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If we want to convince the provincial government on policing choices and changes, they need to hear from the people: Gordie Hogg

Surrey, B.C. (October 14, 2022): With just one day to go before the municipal election, Gordie Hogg, Surrey First candidate for mayor, says if Surrey wants the provincial government to take any change to police transition seriously it must include a referendum with the public deciding once and for all who polices Surrey.

“Doug McCallum was arbitrary when he brought in the police transition, and Brenda Locke is just as arbitrary when she says she wants to bring it to a screeching halt,” said Hogg, a former Surrey MLA and MP, and an adjunct professor of criminology at SFU. “If we want the provincial government to take us seriously as a city, we need to let our citizens have their say. We need a referendum on policing, and we need the province to see those results so they know in no uncertain terms what the people of Surrey want.”

Hogg, who has campaigned on giving voters their say in a policing referendum, said that without a vote by the people of Surrey, any change Brenda Locke wants to make will be just as divisive as McCallum’s failed transition.

“We need all the facts and all the costs so people can make an informed and transparent choice. Any arbitrary political change to the police transition will just keep the whole issue alive and never fully resolved,” said Hogg. “Politicians need to stand aside and let the people of Surrey have their say. This is a big, expensive issue and without a referendum and the people having a vote, Surrey will simply remain divided.

“How can you expect citizens to embrace a policing model they have had no say in, and never been consulted about? The voters of Surrey are paying the bills, they should have their say.”

Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis said she and Surrey First campaigned on a policing referendum in 2018, and that remains the party’s platform.

“No one knows how much this transition has cost, no one has the facts, and it’s already two years late,” noted Annis. “Politicians cannot resolve this, only the people of Surrey can do that in a referendum. It’s hard to imagine why Doug McCallum and Brenda Locke are both opposed to giving people a vote, but neither of them supports taking this issue to the people of Surrey. That’s wrong, and we should be going to the people of Surrey so they can make the choice between the RCMP and the Surrey Police Service.”