Surrey council chambers inside City Hall. (File photo)

Surrey council chambers inside City Hall. (File photo)

OUR VIEW: Who do these Surrey Council Code of Conduct amendments really serve?

It seems designed to protect members of council from public scrutiny heading into election six long months away

We said it before and we’ll say it again. The mayor and his Safe Surrey Coalition majority on city council have some air to clear here, lest voters’ imaginations are left to fill in the blanks.

In January, Mayor Doug McCallum abandoned introducing a proposed amendment to the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw that if passed would have prevented Surrey’s ethics commissioner from processing and investigating complaints lodged against council members between Jan. 31 until the next council is sworn in, after the Oct. 15 civic election.

We made the point in a editorial on Feb. 3 that nine and a half months would have made for a record election blackout period, at least in the free world.

That cat came back on Monday night, when the Safe Surrey Coalition majority on council approved that same amendment, except this time the moratorium began on Tuesday, April 12, with roughly six months to go before voters hit the polling stations.

READ ALSO: Surrey council suspends new Code of Conduct investigations until after next election

What we said in this editorial space about shutting down such investigations nine and a half months before the election still applies to council shutting down such investigations six months before the election is held.

Surrey residents might well suspect something might be causing some politicians sleepless nights for this amendment to be resurrected two and a half months after it was first abandoned.

How does this amendment to the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw serve Surrey residents better, when the purpose of the bylaw is to keep elected officials’ conduct in line? It seems to us it’s designed instead to protect members of council from public scrutiny heading into an election that is still six long months away.

Now Leader



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