Canucks’ loss would have a silver lining for Surrey

Team losing in round one of the playoffs would save the city money – enough to cover the difference in RCMP wage hikes

Canucks facing elimination means a small windfall of savings for Surrey.

Canucks facing elimination means a small windfall of savings for Surrey.

If the Canucks lose on Wednesday, fans may be crying, but Surrey will be laughing all the way to the bank.

The city will save more than half-a-million dollars in policing costs if the Canucks lose to the LA Kings in Game Four of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The amount will be more than enough to cover the disputed cost of RCMP wage hikes – which became a bone of contention among mayors this month.

When asked for a tally by The Leader, Surrey RCMP Sgt. Drew Grainger said the costs of policing the playoffs last year was in the neighbourhood of $500,000. The primary expense was keeping the peace at Scott Road and 72 Avenue after Canucks’ wins.

Surrey’s manager of Parks Laurie Cavan says if the Canucks make it to the final round of the playoffs this year, the final series party in North Surrey is expected to cost $120,000.

The Vancouver hockey team, which ranked top in the NHL during the regular season, has been completely shut down by the Los Angeles Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick, who stopped 46 of 48 shots in game two and all 41 in game three.

Both Grainger and Cavan said they’re huge Canucks’ fans and, despite the added costs should the team prevail, hope the team takes the Stanley Cup.

However, already being down 3 games to 0,  the outlook isn’t good.

It turns out, at least for the Surrey RCMP, it’s not a bad time to be saving money.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts complained last week that the city was left out of the loop on RCMP wage increases prior to signing a new 20-year with the national force.

She said the Mounties had indicated there would be some wage increases, but not the amount that actually became part of the contract.

Surrey was told to budget for 1.5-per-cent hikes, where they turned out to be 1.75. Surrey staff say the difference will cost less than $500,000 this year and can be found within RCMP “efficiencies.”

Those “efficiencies” could materialize with a Canucks loss on Wednesday night.

With more than $600,000 in savings from the North Surrey party and Scott Road policing costs, the shortfall would be more than covered.