Scott talks at the Sept 9th All Candidates meeting sponsored by Peninsula Homeless to Housing (PH2H) task force. In this talk, I speak about my background and why he started volunteering to help the seniors raise awareness of a proposed South Surrey Casino coming to White Rock, and how Mayor Baldwin’s “I am the Boss” speech during the White Rock Muffler Site Public Hearing convinced him to create the Facebook community page NoMoreHighRisesInWhiteRock so he could call out Council on their bullying of the public and to raise public awareness of issues and awesomeness within their community.
In 2012, whle at SFU as a PhD Candidate in Computer Science, I started attending Council Meetings in my spare time. I met a group of seniors who warned that a South Surrey Casino was being proposed by White Rock. I had friends who got addicted to a nearby casino, got into credit card debt, lost their home on Lake Simcoe, and got divorced. All because of Gambling Addiction.
So I attended the Casino meeting and got involved when I learned that this excellent group of seniors had no website to help get the work out. So I volunteered my time, created the No Casino in South Surrey Facebook site, the NoCasinoSurrey website, a twitter account, and I became the Vice-President of the NoCasinoSurrey association.
I ran the social media campaign for them as a volunteer, and combined my research with others to produce a 42-page report called All That Glitters is not Gold for Surrey Council in 2012 that showed how Casinos hurt society, are being used to launder drug money, and also showed that BCLC was likely targeting White Rock Seniors.
We presented our findings to Surrey City Council at the Public Hearing in January 2013, and Mayor Diane Watts agreed with us that a Casino would be a negative impact on Surrey residents quality of life and would increase crime, and the Casino was defeated. Meanwhile, Mayor Baldwin would not even discuss the matter in White Rock Council meetings.
Since 2012, I have spoken many times in White Rock Council meetings and Public Hearings. I have spoken about affordable housing, how tax dollars are being spent on helping developers rather than on providing infrastructure, about how building towers pushes people out of our community, and the need to switch to safe and clean Metro Vancouver drinking water as recommended by Fraser Health in 2013, and by the White Rock Safe Water Alliance in 2013, and the White Rock Lead, Arsenic, and Manganese Working Group.