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Surrey city councillor wants COVID-19 enforcement measures stepped up

Last Updated Nov 17, 2020 at 6:01 pm PST

FILE - Packages of face masks. (CITYNEWS/Tony Fera)

A city councillor says more needs to be done to crack down on people in Surrey violating health orders

Jack Hundial is calling for stronger enforcement, asking members of the South Asian community to set a better example

Many of the nearly 500 cases recorded in the Fraser Health region Tuesday are in Surrey

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Out of the 717 new COVID-19 infections in the province Tuesday, many of the 484 cases recorded in the Fraser Health region are in Surrey, prompting a call for stronger enforcement from a city councillor.

RELATED: B.C. breaks daily COVID-19 record with 717 new cases, reports 11 deaths

Coun. Jack Hundial, says the surge in cases in the city is “alarming,” adding more needs to be done to crack down on people in Surrey not following COVID-19 safety measures.

“Especially in light of the fact of the amount of information that’s been sent out by the province, by the city, all levels of government and yet, people are still choosing to ignore those messages,” he says. “Or choosing to engage in this dangerous behaviour, which is not only putting themselves at risk, but other community members at risk and more importantly, those who are vulnerable in our community.”

Hundial says not enough is being done to flatten the curve in the COVID-19 hotbed, so he is calling for enforcement to be ramped up.

“We know a lot of these cases happen from gatherings, that’s been proven time and time again. So people need to limit those gatherings,” he says.

“We need to further enable our bylaw staff because they’re hearing just as much, if not more, out there from the businesses, the community, the community centres.”

Hundial says he supports making masks mandatory and says people monitoring each other’s mask use is a good thing.

“If it’s getting to the point now where we need to put on a mask, then people need to understand that that has the consequences if you don’t. Just simply putting out a newsletter or presser on someone’s social media saying you need a mask, it’s one thing. It’s another thing to actually go and enforce that now so my concern is I’m for masking but how do we enforce that?”

Hundial adds Surrey RCMP only issued a few tickets over the weekend because COVID-19 violations are difficult to enforce.

RELATED: Surrey RCMP can’t enforce appeal to avoid home gatherings without official order

As someone with a South Asian background, the city councillor says he is also asking leaders of the community to set better examples by making sure they wear masks.

“People take direction from community leaders, and if there’s a breakdown of that and I think that’s where we as community leaders need to maybe push for a stronger message as well,” Hundial says.