An Ideas Box greeted attendees of Surrey’s first public consultation session on the policing transition plan in Cloverdale, held May 23. Those who headed to the pop-up kiosk in Ocean Park Monday, however, found a sign directing them to Guildford. (File photo)

OUR VIEW: Surrey policing process hardly ‘world class’

One simple question should have been put to residents: “Do you want the Surrey RCMP to be replaced with a city police force, yes or no?”

An “absolute sham.”

Those are heavy words from a Surrey city councillor who was elected, in part, on her Safe Surrey Coalition’s campaign promise to “develop and implement world-class communications strategies and processes between residents and the city.”

Councillors Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial, who have both since parted from that coalition, fired off a press release this week under the headline “McCallum censors citizen input and buries report on the Surrey Police Force.”

These councillors say after 23 “public engagement events” on the city’s plan to transition from the RCMP to a city police force residents submitted 11,103 survey responses that were “promptly buried in a report that was deemed confidential,” begging the question: “How can public feedback be confidential?”

In June, the City of Surrey issued a press release claiming “overwhelming support” for the transition process, including as an example one survey result of “98% Strongly Agree/Agree” to the proposition that “I believe our police department should prioritize its efforts based on what is important to Surrey citizens.”

Well, who’s not going to agree with that?

READ ALSO: ‘Absolute sham’: Policing survey full of ‘open-ended questions,’ Surrey councillor says

READ ALSO: Surrey Policing Transition committee report forwarded to Wally Oppal

One simple question should have been put to residents: “Do you want the Surrey RCMP to be replaced with a city police force, yes or no?”

Instead, Surrey residents got a “world-class communications strategy” that has generated unnecessary controversy and suspicion. Well done.

Here’s another absolute sham.

“We believe that it’s important to have many different perspectives and opinions on council,” the Safe Surrey Coalition declared in its campaign literature heading into the 2018 civic election, which it resoundingly won.

By any objective standard, the SSC itself blew this declaration to smithereens, witnessed by the coalition’s schism following the election – a monumental falling out that occurred precisely for the coalition’s failure to embrace that very campaign statement.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

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