CanadaPolitics

Mayors of Brampton and Surrey demand action amid rising extortion crimes

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Mayors of Brampton and Surrey are calling on federal officials to take new steps after a number of South Asian owned businesses in their regions have been targeted by extortion threats and shootings.

Many businesses in the area have received threatening letters asking for large sums of money, as much as two million dollars.

Concerned Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke are asking the federal government for assistance. “It is a frightening situation for everyone, and I thought it was very important to ask the Minister to step in. This is a national challenge,” said Locke when speaking to OMNI News.

A spokesperson for the federal Minister of Public Safety, Domonic LeBlanc responded to this letter in a statement saying, “These threats of extortion are deeply concerning. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are engaged with their local policing partners on this issue. If Canadians suspect they are the target of an extortion attempt, they should report it immediately to their local police force”.

However, South Asian community members are raising their concern about the threats. Citing the safety of not only business owners but also patrons. At the plaza as one of the targeted businesses one resident tells us, “anyone can commit a crime in broad daylight nowadays,” while another says, “these criminals have no remorse or are not scared of repercussions.”

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh criticized the lack of action from the Liberals saying in part, “The federal government has the power and resources to help. They need to take this matter very seriously, especially regarding the safety of citizens”.

On the other side, Liberal MP for Surrey-Newton Sukh Dhaliwal, says the federal government is actively working with local police agencies to deal with the matter at large and encourages any concerned citizens to contact local officials. 


With files from Loveen Gill.

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