It took Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts to initiate a meeting of regional officials to discuss the issue of gang violence on Metro Vancouver streets
Mayor Dianne Watts initiated an urgent meeting of officials from all the cities who've been impacted by gang warfare in Metro Vancouver. She pulled everyone together [Vancouver was a no-show] to see if there was anything they could collectively do to end the carnage on our streets. They released an 11 point plan yesterday.
The Watts meeting raises one important question...where the heck is Lois Jackson, Chair of Metro Vancouver's regional government? Isn't organizing these types of meetings supposed to be her job? Why has she been virtually silent on the issue of gang warfare? In the past, she's had no problem raising her voice in opposition to regional policing on the basis that Delta Police won't be able to uphold the 'no call too small' motto.
Rather than spending time mapping out her next crime scene photo-ops, Watts has been busy meeting with the region's leaders and advocating that more be done to curb the violence. It's these types of actions that demonstrate the difference between simply being a Mayor, and being an effective regional leader. Kudos to her for taking the ball and running with it.
When will the various representatives at Metro Vancouver realize their organization is rudderless under Mayor Jackson? She lacks any clear vision for where the region should be going, and now she is slow off the mark on the issue of gang violence. For heaven's sake, she's planning a meeting to address gang violence and we're told it's only going to take place in April. I guess that's why so many refer to her as Lois "missing in action" Jackson.
For a second time, we are calling on Chair Jackson to do the right thing and step aside for the good of the region. The sooner Mayor Watts becomes chair of Metro Vancouver, the sooner we can get moving on the critical issues facing a region impacted by gang violence and economic uncertainty.