It is clear that the immediate goal of the proposed Surrey Council signage bylaw amendment, is to frighten citizens with threats of fines and prosecution, into removing “KEEP THE RCMP IN SURREY” signs from their front lawns.
Council’s action is not much different from their intimidation attempt in September when tickets were issued to volunteers who were securing signatures on legal petitions.
Both instances represent an unacceptable infringement on the basic right to express a valid and widely shared opinion about policing in our neighbourhoods.
Worse yet, they show a blatant disrespect for normal democratic procedures. Yesterday: petitions. Today: signs. Tomorrow, will we be allowed to express an opinion over the fence to a neighbour?
Urging the retention of a less expensive and proven national police force is not a political statement. In their dogmatic determination to rid our lawns of pro-RCMP signs Mayor McCallum and his coterie of council supporters have revealed, once again, how much they fear the results of a proposed binding referendum on the police matter.
George Zukerman, South Surrey