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The transition is a year late, with no real transparency when it comes to costs, Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, BC (July 26, 2022): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the $10.7 million city budget shortfall detailed at last night’s council meeting is “just the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the real costs of Doug McCallum’s costly police transition.

“My advice to Surrey taxpayers is hold onto your wallets as police transition costs become more and more apparent,” explained Annis. “The transition is at least a year behind schedule, it lacks any sort of transparency, particularly when it comes to expenses, and Surrey residents are still in the dark when it comes to any details. The only solution is a referendum that gives Surrey taxpayers their say on who polices our city, and how.”

Annis, who is the only councillor who ran on a policing referendum during the 2018 municipal election, says the complete lack of public input during the past four years sums up Doug McCallum’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to running the city.

“Police transition has syphoned off every available dollar at city hall, which means parks, pools, rinks and community centres have paid the price,” added Annis. “Having a referendum to decide the policing issue makes sense and gives people the voice they have been missing since 2018.”

Annis said Brenda Locke ran and won on Doug McCallum’s anti-RCMP platform, then thought a referendum was a good idea, and now wants to bring the transition to “a screeching halt” regardless of the cost. Meanwhile, MLA Jinny Sims says she supports a referendum, even though she and her provincial government opposed giving Surrey voters the chance to have their say.

“One thing is clear, we need the facts and all of the costs, then we need to give our citizens their say,” explained Annis. “Surrey voters deserve to make an informed decision about policing and public safety in our city.”