Surrey: After B.C. Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth directed the City of Surrey to move ahead with transition to Surrey Police Service, Mayor Brenda Locked criticized the provincial government and Mike Farnworth.
In a statement, She called the decision “disappointing, misguided and based on inaccurate assumptions”.
“What has occurred today is the undermining of a local government duly elected by its residents. The actions of the Solicitor General should serve as a warning to the autonomy of all municipalities in B.C.,” Brenda Locke said on Wednesday.
“It has also been disingenuous of the Provincial Government to present Council options on how policing in Surrey will proceed. It is very clear the City of Surrey never had a choice in this matter. We had a choice so long as we chose Minister Farnworth’s option,” the Mayor added.
Brenda Locke said, “Today, the Minister tried to justify his decision to continue the transition to the Surrey Police Service under his authority in the Police Act. However, the Minister’s selective interpretation of the Police Act is of great concern. In addition to his authority to ensure adequate and effective policing under Section 2, the municipality is given the authority under Section 3(2) to choose the model by which they will police their municipality.”
The Mayor said she will meet her council colleagues and City staff to explore their options.
According to the Mayor, she will ask for an in-person meeting with the minister to understand how he intends to compensate the significant tax burden that will be placed on Surrey residents and businesses as a result of his decision.