Flanked by his Surrey candidates, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh hosted a round-table with local media Sunday afternoon to speak to issues impacting the community.
On the heels of yet another fatal shooting in Surrey, the most frequently asked questions concerned crime, handguns and gang violence.
To target gang violence, Singh said an NDP government would invest $100 million for youth programs. Although he says an NDP government would have other initiatives to tackle gang violence on a more broad sense, the experts, he said, are telling him to shift attention to youth.
“Young people need mentoring, need better connections to the options that are available to them,” Singh said. “They need help, they need supports.”
He also said he would focus on money laundering, and fund an RCMP program that would work specifically on money laundering investigations.
He said an NDP government would also fund a national registry relating to numbered companies.
“So you can’t hide your money with anonymous numbered companies. People will have to disclose who is the beneficiary, that will help crack down on organized crime.”
Singh said he will also increase funding for customs, an effort, he said, to reduce international drug and gun smuggling.
“We’ve seen (customs funding) cut under Harper. The same cuts remained with Mr. Trudeau. We want to invest more in customs officers who deal with making sure our borders are protected.”
On the environment front, Singh was asked for his position on relocating the BNSF railway that follows the coast from Washington State to Vancouver. The railway passes through Semiahmoo First Nation, White Rock, and Crescent Beach.
Singh said he hasn’t looked at that particular file, so he was unable to provide his position on rail relocation.
“I can tell you, broadly speaking, we have to do a far better job at making sure we work with communities that are impacted by projects like railroads or pipelines,” he said.
“This is an example of, perhaps, a historic mistake that was made that put a community in the line of maybe dangerous goods. This is an example of how decisions have been made in the past that haven’t respected Indigenous communities or communities that may have been threatened by a particular danger.”
Singh held the media conference with NDP candidates Annie Ohana (Fleetwood-Port Kells), Stephen Crozier (South Surrey-White Rock), Sarjit Saran (Surrey Centre) and Harjit Singh Gill (Surrey-Newton).
Canadians will go to the voting booth Oct. 21.