Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner has raised eyebrows today with the proposal that gang members be required to pay for their own medical care under the civil forfeiture law.
Following a weekend of more shootings and gang-related violence in Surrey, Mayor Hepner said Monday during a press conference that gangsters should have to pay for any medical costs incurred during gang activity. Ravinder Samra, treated for a gun shot wound for the second time on Saturday night and being uncooperative with police likely sparked the Mayor’s proposal.
Hepner has even gone so far as to contact Attorney-General Suzanne Anton to put forward her motion, which would amend the civil forfeiture law and the Canada Health Act, which states “all insured persons have access to medically necessary hospital and physician services on a prepaid basis.”
The Civil Forfeiture Act currently allows the court to seize instruments, like vehicles, or proceeds of criminal activity in order to disrupt or deter crime.
While many frustrated with the cost to taxpayers caused by gang violence may immediately agree with Mayor Hepner, her suggestion creates a blurry legal boundary and could potentially cause a loophole for the government to renege their promise for universal health care for certain people.
Another question arises as to why gang members would face medical payments, but not drunk drivers causing bodily harm or any other person injured while pursuing criminal activity.