Lack of Transparency, Real Costs and Timing Key Issues for New Surrey Police Board’s First Meeting

For Immediate Release:  August 6, 2020

Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation:

After months of uncertainty perpetuated by Mayor McCallum’s evasive tactics, we expect the new Surrey Police Board to provide information on real and hidden financial and social costs of this expensive and secretive plan. As the public body accountable to residents of Surrey on matters of policing, these issues are critical to residents of Surrey, and our 850 Members serving in Surrey.

We continue to be disappointed in the ongoing resounding lack of transparency on this transition, including the release of the agenda and details only three days before this important public meeting.

The City of Surrey, like most municipalities across this country, is facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. This is being exacerbated by this unnecessary and unwelcome transition resulting in cuts to public services and infrastructure. The Board, which is a body with a legal fiduciary duty to the residents of Surrey, must consider the impact of these fiscal challenges and cuts on vulnerable citizens and the broader community, as well as the knock-on effect to public safety and policing.

As Premier John Horgan, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth and policing experts have confirmed, this transition is a long way from being a done deal:  not only from a legal perspective, but also on finances and recruitment.

The proposed April 2021 transition date is unattainable, and a shift of this magnitude cannot and should not be rushed.  Critical unaddressed questions and hurdles remain.

Our Members continue to be committed to policing in Surrey in both the short and long-term but will remain with the RCMP should this transition happen.

About the National Police Federation:

 The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 front-line RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada, the second largest in North America, and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members. The NPF will focus on improving public and community safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP front-line officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and support for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/.