Farnworth ‘glad’ Surrey joins completion of transition from RCMP to municipal force

Farnworth 'glad' Surrey joins completion of transition from RCMP to municipal force
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks during a press conference in the press theatre at legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says he is pleased the City of Surrey will join in on the transition from the RCMP to a municipal police service following a council address by Mayor Brenda Locke accepting a court ruling.

Farnworth says in a statement that the people of Surrey want the policing issue to be over and he’s looking forward to working with all parties to ensure a successful, safe and quick transition.

The status of policing in Surrey has been a divisive issue for several years after former mayor Doug McCallum was elected in 2018 on a promise to replace the RCMP, while Locke, elected in 2022, campaigned on a promise to keep the Mounties.

Locke raised a white flag this week at a council meeting, saying she is disappointed but accepts the outcome of a B.C. Supreme Court challenge that says the province can order the transition to the Surrey Police Service to continue.

However, Locke told council she believes “this NDP imposed transition” will not be in the best interests of residents and Surrey taxpayers.

The date for the policing take over is set for Nov. 29.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2024.

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