It is legitimate for Surrey to have a city-based police force if it so desires. However, the manner in which the matter started and is proceeding is not legitimate.
Mayor McCallum and Safe Surrey campaigned with several promises including replacing the RCMP and, once elected, stated it had a mandate to do so despite receiving only 41 per cent of votes cast. That 41 per cent, in turn, represents less than 15 per cent of the 300,000 plus eligible voters in Surrey, so hardly a mandate by any measure.
Enter the provincial government by way of Public Safety Minister Farnworth. Mr. Farnworth promised a long and thorough review and then suddenly sanctioned the replacement, a move no doubt motivated more by the six seats held by the NDP in Surrey rather than anything to do with public safety.
The matter rests again with the B.C. government and a decision by Premier Horgan to allow the replacement to proceed means that he is condoning and is quite willing to align himself with the undemocratic behaviour of Mr. McCallum and his supporting Safe Surrey Councillors at the Dec. 16 Surrey council meeting.
The NDP government is not exactly popular with the teachers or forest industry workers and the many disgruntled voters waiting for ride hailing, so does it need angry Surrey voters joining the list?
Mr. Horgan, this is not a decision for you, Mr. Farnworth and certainly not Mayor McCallum to make; do the right thing and order a referendum and let all of the voters in Surrey decide whether to replace the RCMP.
Do it soon – it’s a provincial election issue now.
David Peelo, Surrey