Surrey City Councillor Brenda Locke is lodging a formal complaint with the Minister of Municipal Affairs against Mayor Doug McCallum after he gave short shrift to her notice of motion calling for a referendum on the policing transition.
But the mayor seemed unfazed by her threat.
“The notice of motion was reviewing going to our own police and that was decided two years ago by her, actually, if you really want to know she voted for changing our police force, so our police service is up and operating and you know, that notice of motion was out of order,” he said Monday.
Locke said she’s not sure what the minister can do about her complaint.
“I’m going to lodge a complaint with the minister and then I don’t know where I go from there, whether it’s to the ombudsman, I’ve no idea, I’ll find out from her or her office,” she said Monday. “I didn’t expect him to say no to it because he’s already been told that he can’t. It’s a notice to the council, it’s not for the mayor to allow or disallow. I thought he would just brush it off, absolutely, but I didn’t think he would absolutely say no. For him to not to take my point of order, that was really over the top. That’s against parliamentary procedure.”
Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke presented a lengthy notice of motion tonight calling for a referendum on the Surrey Police Service but Mayor Doug McCallum ruled it out of order and adjourned the meeting. "Oh my gosh," was Locke's response. #surreybc
— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) March 9, 2021
Locke delivered her lengthy notice of motion at the end of council’s March 8 meeting, calling for a referendum to be held on the transition to the Surrey Police Service from the Surrey RCMP and a catalogue of reasons why. Her notice of motion called for a referendum to be held concurrent with the next civic election, on Oct. 15, 2022, to “determine once and for all public support to develop a Surrey police service.”
McCallum’s response was to rule it out of order on the basis council has made its decision and the Surrey Police Service is “already established, and up and operating.”
Locke tried to protest, and McCallum reiterated, “No, I rule it out of order” and called for the meeting to be adjourned. “Oh my gosh,” she replied.
Subsequently an email campaign is underway, with the Now-Leader so far receiving a few dozens messages attached to a form letter insisting that “the mayor must be censured in no uncertain terms” over the matter. Locke said Monday morning that she hadn’t seen it.
“I’m going to talk to the minister of municipal affairs because it’s not right,” she said Monday. “On the point of order, and the notice of motion, because I don’t think he has the authority to not accept it. They can vote it down, I would have expected they would vote it down, but I wouldn’t expect that they don’t accept the notice and I sure don’t understand why he would not have acknowledged a point of order. A point of order supersedes, in procedure, it’s supposed to supersede everything. Everything’s supposed to stop if somebody calls a point of order and he just bulldozed through.”