian Every free minute is spent doing ged timeless outdoorsmen suddenly something on a computer (despite shattered and intruded upon by comworking on one for eight or more puters, cell phones and modernity. hours every day). So the camping trip came with Shocked as I was by this intrusion on my ‘getgreat forewarning – no internet, no WiFi, not even, away-from-it-all’ location, even I couldn’t resist the gasp, cellular phone service. challenge to light up my Blackberry. I’m sure that amplified his trepidation, but into Sure enough there was a signal strong enough the truck we climbed and hit the freeway heading for me to not only text, but actually make a phone east and north. Before we reached the Vedder call. Canal, he was already on his iPhone checking baby And with that, a little tear nearly appeared at the pictures, the latest football (soccer to us!) scores loss of one of the priceless values of our fabulous from the U.K., even checking on Google Maps wilderness. where we were going. No matter where we go today, the tentacles of I pointed out that where we were going is likely technology can’t be avoided without a conscious not on an Internet map, and certainly not the route effort to ignore them. we were about to traverse … even I could hardly remember how to get there since my last visit was Mark Rushton writes for the Abbotsford News, a some 20 years ago. sister paper to The Leader.
roomfor a view
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Bridging the tax gap
CIRCULATION MANAGER Marilou Pasion
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Surrey/North Delta Leader 7
When fares run afoul, just drive I AM RESPONDING to the letter
is to shake the fare out of the passengers. This is not my understanding of the training that drivers go through. As for some of the assertions that Mr. Sahib is making, these can be explained by a simple understanding of the job. If a driver says, “whatever, I don’t care,” to a passenger who doesn’t want to pay, I don’t think the driver is showing apathy towards the job but a canny response using basic psychology. I ask you, which response would raise the ire of someone who already doesn’t expect to pay: a disapproving look and an assertion about fares paying their salaries; or a shrugged off response that says, “don’t take your beef out on me, man?” Anyone with a dose of street smarts will choose the latter – I can’t think of anyone I know who relishes getting beaten up over a couple of bucks (that are not even M. Vinthers , Surrey theirs). As for some of the other points Mr. Sahib raises, he should think of Bus drivers concerned the tough scheduling drivers face Letter writers suggest that bus drivers keep doing what they are trained to do – drive the buses, about more than fares and the demands on them to be on keep to schedules and not confront fare evaders. time. MOST PEOPLE are very sincere who Does he realize that often a have a monthly pass. Sometimes ambulance had come? And yet some passen- transit drivers you had did just that. Othdriver may have a schedule that they forget it. Should I make them pay, gers, knowing full well what has happened, erwise, I’m sure you would take issue with only allows a few minutes to grab a coffee, or probably, but I’m not going to get bent out of have the nerve to ask the driver if the bus is that, instead of blithering on about fares. use the bathroom? shape about it. going to be delayed. Drivers don’t have the schedule of an There are people that scam the system and Have you ever seen a transit driver ask Karnel Basi office worker, who can get their two 15 minpat themselves on the back. To me, these someone if he can see their pass, only to get ute coffee breaks and their hour for lunch. people have thrown away their dignity and spat on? Buses can’t run on time if I think if Mr. Sahib was always late (as self respect. Have you ever seen a transit driver get to he says he takes the bus every day) because drivers don’t focus on the road I am, however, impressed at how obserthe end of their line to find an intoxicated his driver was hassling the customers about vant you are. On some occasions you see person sleeping in their bus? Then get help their fare or closing the bus to take his break I WOULD LIKE to challenge the picture that transit drivers letting people on for free. waking him up and getting him out into the instead of allowing passengers on to get out letter writer Mohammed Sahib is painting of Wow! fresh air? Then check the seat/floor where he bus drivers. of the weather, he would have many more My question is, do you ever see a transit was sitting/sleeping and found and returned harsh things to say about the state of our My husband is a bus driver and enjoys driver help an elderly person into his/her their wallet or cell phone? transit. his job. He enjoys talking to people and seat or up out of his/her seat? Have you ever seen a transit driver greet I say to Mr. Sahib, be thankful you have giving directions to those who ask. I know, Do you ever see a transit driver wait everyone with a smile, hello and a thank dedicated drivers willing to put up with all however, that there are dangers inherent to before leaving the stop, until someone gives you? sorts of people, and keep the buses running that job. up a seat for an elderly or someone with difIf not, then I suspect you have never on time, and drive you safely through terI do not speak for the company, but I ficulties, even though the driver is running ridden on my bus – or maybe you have. rible traffic, and stop questioning whether know that drivers have been trained not to late and behind schedule? However, all you see are the people who they earn their salaries or not. Let me assure challenge passengers who get on without Have you ever witnessed someone falling don’t pay. you, they do. fare. Fare evasion is one of the largest outside at a bus stop and seen the driver pull Transit drivers’ jobs are to get passengers catalysts for assault on a driver. Mr. Sahib over and help the person and wait until an from point A to B safely. I believe all the Dana-Lyn Mackenzie seems to think that part of the driver’s job “Too many free bus rides,” The Leader, Aug. 25. I am a retired bus driver of 24 years, and I feel a need to clear this up. We are told from day one in training, that we are to inform not enforce the fares. We are just to report the problem and security will take care of it. I used to confront passengers about their fares. All it did was delay the bus, and inconvenience the paying passengers, who have now missed their connections. If a fare evader complains, as they sometimes do, the company will not back the driver. So Mr. Sahib, if you or anyone else has a problem with fare evaders take it up with the company not the drivers. The drivers are just as fed up with these fare evaders.
Neighbourhood losing lustre Irresponsible premier I FELT I HAD to respond to Jill Singel’s letter in the Aug. 25 Leader. As a resident of St. Helen’s Park for the past 20 years, we are saddened by abrupt changes in our neighborhood that have been evolving over the past couple years relating to increased house sizes, suites, traffic, police presence, etc. As a result, we decided to sell our home by owner, and that in itself was a complete education. I discovered very early that the interest in my million-dollar view home was firstly, how many bedrooms, and secondly what age? Fortunately or unfortunately, our home has little more than lot value because it is neither a tear-down or a multiple suite home. The other nail in our coffin
is curb appeal – on one side of us is a house in disrepair with two mobile homes operating as a work yard of a construction business. On the other side is a house that is tarped and dismantled resulting from a work stoppage order due to expansions by the new owner and the previous owner. As a result of all the letters to the city regarding the St. Helen’s Park issue, it is not difficult to find continued misinterpretations or non-compliance of city bylaws – ie. new homes for sale boasting nine to 11 bedrooms, all with two and three suites each complete with kitchen and bathroom. Also, corner lot homes with paved markers providing 9-11
a.m. parking spots on city boulevards. (I wonder if I could park there without risk of ticketing and/or towing). Once-beautiful grassy boulevards have become dirt parking lots, and it raises ire towards neighbours who are above the law as well as a backlash to those of us who would like to see our neighbourhoods remain as single family homes. I agree with previous articles that suggest homes with four residences should be rezoned as four-plexes and taxes levied on each unit so the city does not need to take loans out for expansion of city centre and services shared by all. V. Soren
HAS B.C.’S premier got the right
stuff to govern? After watching Christy Clark’s performance after the HST referendum results were announced, I think not. Premier Clark is all smiles during photo-ops orchestrated to make fuzzy promises about open government or when proclaiming new spending initiatives, however, when the question about an early election was asked her first instinct was to act deaf and dumb. The picture that comes to mind is Christy Clark, wearing ego-inflated water-wings, frantically paddling around in the deep end of a swimming pool filled with red ink. Fortunately for her and for us, Kevin Falcon, the current
Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and potential Liberal lifeguard, appears to have the experience and ability to handle his responsibilities. Lloyd Atkins Vernon
Write to us
newsroom@ surreyleader.com Letters to the editor must identify writers by proper name, and provide address and phone numbers for verification. The Leader reserves the right to edit for brevity, clarity and legality.
8 Surrey/North Delta Leader Thursday, September 1, 2011
Surrey firefighters remember fallen comrades This Sept. 11 marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack in New York City Black Press SURREY Firefighters
say this year, Sept. 11 will be a “day of
remembrance” for the firefighters and other emergency workers who perished in the 2001 New York terrorist
attack. Since this is the 10-year anniversary of that event, Surrey firefighters will conduct a
ceremony in honour of their U.S. colleagues. “We will always remember the response of firefighters on
Sept.11, 2001, and never forget the sacrifices they made,” said Surrey Fire Fighters’ Association president Chris Keon in
a news release. “The 290,000 members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, with the direc-
tion of FDNY members, have decided that Sept. 11 will always be a Day of Remembrance for fallen firefighters everywhere.” Many firefighters perished in the past year from traumatic incidents and even more have succumbed to job-related illness such as heart and lung disease and occupational cancers. “Our ceremony is dedicated to those who have fallen and to those who carry on,” Keon said. This year’s ceremony will muster at the west end of Holland Park (near Old Yale Road and Whalley Ring Road) near the new statue. The ceremony will start at 9 a.m. There will be a few brief comments from Keon and a wreath presented by the honour guard. All other Surrey fire stations will conduct a minute of silence at 9:11 a.m. to allow for those on duty, who cannot make it to the ceremony at Holland Park, to participate in the day of remembrance. The ceremony is open to all uniformed personnel from emergency services and invited guests to participate, and open to members of the public to attend. For more information, call Keon at 604309-1755.
Delta cops in N.Y. Police, ﬁre games; 9/11 ceremonies TWENTY-TWO Delta
Police officers are in New York City to participate in ceremonies to remember their fallen comrades on Sept. 11, 2001. The officers are part of a local contingent of athletes currently competing in the World Police and Fire Games, which take place from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5. Seven Delta officers won medals in the last games, which were in Burnaby in 2009. Competitions take place every two years.
Thursday, September 1, 2011 Surrey/North Delta Leader 9
Cities to grill minister over planned auditor
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UBCM convention to mull civic spending watchdog tax rates â€“ industry and business have long demanded a mechanism THE PROVINCEâ€™S plan to create a civic to cap and perhaps reduce what they spending watchdog that might find pay. efficiencies and uncover waste will be The municipal auditor-general a hot topic at this fallâ€™s Union of B.C. initiative was a promise of Premier Municipalities (UBCM) convention. Christy Clark when she ran for the UBCM president Barbara Steele B.C. Liberal leadership. denies mayors and councillors are The issue will be the topic of a fearful of the governmentâ€™s intent to workshop with Chong at the UBCM appoint a municipal auditor-general, convention at the end of September. but says they have plenty of quesBut Steele and others donâ€™t see how tions. thereâ€™s much time for the province â€œThere doesnâ€™t seem to be a local to meaningfully consult cities if Barbara Steele government opposed to somebody Victoria aims to create the new office coming in and checking out the during an expected sitting of the books, checking the spending and Legislature in October. even checking for best practices,â€? Cities are already subject to balSteele said. anced budget legislation that bans â€œThe concern is we donâ€™t know deficits and pay for their own audiwhat the auditor-general is supposed tors that report each year. to do or whatâ€™s broken. We donâ€™t Thatâ€™s raised concern that the effort know what theyâ€™re looking to fix.â€? might create duplication. Some civic leaders suspect the Cities already work together audits could limit their autonomy or closely â€“ often coordinated through constrain their ability to pursue difUBCM â€“ to compare best practices ferent approaches or policies. and share them, Steele added. Community, Sport and Cultural She noted Chong has now indiDevelopment Minister Ida Chong cated the costs of the auditor may be Ida Chong has said civic performance audits downloaded onto cities. wouldnâ€™t overrule local governments â€œAt no time had we been told that but would highlight areas communiwe would bear the cost of this,â€? she ties could save money. said. â€œSo you can bet thatâ€™s going to be a concern.â€? She also indicated they could look at property firstname.lastname@example.org
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10 Surrey/North Delta Leader Thursday, September 1, 2011
Oppal denies pre-judging missing women findings Inquiry head releases statements to Attorney-General by Jeff Nagel MISSING WOMEN Inquiry head Wally Oppal denied Monday he has made up his mind that police bungled their investigation of serial killer Robert Pickton or that Crown was wrong to drop charges of attempted murder against him in 1997. His statement, released Monday, was an attempt to clarify comments he made to the Attorney General in a June 30 letter and a July 5 phone voicemail pressing for increased funding for groups representing women and First Nations. Oppal said then A-G Barry Pennerâ€™s deputy raised concerns July 15 that he may have prejudged key questions. Picktonâ€™s 1997 arrest came after a naked and badly bleeding sex trade worker escaped from his Port Coquitlam farm â€“ five years before he would finally be charged with murdering multiple women from Vancouverâ€™s Downtown Eastside. If charges had proceeded and not been stayed in 1998, Oppal said in the letter, â€œit is clear that the murder of a number of missing women would have been avoided.â€?
say,â€? Oppal told Penner. â€œSo they He said in the statement he canâ€™t cross-examine the police, did not meant to imply Pickton who are of course well-armed would have been convicted for with publicly funded lawyers.â€? that incident or that Crownâ€™s Oppal stressed the accusadecision to drop the case was tions before the inquiry of an wrong â€“ an issue that is before inadequate police investigation the inquiry. and of ignored attempts to alert â€œWhy there was not sufficient authorities about missing women evidence, or for that matter, why are â€œmere allegationsâ€? he will Pickton was not caught earlier is carefully assess. a question that I will be â€œI have not reached investigating.â€? even preliminary conAll six of the women clusions on the facts. Pickton was ultimately â€œIn my phone mesconvicted of killing sage, I simply wanted â€“ Sereena Abotsway (of to emphasize that these Surrey), Mona Wilson, allegations deserve to Andrea Joesbury, Brenda be explored, and that I Wolfe, Georgina Papin believe funded counsel and Marnie Frey â€“ died Wally Oppal for those making the after the 1997 incident allegations, not just and investigation. those refuting them, would assist A further 20 counts of murder the process.â€? never went to trial and Pickton The province ultimately claimed to an undercover police refused to add the extra $1.5 officer he had actually killed 49 million to the inquiryâ€™s budget women. that Oppal had requested, but In the voicemail, Oppal warns the commission has shuffled its Penner of the poor optics of the budget so four more lawyers can government refusing to fund hearing lawyers for â€œpoor aborig- represent the views of women and First Nations at the inquiry. inal womenâ€? who had been Several groups that were repeatedly ignored by authorities. â€œThe police gave them the back denied funding had vowed to boycott the hearings, which of their hands to these women and disregarded what they had to begin in Vancouver Oct. 11.
The City of Surrey is pleased to announce the launch of the 2011 City Awards Program. This new program introduces a family of five awards that celebrate excellence in urban design and sustainable community development.
Nominations now open! Key Dates Sept 9, 2011 deadline for submissions Oct 25, 2011 awards reception
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Thursday, September 1, 2011 Surrey/North Delta Leader 11
Brothers arrested after local break-in
No legal jargon…we talk to you in plain language.
Abbotsford men face about 20 charges
MANTHORPE LAW OFFICES
possession for the purpose of trafficking, and break and enter. TWO MEN police call “prolific Dane has previously been conproperty crime offenders” have been victed of possession for the purpose charged with a break-in and robbery of trafficking, and break and enter. He at the South Surrey home of Sharon was most recently charged with drug Symes. possession charges last December Abbotsford residents Darwin in Abbotsford, with his trial due to Duane Dorozan, 36, begin in October. and Dane Dewey A third brother, Dorozan, 35, were Dennis, 38, also has arrested Aug. 15 a criminal history, shortly after $20,000 but was not named worth of property by Surrey RCMP was stolen from in the latest series the Symes’ Surrey of offences. He was house. previously conAt the time, victed of possession Symes and her Darwin (left) and Dane Dorozan of stolen property, husband were told and break and enter. the two suspects were being tracked On Monday (Aug 29), Surrey by the Surrey RCMP Property Crime RCMP said the Dorozans are believed Target Team, who swooped in and to be responsible for other residential arrested them before they got very far. break and enters in Langley, Surrey, The stolen goods included flat White Rock and New Westminster. screen televisions and jewelry. Some They face another 20 addiof it was dumped out the windows tional charges, police said. of the suspect’s van as they tried to “The excellent work by investigaevade capture. tors in apprehending these criminals Both Dorozans have been charged sends a strong message that this type with single counts of breaking and of criminal element is not welcome entering to commit an indictable in our community,” said Cpl. Drew offence. Grainger of the latest arrests. The younger Dorozan was released “Property crime such as this causes on bail pending trial two days after a great deal of stress and inconvehis arrest, while the other will have a nience on behalf of homeowners. This bail hearing on Sept. 7. arrest will hopefully bring some relief Darwin has a long list of charges to those in our community who have and convictions through the Lower been victimized.” Mainland, dating back to 1995, Anyone with information is asked according to the provincial court to contact Surrey RCMP’s Property database. His convictions include Crime Target Team at 604-599-0502 possession of stolen property, theft, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
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12 Surrey/North Delta Leader Thursday, September 1, 2011
Kwantlen launches its own shuttle ‘Vast improvement’ over TransLink service by Jeff Nagel A NEW TRANSIT shuttle
will carry students and staff between the three Surrey and Langley campuses of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The university and its student association partnered to bring in the inter-campus shuttle to fill in gaps in TransLink bus service, which students previously
Kwantlen’s new shuttle will serve three campuses.
lampooned by staging a campus-to-campus race where a cyclist and runner beat a student taking the bus. The new shuttle – contracted not to TransLink but a private firm – is being paid for through Kwantlen’s new Multi-Pass, which is a variation on the standard $30-a-month U-Pass taking effect at all other Metro Vancou-
ver universities. Students at Kwantlen balked at paying $30 for unlimited access on TransLink’s system, saying the service wasn’t useful enough, especially in Surrey and Langley. They instead voted to pay extra – $40 a month – for the customized pass that includes U-Pass access but also finances the TELUS AUTHORIZED DEALERS LOWER MAINLAND
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“If somebody misses the bus, they can... still get to class on time.” Nathan Grifﬁths inter-campus shuttle, along with discounts on gym memberships and a grocery delivery service. “We’ve been able to make a vast improvement in service between those campuses in terms of frequency and travel time over what TransLink is currently offering,” said Nathan Griffiths, media coordinator at the Kwantlen Student Association. The shuttle will initially run between the Newton, Cloverdale and Langley campuses, but won’t go to the Richmond campus, which Griffiths said wouldn’t be cost-effective at this point. Another pass benefit gives each student 20 free minutes per month on the Car2Go carsharing service. Car2Go cars will now be based at the four Kwantlen campuses and Griffiths said students – or anyone – will be able to sign up for the service and use them. “We’re building overlapping systems of transportation between the campuses so if somebody misses the bus, they can hop on Car2Go and still get to class on time,” Griffiths said.
Boat on fire Extensive damage Black Press SOME boaters in Delta woke Friday night to what sounded like an explosion. It turned out a nearby boat was on fire in the 8500-block of River Road. The Delta Fire Department doused the flames, but the vessel suffered extensive damage. The investigation continues.
Thursday, September 1, 2011 Surrey/North Delta Leader 13
B.C. housing industry still waiting for HST Plan B Residents may delay renovations to save money, leaving contractors caught in transition to PST “They need a Plan C, because Plan B is not cutting it for our industry right now,” Simpson says. HOLD ON TO your hats. The rejection of the HST “This whole HST has been a debacle since it has created a boatload of uncertainty for the B.C. was introduced in July 2009 and it will continue housing industry. 18 months from now,” he says. Elections B.C. announced on Aug. 26 that He says the government needs to come up 54.73 per cent of the voters who participated in with a plan to get people to pull the trigger on the referendum wanted to get rid of the HST and renos and home purchases immediately, not in move back to the old PST system, while 45.27 18 months. per cent wanted to keep it. “There has to be some kind of system that The move to the HST in July 2010 added makes it neutral whether you do it now or wait,” seven per cent to the cost of labour in he says. “They have to address these home renovations – a tax that wasn’t issues.” applied under the PST. New homes Simpson notes that by the time over $525,000 are also taxed under it’s all said and done and B.C. moves the HST, for the time being. back to the PST, four years will have Now, in the wake of the referenpassed since the HST was introduced. dum, contractors in B.C. are caught That’s enough time to earn a univerin the transition back to the PST, sity degree. which Finance Minister Kevin Falcon Rob Currie, co-owner of watersaid would take 18 months. proofing contractor Basement Peter Simpson, President and Systems Vancouver Inc., says conCEO of the Greater Vancouver Peter Simpson sumers were waiting even before the Home Builders’ Association, says the referendum result was handed down provincial government didn’t offer up because they weren’t sure how the tax much of a tax plan that businesses can use for the situation would affect the bottom line. intervening year-and-a-half. He says the province needs to hammer out a Will B.C. residents step away from the martransition plan very quickly, so consumers can ket? Simpson says no one can predict the exact make their decisions and contractors can get to outcome, but he expects consumers will put work. off some reno projects, lowering revenue for “People who are out there bidding and quoting contractors. need to have a real understanding of where we’re Emergencies like a leaky roof will get taken at,” he says. care of, he says, but a kitchen or a media room “We’re looking for a policy to very clearly reno may have to wait. explain the plan, so we can make decisions and One solution would see the province offer tax our customers can make decisions as well.” rebates for renovation projects between now and He says lots of people just want some clarity on the shift back to the PST, but Simpson says noth- a very simple question: how much am I going to ing like that was mentioned by Falcon or Premier spend? Christy Clark after the results came out – even Unfortunately, Currie says, with the tax regime though they had boasted of preparing a Plan B, in a state of flux no one knows. just in case the HST was rejected. by Colin Oswin
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FEATURES: HP , $/(# ENGINE s 3TANDARD !"3 6EHICLE $YNAMIC #ONTROL 6$# AND 4RACTION #ONTROL 3YSTEM 4#3 s 3TANDARD 8TRONIC #64Â® s "LUETOOTHÂ® (ANDS &REE 0HONE 3YSTEM s 2EAR 3ONAR 3YSTEM s .ISSAN !DVANCED 3IX !IRBAG 3YSTEM s !VAILABLE INTUITIVE !LL 7HEEL $RIVE !7$
FREIGHT AND PDE INCLUDED
FINANCING FOR 84 MONTHS*
$2,000 FACTORY REDUCTIONS, FREIGHT AND PDE INCLUDED
0 DOWN YOU PAY
FEATURES: HP LB FT TORQUE , n CYLINDER ENGINE s 5P TO LBS PAYLOAD -4 LBS PAYLOAD !4 s LBS OF TOWING CAPACITY s &ULLY BOXED FRAME s .ISSAN !DVANCED !IRBAG 3YSTEM !!"3 WITH DUAL STAGE SUPPLEMENTAL CURTAIN SIDE IMPACT AIRBAGS W ROLLOVER SENSOR AND SIDE SEAT AIRBAGS s !VAILABLE HP LB FT TORQUE , n 6 ENGINE !VAILABLE 5TILI TRACKÂ» #HANNEL 3YSTEM &ACTORY APPLIED SPRAY ON BEDLINER
BI-WEEKLY PAYMENT â€ $2,000 FACTORY REDUCTIONS, FREIGHT AND PDE INCLUDED
#REW #AB 3, X MODEL SHOWNV
FINANCING FOR 84 MONTHS*
$5,000 FACTORY REDUCTIONS, FREIGHT AND PDE INCLUDED
FEATURES: #LASS LEADING STANDARD , $/(# 6 ENGINE s 5P TO LBS PAYLOAD LBS OF TOWING CAPACITY s &ACTORY APPLIED SPRAY IN BEDLINER W AVAILABLE 5TILI TRACK4- CHANNEL SYSTEM s &ULLY BOXED FRAME s ALUMINUM ALLOY WHEELS STANDARD ON 3, s .ISSAN !DVANCED !IRBAG 3YSTEM !!"3 WITH DUAL STAGE SUPPLEMENTAL CURTAIN SIDE IMPACT AIRBAGS W ROLLOVER SENSOR AND SIDE SEAT AIRBAGS s !VAILABLE TOW PACKAGE