Councillor turned mayoral candidate Bruce Hayne is questioning Mayor Linda Hepner after two of Surrey’s public safety committee meetings were cancelled. (File photos)

Hayne wants answers after cancellation of two Surrey public safety meetings

Mayoral candidate suspects move to spike meetings was politically motivated as election looms

Why hasn’t there been a public safety committee meeting in Surrey since June?

It’s a question being raised by former Surrey First member turned mayoral candidate Bruce Hayne after he says Mayor Linda Hepner cancelled the last two.

Hayne suspects it’s because the city’s top cop was expected to ask for a “significant” number of new police officers.

“We had the June meeting and the Officer in Charge (of the Surrey RCMP) said he was going to go away and speak with members and so on and do some more analysis, and would be coming back to us with a specific request for a specific number of additional officer,” he said.

After that, Hayne said the July meeting was cancelled.

Council took its break for August, then just last week the September meeting was pulled from the calendar, Hayne added.

“I can only assume that it was so as to not have those numbers public prior to the election,” said Hayne of the cancellations. “I can’t definitively say what the mayor’s reasons are for cancelling it. I think that’s going to be a source of discussion at Monday’s council meeting to find out. There wasn’t any explanation the event was just cancelled.”

See also: Surrey’s political hopefuls agree – change in RCMP policing model is needed

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Hayne said with the violence Surrey has see, elected officials — and the public — should know what the Surrey RCMP need in order to police the streets effectively.

“It costs us $155,000 a year per member to put them on the road,” he said of officers. “So what the request is, and at the end of the day how many might be budgeted for, gives an indication as elected officials of what the chief of police needs to make our streets safe. He hasn’t been afforded the opportunity to tell us what he needs to do the job we need him to do.”

Hepner sent the Now-Leader an emailed statement about her reason for the cancellations.

“I have no intention of imposing on our taxpayers a financial burden that is weeks away from a budget discussion of a new mayor and council,” she stated. “That is why I decided to not hold the meetings that would presuppose what a future council might do in terms of a broader policing study and potential increases to the city budget.”

Since 100 new officers were added to the Surrey RCMP in 2016, 34 more officers have been hired.

In all, Surrey RCMP has 835 officers.

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Click here to read more election stories.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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Other election news:

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See also: John Wolanski to run for Surrey mayor

See also: Surrey First promising free access to pools, rinks and gyms for Surrey youth

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See also: EXCLUSIVE: Why we left Surrey First

See also: VIDEO: Surrey First announces full slate of candidates

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See also: Proudly Surrey announces fourth school board candidate

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See also: Brenda Locke, Mandeep Nagra join McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition

See also: BUCHOLTZ: Surrey First naysayer goes out with a bang

See also: Woods joins Hayne’s Integrity Now slate as Surrey council candidate

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See also: Pauline Greaves joins mayoral race in Surrey

See also: Avi Dhaliwal joins Surrey Integrity Now as council candidate

See also: Proudly Surrey wants to build a Rita Johnston statue, rename the Pattullo to Bob Bose Bridge

See also: McCallum keeps ‘Safe Surrey Coalition’ name, announces new candidate

See also: Rina Gill joins Bruce Hayne’s ‘Surrey Integrity Now’ party

See also: Doug Elford resigns from his Surrey party to run with McCallum

See also: People First Surrey announces first two candidates

See also: Doug McCallum running for Surrey mayor

See also: Former Surrey First Councillor Bruce Hayne to run for mayor

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See also: Hayne splits from Surrey First: ‘It’s just not open and transparent the way I’d like it to be’

See also: Surrey First’s Mary Martin not seeking re-election this fall

See also: Surrey First Councillor Judy Villeneuve not seeking re-election this fall

See more: New civic slate Proudly Surrey aims to offer ‘sharp, strong, left-leaning’ candidates

See more: Proudly Surrey introduces two more candidates for Surrey council, schoolboard

See more: Surrey Community Alliance announces intention to challenge Surrey First in civic election

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