Mayor of Surrey, B.C., announces constitutional challenge over policing

Mayor of Surrey, B.C., announces constitutional challenge over policing
Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke speaks during a news conference about the city's municipal police force transition, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, April 28, 2023.

The mayor of Surrey, B.C., says the city will mount a constitutional challenge to the province’s appointment of an administrator to take over the police board and oversee the transition to a municipal police force.

Brenda Locke, who opposes the transition, says an amended court petition will be filed today, after the city already requested a judicial review of the province’s directive to proceed with the switch away from the RCMP.

Locke says the city will not approve any transition if it is unaffordable to taxpayers and the province has no right to run “roughshod” over any municipal government “that does not bend to their will.”

She says the city will do “everything within reason” to stop the transition.

Locke told a news conference at Surrey City Hall that residents could be facing a 20 per cent tax hike, adding that the costs would not be a one-time increase but “generational.”

Locke also released an email she sent to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth in which she described the appointment of an administrator as “objectionable,” saying it was done without any consultation or notice to the city.

“This is not a Surrey Police Service, this as an NDP police service, that reports to the solicitor general directly,” Locke says.

Farnworth, who is also B.C.’s minister of public safety, announced Thursday that he had appointed former Abbotsford chief constable Mike Serr to take over from the board.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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