After years of struggling last minute to help those in need during the holidays, the Surrey Christmas Bureau is planning ahead.
by Kevin Diakiw
ith grants and gaming revenues dropping, Surrey’s ChristmasBureau (SCB) aced a dif cult decision.Consider cutting costs, which would leave some amilieswithout at Christmas, or hire someone ull time to raiseawareness and unds.aking the bolder move, the bureau hired KonchBakshi year round.Jaspinder Brar, an SCB board member, said hiringBakshi ull time made the most sense.“We are always about two to three months behindwhen Christmas comes around,” Brar said. “We weremissing out on grants, we were not servicing the com-munity the best that we could, we were not living up toour mandate to help everyone who needs help.”With a clearer vision on their target, that’s all about tochange.And it begins next week at the White as Snow Gala at the Viceroy Ban-quet Centre in Surrey that promises dinner, music, live entertainment, asilent auction and much more.Bakshi said the undraising goal or the event is $20,000 and one o thebigger objectives is to raise awareness o the bureau well ahead o holiday season.“Everyone wants to give – it’s about trying to get them to do it a littleearlier... so we can get a head start or what we need or the amilies thatcome to us,” Bakshi said.Cutting back service isn’t an option.“We can’t control our growth, it’s controlled by the number o peoplethat come to our door,” Bakshi said. “And it increases every year. And withthis year we realized we needed to get a head start.”Te Surrey Christmas Bureau is the largest suchorganization in the province and serves more than 1,900amilies, including 5,000 children. For 40 years, thebureau has been helping low-income amilies, and chil-dren under the age o 15, celebrate the season throughChristmas Hamper and Adopt-A-Family programs. Inaddition to the regular hamper and giing program, theSpecial Needs Giing program provides gis or over250 special needs children.Bakshi encourages people to consider adopting a am-ily or Christmas this year, which brings the joy o directgiving to those involved.
Te White as Snow Gala takes place June 25 at 6 p.m. at the ViceroyBanquet Centre (main ballroom) at 8580 132 St. ickets are $75 per person.CV reporter Julia Foy will MC the event, and Vancouver band Te Hitmenwill play hits from the 1950s to the present. As of uesday, there were limited tickets remaining. For more information or to purchase a ticket, call 604-581-9623.For more information about the bureau, visit www.christmasbureau.com
Based on X-rays, a bone scannd C scan that showed damageo the lower spine, a doctor at theentre ordered radiation therapy,hich was administered over aeriod o several days.Six months later, in January 009, Meisner was told he didn’tave cancer.When urther tests and scansere carried out at Vancouvereneral Hospital in March o 009, the racture was discovered.Surgery was ordered to use theamaged joints and more opera-ions are likely, the statement o laim says.Te lawsuit complains theoctor who ordered the radiationailed to take “any or adequatesteps” to see i there was somether explanation or the back ain besides cancer.In addition to the spinal rac-ure that went untreated or 10onths, the lawsuit says Meisnersuered rom radiation burnsnd other aer-eects o thereatment.Meisner, his lawyer said, “hassuered and continues to suerrom physical disability andill have a permanent disability ausing a loss o enjoyment o themenities o lie.”Te lawsuit does not speciy he amount o compensationeing sought.Te allegations made in theawsuit have not been proven inourt and the people named inhe lawsuit have yet to le a reply.
by Dan Ferguson
IT TAKES MORE
than twice as long to get cases to trial inSurrey than other Lower Mainland courthouses, accord-ing to a judge who dismissed an impaired driving chargeaer a wait o 17 months.In her written reasons or judgment released uesday,Judge Ellen Gordon noted courthouses in North Van-couver and New Westminster are able to nd trial dateswithin ve to six months, unlike Surrey, where a routineimpaired driving case took 13 months to get to trial.And that was aer a our-month delay until a ormalcharge was actually laid against Bryce Raymond Ayers.Ayers said the delays cost him a job that would havebeen worth $50,000 because he couldn’t guarantee thathe would have the required driving licence since he didn’tknow what the outcome o his case would be.He also said the delay made it dif cult or a deencewitness to clearly remember what happened.In her decision dismissing the case against Ayers, JudgeGordon noted the Surrey courthouse has been “notori-ous” or long delays since at least 1997.When the Crown prosecutor in the Ayers case arguedthat “Surrey has always had resource issues” the judgesaid that cannot justiy drawn-out delays.“While it may very well be that Surrey has ewerresources or number o charges sworn than other jurisdictions in Greater Vancouver, the province has aconstitutional obligation to provide those resources,”Judge Gordon declared, pointing to a Supreme Court o Canada decision that states there is a point in time whenthe court system “will no longer tolerate delay based onthe plea o inadequate resources.”In 2002, the provincial government closed down theDelta provincial courthouse, adding Delta’s 2,000 adultand youth criminal cases to Surrey’s 13,000.Tat brought the total number o cases above themaximum the Surrey courthouse was designed to accom-modate, a problem then-Attorney General Geo Plantsaid could be overcome through improved ef ciencies.At the time the courthouse was closed, Delta PoliceChie Jim Cessord warned cases would probably takelonger to get to trial.
Surrey court too slow, judge rules
“Everyone wants togive – it’s about tryingto get them to do it alittle earlier...”
Surrey North Delta Leader
Impaired driving case dismissed after taking 13 months to get to trial
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A judgement released this week says it takestwice as long to get cases to trial in Surrey thanany other Lower Mainland courthouses.
charity – in
charity – in
Surrey Christmas Bureau holds itsinaugural White as Snow Gala – afundraiser that’s part of a largerproactive plan to better serve thecommunity