The future of policing in the City of Surrey is far too big a deal for politicians to bend to cheap election threats.
Let’s hope Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth doesn’t take the bait.
Farnworth has said he won’t make a snap decision on city council’s transition plan to swap out the RCMP – which has policed these parts since 1951 – with a made-in-Surrey police department.
Farnworth noted, after receiving Surrey’s proposal, that it is his “statutory responsibility” to decide if it “meets the requirements of the Police Act to provide adequate and effective policing and meets the expectations of public safety for the people of Surrey.”
He also correctly noted that as the proposal “deals with many complex issues” it will be important “not to rush this,” and that his decision whether to approve the plan or not “will be guided by our priority of keeping the people of Surrey safe.”
This week, leaders of the six largest Sikh Gurdwaras and the largest Hindu Mandir in Surrey took a figurative shot over the provincial minister’s bow in a letter suggesting he’d better get on with the approval or reap a “significant impact on how our communities vote in the next provincial election.”
Public safety must always trump political fortunes and the party that fails to embrace this is not worthy to govern this province.
The authors of the letter to Farnworth claim to represent 168,000 South Asians in Surrey.
We like to think Surrey residents have minds of their own when it comes to the sacred task of voting in general elections and have not leased their minds and hearts out to the will of their religious leaders.
Farnworth needs to stay the course and make the best decision for Surrey, not the most politically expedient one for the NDP.