From left, Surrey councillors Steven Pettigrew, Linda Annis, Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial. (Photos: Amy Reid)

Surrey council

Four Surrey councillors issue joint statement slamming McCallum’s policing plan

Three former members of mayor’s coalition and lone Surrey First councillor say policing plan ‘doesn’t measure up’

For the first time, the four councillors who are not part of Mayor Doug McCallum’s slate have issued a “joint media statement” about the “rushed” policing transition plan.

“At the initial meeting, November 5, 2018, of this council we all voted to move towards a Surrey Police Force,” the statement read. It was issued Thursday morning on behalf of former Safe Surrey Coalition councillors Jack Hundial, Brenda Locke and Steven Pettigrew, along with lone Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis.

“The underlying assumption was that it would make Surrey a safer community for our residents. We did not expect the Police Transition Plan to be developed behind closed doors and without our advice or input,” it adds.

Further, the four councillors charge the “artificial deadline for the transition is extremely challenging, if not impossible” and say there is “no clear indication of the capital cost of this transition.”

The transition is going to be “much higher” than the suggested 10 per cent hike, they state.

“The risk that this transition will make Surrey a less safe community is just too high. Our primary duty to the citizens is effective public safety,” the statement reads. “Our citizens deserve to be heard and feel safe. The Mayor’s Transition Report does not measure up.”

SEE MORE: First look at Surrey’s policing transition report

READ ALSO: Could Surrey find 800-plus officers for its new force by 2021?

The statement comes on the heels of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum dissolving the city’s public safety committee and instead creating an Interim Police Transition Advisory Committee that only his Safe Surrey Coalition colleagues will sit on.

While Annis has said McCallum has “stopped listening to anyone who thinks differently” and Locke has slammed the mayor’s “my-way-or-the-highway approach,” the mayor disputes those notions.

“I look at myself as only a messenger of the people of Surrey, what they want,” he told the Now-Leader on Wednesday afternoon. “That’s how I’ve always felt in politics, and so I listen to what the public wants, and they want their own police force. I never act on my own at all.”

As for not inviting current members of his party to the table, McCallum said “it makes complete sense, on any type of committee, to have those people that have carried the message from the residents who want their own police force, to be part of that committee.”

The others, he said, “have spoken against our police force.”

In response to the four councillors’ joint statement, McCallum said in an emailed statement that politicians “are often taken to task for not keeping their promises.”

“Along with Councillors Elford, Guerra, Nagra and Patton, I fully intend to see through what I campaigned on and promised to do,” he said. “With the exception of Linda Annis, the Councillors who are now voicing their opposition were more than happy to promise to the voters that they would deliver on a city police department, if elected. It is disingenuous at best and, at worst, this is another cynical example of hollow promises made by those seeking office and doing an about-face once voted in.”

-With files from Tom Zytaruk

SEE MORE: Surrey mayor says he’s ‘only a messenger of the people’

READ ALSO OUR VIEW: Committee’s exclusions a waste of Surrey public safety expertise



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Closure of Surrey recovery homes ‘bittersweet,’ says grieving mom

South Surrey mother says she plans to keep a close eye on how facilities are monitored

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 13-year-old Indigenous boy

Police say Stephen Donnelly was last seen around 3 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the 10400-block of 132nd Street

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 50-year-old man last seen in Whalley

Police say Sasha Bankovic went missing at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the 13700-block of 96th Avenue

Surrey woman arrested in Chilliwack after stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

Two separate Whalley apartment proposals going to public hearing

The individual applications total 213 new units on 11 sites currently designated as single family

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis: report

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Most Read

l -->