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Public Safety

Team Mandate

  • Advocacy: issues related to justice and crime locally, provincially and federally
  • Events: to initiate engagement, education and action
  • Projects: position papers and other projects to reduce crime and improve judicial issues

For more information or to join, contact Anne Peterson.


Issues

The Issue: The Cost of Prolific Offenders on the Local Economy

What it’s about: The economic development of any community relies upon its reputation as a safe, viable region in which to locate and do business with supporting infrastructure, community assets, and most importantly, customers willing to walk in the door. However, if customers feel unsafe, they won’t come. If the reputation of a

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region is suspect, businesses won’t come. If the media targets a community as one in which prolific offenders reside, its economy suffers.

Media reports often highlight threats to communities when an individual is released from incarceration and has not completed mental health or drug treatment programs. News reports headline those who re-offend shortly after their release. While the public does have the right to know, the impact of such media upon business decision-makers as to where they will house their companies and staff cannot be ignored. The media is not the problem. The concern is the profligacy of offenders and their return to the same community time and again.

Solutions to the problems of prolific offenders are widely known and supported amongst the criminal justice community; however, federal and provincial budget decisions leading to program cuts can lead to the unsuccessful reintegration of some offenders. For example, reductions in federal funding for psychiatric services for offenders while incarcerated and post release can set up an offender for failure and increase community risk.

The Province of British Columbia released a Blue Ribbon Panel report in December of 2014 entitled Getting Serious about Crime Reduction is one example of best practises across Canada to end the cycle. The six recommendations are listed below:

  1. Manage prolific and priority offenders more effectively.
  2. Make quality mental health and addiction services more accessible.
  3. Make greater use of restorative justice.
  4. Support an increased emphasis on designing out crime.
  5. Strengthen inter-agency collaboration.
  6. Re-examine funding approaches to provide better outcomes.

The current initiatives undertaken by the BC government in relation to the Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations include:

  • Consideration of a regional, integrated community safety partnership pilot project that would bring together local, relevant government and non-government agencies in identifying and prioritizing community safety goals, focusing resource allocations and programs accordingly, and measuring and evaluating the outcomes.
  • Collaboration between BC Corrections and provincial post-secondary institutions to expand job-training options for offenders and thereby better support their re-integration into society.

Since the release of the Blue Ribbon Panel in December 2014, the Provincial government has not provided much public commentary on their efforts to enable the recommendations. Certain initiatives, such as the Integrated Court Services model recently approved in Surrey, British Columbia, do incorporate aspects of the recommendations in their development.

Provincial and federal resources contributed to the success of Community Courts and Integrated Services Programs. Communities throughout BC benefit when stakeholders, service providers, police and justice agencies, under the leadership of the Province, work together to provide offenders with the best opportunities for re-integration and minimizing criminal behaviour. Services including housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, life skills, employment, and counselling are key to decrease prolific offences occurring in any community. Less crime leads to greater economic prosperity as businesses and customers come to a safe, viable community.

Recommendations: That the Provincial Government:

  1. Work in coordination with the Federal Government to provide adequate budgetary support for offenders to receive treatment while incarcerated and for post-release housing and programming of prolific offenders to ensure successful societal reintegration and safer communities.
  2. Combine resources with the Federal Government to ensure the efficacy of programs such as the Integrated Court Services Plan and the successful implementation of measures such as the Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations.

The issue: The Costs of Retail Crime

What it’s about: As of December 2014 retail trade in Metro Vancouver was worth $3,089,714,000.  This is a significant economic contribution to the entire province.  If so, why is more not being done to stop retail theft?  Small retail businesses in the Lower Mainland losses to theft amount to $27,000 per day. With this level of retail theft

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Metro Vancouver households will pay an additional $3.5 million annually due the impact of retail crime.

In essence we are all paying a ‘Crime Tax’. This Crime Tax does not include the costs of loss prevention by businesses nor the cost of policing nor courts.

Businesses need to work together as a single community to break down silos and remove barriers to information-sharing for the common good – fighting retail theft, providing a safe and secure business environment for employees and customers, and reducing the crime tax on households.

Frequently however, there is resistance to change, barriers and silos from anti-crime stakeholders and business organizations.  At the individual business level there is frustration, anger and apathy.

This is not new.  As an example, previous market research on the issue of cargo theft for the International Association of Airport and Seaport Police, demonstrated the same resistance and frustration from businesses in the River Road, Annacis Island, and Port Kells industrial and commercial business parks.

This problem is reflected in the statistics.  There has been a significant drop in the number of retail businesses participating in Business Watch programs, and in the use of 1800 tip lines.  Businesses charging criminals have dropped 20%.

The private sector can be a partner in the crime reduction solution by:

  1. Support the BC Government’s Blue Ribbon Panel’s report call for eliminating barriers to information-sharing, and taking concerted action within the business, law enforcement, and crime prevention and reduction communities,
  2. Encourage all SBOT non-retail business members to work with their counter-parts in retail trade to play a greater role in reducing and preventing retail crime,
  3. Call for the business community in the Lower Mainland and throughout BC to collaborate, share ideas and information for the common good of preventing and reducing retail crime, while recognizing the need for individual chambers of commerce and boards of trade to address local issues,
  4. Recognize the need for collaboration between for-profit, non-profit and law enforcement in finding effective, affordable, and best practice solutions to retail theft, and
  5.  In compliance with PIPA, recognize the need to use personal information to fight organized retail crime, provide a safe and secure business environment for employees and customers, and to eliminate crime tax on households.

Government, apart from policing and the courts, also has a role in providing education and promoting coordination to ensure that retail crime is treated seriously, reported regularly and punished effectively to reduce the costs on business and the Crime Tax on consumers. Frequently there are concerns about the sharing of information and a lack of understanding of current privacy legislation.  Many businesses and organizations do not share information amongst themselves or policing agencies either from apathy or fear of violating privacy regulations and legislation.

Recommendations:

  1. Encourage Business education and collaboration with law enforcement agencies to focus attention and action on the reduction of retail crime.

2.     Assist in the education of business and business organizations regarding provincial and federal privacy legislation and how to effectively share information to reduce retail crime.


The issue: Cybercrime

What it’s about: The Surrey Board of Trade is seeking to increase government leadership in combatting cybercrime.

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Background and Facts:

  1. With impacts ranging from $3.12 billion dollars in annual losses to the Canadian economy to a $100 dollar stolen Tim Horton’s card Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of cybercrime.
  2. Cybercrime is not a new phenomenon, but there is still a lot to learn in order to effectively respond to the threat. The nature of cybercrime continues to change faster than public institutions can fully understand them, regulate them and mobilize against them.
  3. One of the most prolific and damaging Cyber scams seen is the business E-mail Compromise (BEC) scam which primarily targets businesses of various sizes and affects countries all over the world. Although the BEC scam is primarily a sophisticated social engineering scam, the BEC scam has cost victims over $1 billion to date.
  4. Small businesses are going bankrupt because they have been targeted by criminals who were able to alter their online or payment terminals using Remote Access Trojans. On a larger scale, cyber criminals often target smaller business that have partnerships with larger organizations to find back door access to larger partner’s stores of more valuable personal data, critical infrastructure and intellectual property.
  5. Since 2010, Public Safety Canada has spent $245 million on defending government computer networks, safeguarding critical infrastructure and educating the public.
  6. There are no federal laws to force companies to disclose hacks, security breaches, thefts of data or money so the general public has incomplete knowledge of which companies have been compromised.
  7. Incidents such as people having their identity threatened, or having their computers infected, files locked down for ransom the average police station doesn’t know how to respond. Documentation and Reporting are needed to quantify these types of incidents.
  8. Australia is an example of a central reporting agency even going as far as you can’t get the bank to reimburse you unless you have an ACORN filing number. Canada does have a Spam Reporting Centre and a government run Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, but Taylor says neither is equipped to handle the exploding array of cyber-scams and malware that are targeting home and business computers.
    Australia’s ACORN program (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) as a model for collecting citizen complaints so that police and industry can monitor trends, thwart organized criminal groups and arrange incidents for further investigation.
  9. The Surrey Board of Trade has been leading awareness of, and action against, cybercrime for several years, recent recommendations requested that the federal government:
    a. Establish a centralized mechanism for the mandatory reporting of designated cyber security incidents to enable quantification of the potential damage to the Canadian economy.
    b. Establish a national educational program to increase awareness, among children, of cyber crime and prevention programs for introduction into school curricula.
    c. Establish a website to act as a clearinghouse for the most current information on cybercrime in Canada, for public information and education, with monitored links to similar central information points around the globe.
  10. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is currently recommending advocacy at the federal level to address concerns of cyber crime on small and mid size businesses.  71% of cybercrime attacks happen to small businesses, which may not have the same security levels as larger organizations. Almost half of small businesses have been victim of a cyber attack with the hackers seeking credit card credentials, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information.

The Surrey Board of Trade recognizes that cybercrime is occurring exponentially in keeping with the growth of the digital marketplace. This will require all levels of government, RCMP and business to play a part in reducing and eliminating cybercrime in a coordinated strategy. The federal strategy is focused primarily on national security threats and does little to combat the dramatic growth in email scams, online extortion and breaches at corporate computer networks. As such the Surrey Board of Trade is recommending that the BC Chamber of Commerce advocate provincially and federally for a coordinated strategy on cybercrime.

The Surrey Board of Trade Recommends that: The provincial and federal governments, and stakeholders work with business in a coordinated way to:

  1. Promote digital literacy
  2. Provide leadership (in partnership with the business community) by establishing best practices for cyber resilience
  3. Build the trust of the business community by effectively punishing cyber criminals
  4. Work together on a national cyber-security centre set up by government, industry and all major police forces to help investigate and warn the public about new and emerging cyber-threats
  5. Provide a strategy to RCMP which may include funding to set up a dedicated cybercrime unit or a sharing hub where companies can overcome proprietary and competitive concerns to help defend one another`s collective security.

The issue: The Impact of Prolific Offenders on Business in Surrey.

What it’s about: The Crime and Justice Team prepared advocacy issues for 2015 dealing with the costs of crime on business in Surrey.  Consultations with experts in the criminal justice field indicated that the most effective way to reduce crime and the costs associated was to address the issue of prolific offenders.

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A resolution was drafted for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to gain national advocacy support for effective federal and provincial joint action to implement best practices in dealing with alcohol and substance abuse for offenders during and post incarceration. It is well documented that high numbers of offenders have health and social problems, including alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness and poverty.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The resolutions ran into opposition from some Chambers who felt crime was a “social” not a business issue. Initially the resolution was not permitted to be included in the Policy Debate at the National Convention. Support grew as the Surrey Board promoted the resolution and found other interested Chambers across Canada. Ultimately a brief presentation was allowed to introduce the resolution but did not include formal debate.

While the resolution was not formally debated at the Canadian Chamber Policy Forum, many delegates expressed support in re-visiting the resolution in 2016, significant media attention was brought to the issue and planning has begun to develop a detailed study of the true costs of crime on business to assist with the advocacy process.

The Surrey Board of Trade is working with Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University to develop a study that will document the actual costs of crime on business.

The result: In progress.


The issue: Community Court (Surrey Version).

What it’s about:

  1. The community court is about partnership and problem solving. It’s about creating new relationships, both within the justice system and with health and social services, community organizations, area residents, merchants, faith communities and schools.
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  1. The community court is about testing new ways to reduce crime and improve public safety. It deals with offenders more quickly through a more coordinated and informed response.
  2. A high number of offenders have health and social problems, including alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness and poverty. The court takes a problem-solving approach to address offenders’ needs and circumstances and the underlying causes of their criminal behaviour.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Continued lobbying for further action on this for a community court in Surrey.

The result: In progress.


The issue: Surrey RCMP announced actions to mitigate gang violence by releasing the names of gangsters by BC’s anti-gang policing unit and to develop a strategy to include business to help combat organized crime violence

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade applauded the announcement. Businesses needs to report crime or suspicious behaviour so that police can bring the appropriate resources to handle the situation

The result: The Surrey Board of Trade’s Crime & Justice Team met with the Surrey RCMP to express support and explore the details of the plan.


The issue: RCMP Contract.

What it’s about: As a result of the public discussion concerning the BC Provincial contract with the RCMP for policing, there has been a discussion about the continued use of the RCMP versus a switch to either a provincial police force and/or an expanded Vancouver Regional municipal force to a metro force.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade found little to recommend changing services. Our points were:

  1. The cost of provincial policing is shared between the Federal Government at 30% and the Provincial Government at 70%.  To operate the provincial police force the costs would go up by 30% plus the costs of additional administration and capital expenses.  The additional costs have been estimated at $150 million. This would likely impact tax rates in order to pay for the additional costs.
  2. The cost of municipal policing is shared between the City of Surrey at 90% and the Federal Government at 10%.  To set up and operate a City of Surrey Police agency would incur setup costs and additional administrative and ongoing capital costs.  The additional cost of policing would impact both business and property taxes.
  3. The amalgamation of the diverse forces in the region could be a major obstacle with the potential for unhappy relations between the existing and newly amalgamated members.  The municipalities that currently have the RCMP contract could lose good police officers who choose to continue with the RCMP.
  4. There would be a large expense with respect to policing assets, from patrol cars to detachments, which would have to be replaced or paid for. As well, administrative costs would increase.
  5. There would be additional costs in recruiting and training new officers.  Although the majority of the RCMP officers may elect to remain with the new regional police force there would be loss of police members that would put pressure on the Justice Institute to train. Also, there would be a substantial impact on the JI to pick up the work currently done by the RCMP Depot currently.
  6. Concern over regional imbalances – each municipality could potentially end up competing for police resources and, as Surrey has experienced with transportation in the past, Vancouver generally receives what it needs first.
  7. In the 20 years since the last RCMP contract some of the issues that favoured regional policing have been resolved such as better and standard communication, PRIME system and integrated municipal teams to work on serious crimes.

Conclusion: Whether the measure is service or economics, there is little or no gain in joining a large municipal force, and thus, the Surrey Board of Trade supports the retention and on-going relationship with the RCMP for policing the City of Surrey.

The result: RCMP contract was maintained in Surrey.


The issue: Marijuana.

What it’s about: There have been a number of discussions held throughout the Lower Mainland calling for the legalization of marijuana. The Surrey Board of Trade, upon researching the issue, is concerned about the impact such a move would have on the business community.

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Legalization would pose serious negative impacts on businesses as follows:

  1. Legalization of marijuana would undoubtedly result in increased use, and given the concern over health impacts of smoking the product in itself, we are concerned the cost to business health care programs will be negatively impacted;
  2. Regular marijuana use can have the following impact on an individual’s health and thus performance on the job through:
    1. Impaired concentration and short-term memory difficulties
    2. Enhanced sensory perception, distorted sense of time, space and inability to differentiate between essentials and non-essentials;
    3. Lower attentiveness, co-ordination, motor-skills, reaction time, slurred speech
    4. Extended impact as the multiple ingredients in a marijuana cigarette remain in the body for a long time. A study showed that pilots seated at simulators were unable to land a plane safely after having consumed a joint 24 hours prior to the flight exercise
    5. Impact on staff relations, some people withdraw, experience fearfulness, anxiety, depression and in some extreme cases individuals have experienced panic, terror or paranoia and/or hallucinations
    6. Risk of disease, as the high tar content of a joint contributes to: chronic cough, sore throat, sinusitis and the onset of cancer (mouth, throat, larynx) is much earlier than in regular tobacco smokers
    7. Increase in heart rate and decrease in blood pressure (may lead to fainting) and would be hazardous in operating machinery
    8. Impairment of the immune system leading to increased absenteeism
  3. Regular use of marijuana can lead to loss of interest in work and unwillingness to perform duties;
  4. The use of marijuana is dangerous when driving and handling machinery.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Considering the potential of loss of production, disruption in the workplace due to the risk of impaired machinery operation, the impact on interpersonal relations in the workplace and the potential increased costs of absenteeism and health programs, the Surrey Board of Trade wants marijuana to remain illegal.

The result: Ongoing advocacy.


The issue: Reporting crime and the reasons why many victim businesses don’t report.

What it’s about: Many businesses are subject to criminal acts ranging from trespass and petty theft from yards, to breaking and entering and theft of materials and equipment worth tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet it appears that many victims still don’t report crime, which impacts the police and their ability to bring

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the appropriate resources to bear.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade prepared a survey for its members and sought the reasons for them not reporting crime.  The top three reasons were: the crime was considered too trivial; no faith in the justice system to do anything; and the police are too busy.

The result: The “Report All Crime, All The Time Initiative” was developed. The survey results were also shared with the local RCMP.


The project: Business Safety Breakfasts.

What it’s about: One of the best ways for businesses to become more familiar with police is to participate in such a gathering.  Breakfasts work because they can be executed before the beginning of the work day when owners are available at no time loss to the company.  These forums offer the opportunity for members to speak

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directly with police at all ranks and seniority about their issues and concerns about crime and policing.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Held breakfast meetings in Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, Port Kells, Cloverdale (with the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce), Newton, Guildford, South Surrey/Ocean Park (with the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce) and Campbell Heights.

The result: Increased awareness of reporting procedures and of the goodwill and desire of police to serve the business community well, and built up a sense of familiarity between the police and the community businesses.  This is an ongoing activity and more will be scheduled for the coming year.


The issue: Shopping malls experiencing problems with their stores not aggressively prosecuting shoplifters.

What it’s about: Most large businesses are strict about prosecuting shoplifting, however, it was determined that many small stores were not particularly keen to pursue prosecution, or even report incidents because of inexperienced staff, time lost to handle thieves, and longer term issues of going to court and so on.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade sought the experience of a number of malls in the city, however discovered that it was not a topic that many wanted to discuss, feeling that they could do little to encourage their stores to become more aggressive on the problem.

The result: Ongoing organized communication with the malls via RCMP.


The issue: Metal Theft – As the value of metal increases, so does the theft of metal products, (primarily by the drug addicted) ranging from fences, aluminum window frames, and copper, including power and other transmission lines.

What it’s about: Drug addicted, low level thieves patrol business areas searching for any metal that can be stolen from machinery, buildings, power lines, street lights and so on.  The incidence rises and falls with the commodity markets. The problem is that the criminals have a place to sell their takings, often for ridiculously low amounts

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considering the damage done to steal the material.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade mounted a lobby campaign to make it difficult for rogue metal salvers to function.

The result: By assisting the Surrey Fire Chief there are now tighter reporting regulations on these businesses to identify sellers and reject and report suspected stolen materials.


The project: Fraud Awareness: Fraud awareness is the best defense against becoming a fraud victim.

What it’s about: To create an annual education program and tools to help counter business fraud such as fake cheques, currency and identity theft.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Recognizing Fraud Awareness Month, the Surrey Board of Trade presented a panel workshop on the various aspects of fraud. The common message from our presenters was that fraud and identity theft is big business, the domain of world-wide organized crime. It is pernicious and requires that we become highly vigilant to avoid being victimized.  Even doing everything right does not guarantee that you will avoid becoming a victim.

The result: Annually present a Fraud Awareness program – ongoing education to business.


The issue: Aggressive panhandling in business areas.

What it’s about: Businesses in certain areas of the city are impacted by the presence of aggressive panhandlers in the vicinity of their businesses.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Crime & Justice Team reviewed the laws governing the problem and the Chair met with one of the members working in that area who have teams of people who can intercept and move these people along.

The result: Fewer complaints about panhandling. Ongoing observation.


The issue: Identity theft through theft of documents, physically and online, and how to counteract it and repair damage.

What it’s about: Identity thieves collect information on people in order to use their identity to commit crimes.  This can be perpetrated against individuals and companies and causes enormous financial loss and injury to reputation and well-being of victims.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade has researched the various aspects of ID Theft and formulated several resolutions for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to prompt changes in the criminal code to block loopholes.

The result: The information from the resolutions showed in legislation that changed the Criminal Code of Canada in 2012. Now seeking modification on insurance documents left in vehicles.


The issue: Identity theft involving the use of private information unknowingly left in photocopier and printer hard drives after disposal of machines.

What it’s about: Digital photocopiers, high-end printers and other such machines have hard drives, like computers, to input data while it’s being manipulated by the machine.  Many owners and operators of these machines were unaware that the data is never purged from these hard drives. When the machines are returned from

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leases, or upgrades and so on, ID thieves can simply buy the machines and retrieve the data which often includes large amounts of confidential personal or company data

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade submitted a resolution to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce asking that the government intervene and work with the manufacturers to resolve this problem.

The result: The resolution was accepted and is now Canadian Chamber of Commerce policy.


The issue: Identity theft arising from the collection of information from receipts of electronic transactions.

What it’s about: Businesses producing receipts use certain protocols to hide or truncate card numbers. Unfortunately different sectors truncate different parts of the numbers (the first group, middle group or last group).  A reformed ID thief identified this as a serious vulnerability because all one needed to do was follow an individual

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around and collect discarded receipts, ultimately acquiring all of the numbers.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: To submit a position on this issue to the federal government

The result: In progress.


The issue: Protecting the victims of identity theft from further harassment.

What it’s about: When an identity is stolen and used to commit crimes, how does the innocent victim prove that they are indeed the victim? The Ohio State Government has an Identity Theft Verification Passport Program created by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to provide victims of identity theft with a way to verify to law

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enforcement and creditors that their identities have been stolen, and may be a source of information for the development of a similar solution which could be adapted to fit the Canadian paradigm with such documentation being made available to Canadian victims of Identity theft.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Suspended as these action plans in Ohio were discontinued.

The result: SBOT will continue to seek provincial solution.


The issue: Long Gun Registry

What it’s about: The Long Gun Registry has always been, and remains, a political issue split between the abolitionists generally aligned with the Conservative government on the right and the Liberal, Bloc Quebecois and NDP in the centre and left of the spectrum.  It is also an urban versus rural issue.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Crime & Justice Team has discussed the issue and has heard that among the Chiefs of Police across the country, there is unanimous agreement that the registry should be kept, that it operate under a controlled and reasonable budget, is a viable and useful tool for law enforcement and safety of police and public alike.

The result: The Surrey Board of Trade directors voted to support the retention of the Long-Gun Registry. Unfortunately, it was disbanded in Spring 2012.


The issue: Judges – French/English Language Requirement – A bill requiring that all judges on the Supreme Court of Canada, be fully functional in both official languages, to a legal level, passed parliament due to the minority make up of the House of Commons.

What it’s about: The bill, if it were to become law, would require that all jurists of the Supreme Court would have to achieve a proficiency in both official languages to a legal standard.  This is an onerous requirement and would rule out the appointment of jurists from much of Canada where French is not represented in enough numbers

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in the population.  This further skews the top court as it already is guaranteed three seats from Quebec.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The SBOT was researching the issue in order to write a letter of concern over the matter.  Conversations with government members indicated that the bill was in the Senate and would not likely make it through.  Even if it did, there would be no requirement that the government proclaim it.

The result: When the government fell on the non-confidence motion, the bill died on the order paper.


The issue: Identity Theft – Notice of Disclosure when breaches occur.

What it’s about: When privacy breaches occur, companies must notify the Provincial Government as well as the affected parties.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Reviewed the proposal, then moved on as the governments in question have already passed legislation to cover this event.

The result: No action required.


The issue: Cybercrime (online crime) issues beyond Identity theft – Reducing Crime in Canada.

What it’s about: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has spoken to the issues of identity theft and spam in previous resolutions. However, there is much cyber crime outside of these two aspects including espionage and terrorism which obviously pose a threat to commerce as well as the integrity of the country and need attention by

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our government.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Submitted a resolution that the government amend the Criminal Code to modernize search and seizure and intercept provisions (particularly Part 6) in keeping with changes in technology by:

  • requiring telephone and internet service providers to include interception capability in new technology;
  • requiring telecommunications service providers to make customer name and address information available on request from law enforcement personnel;

Recommending that the Government:

a. Establish a centralized mechanism for the mandatory reporting of designated cyber security incidents to enable quantification of the potential damage to the Canadian economy.

b. Establish a national educational program to increase awareness, among children, of cyber crime and prevention programs for introduction into school curricula.

c. Establish a web site to act as a clearing house for the most current information on cybercrime in Canada, for public information and education, with monitored links to similar central information points around the globe.

The result: Acceptance of the resolution into the Canadian Chamber of Commerce policy book.


The project: Business security.

What it’s about: During large events, SBOT alerted businesses urging caution regarding pick pocketers and other safety precautions.

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What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Created an email warning members of the threat.

The result: Increased awareness of the crime risk.


The issue: Medical Marijuana Regulations.

What it’s about: Marijuana Consultations Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate. The Surrey Board of Trade is a key and active player in the Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy. Representing the business community, we indicated simply that Medical Marijuana Grow Operations pose significant issues for public health and

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safety. The current regulations permit individuals to legally grow medical marijuana in a residential setting with no mechanism to ensure they adhere to fire, safety and electrical regulations. The Surrey Board of Trade asked for a comprehensive review of this process and new regulations to ensure that residences have the appropriate licensing for growing medical marijuana and adhere to fire, safety and electrical regulations.

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade wrote a Letter of Support for the resolution on changes to medical marijuana regulations as presented by Len Garis, Fire Chief, City of Surrey and the President, Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC.

The result: In progress.


The issue: Domestic Abuse Impacts on the Workplace

What it’s about: The Surrey Board of Trade in partnership with the South Surrey White & Rock Chamber of Commerce released the Domestic Abuse Impacts to Business Position Paper.

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Domestic abuse is typically viewed as a problem that occurs within the confines of a person’s home. However, abusers seek control and when a victim leaves their home, they are still not safe. Domestic abuse can enter the workplace when an abuser attempts to harass, stalk, threaten, or injure a victim while at work.

The implications for business: higher costs, lower productivity
Domestic abuse plays a significant role within a workplace. Domestic abuse can result in:

  1. Reduced employee productivity and motivation
  2. Loss of focus, which can also lead to increased risk of injury
  3. Higher absenteeism
  4. Replacement, recruitment, and training costs if victims are injured or dismissed for poor performance
  5. Higher company health expenses
  6. Decreased worker morale
  7. Strained co-worker relations
  8. Potential harm to employees, co-workers, and/or clients when a violent abuser enters the workplace
  9. Liability costs if a member of the public or another employee in the workplace is harmed

What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Policy Recommendations:
The Surrey Board of Trade and the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce recommend that the Provincial and Federal Governments implement the following policy and educational recommendations:

  1. Prevention
    Create and implement training, education, support, and partnerships, especially with the tools provided by WorkSafeBC.
  2. Services
    1. Develop and implement an engagement strategy to identify key issues, specific actions, strategies, timelines and desired outcomes in collaboration with community partners.
    2. Develop resource materials to support the legal community and public in preparing for the transition to the Family Law Act.
  3. Accountability and justice
    1. Determine next steps regarding domestic violence courts upon review of the BC Justice Reform Initiative report.
    2. Develop legal education materials for the public with the Public Legal Education Institute and the Legal Services Society on the Family Law Act.

The result: Composed position paper – more work to be done on the recommendations around collaboration with WorkSafeBC, and further advocacy.