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The provincial government’s report recommends the SPS and provides the information voters need to make a decision: Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, B.C. (April 28, 2023): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the provincial government’s report on policing in Surrey provides the sort of details needed for a public referendum on who should police British Columbia’s second largest city.

“Like so many of our residents, I’m frustrated that while the province has done tremendous work on getting the facts and doing the comparison, including recommending we stick with the transition to the SPS, the issue has been returned to us for a final decision,” said Annis.

“I’ve always believed that the choice of police departments is too big, too costly, and too fundamental to be decided by city council alone. Surrey residents have been ignored and sidelined on this issue for five years. Now, they should be given the facts and the options and allowed to have the final say, rather than nine people on city council.”

Annis said the lack of transparency surrounding the policing issue has angered and confused Surrey residents, and the provincial government report is the first serious look at the facts and options.

“I would have preferred a decision one way or the other, so that we could get the issue behind us and move on,” added Annis. “That didn’t happen today, but I’m grateful for the serious review the province has done, and I think this is the sort of information voters should have so they can decide who they want to police their city.”

Annis said the policing issue has “been a political football” far too long, all because voters were never given their say.

“The best way to resolve this issue is to let voters decide, something they should have done four years ago. Without a referendum, I worry that this issue will continue to be divisive, politically motivated, and foster resentment for years to come. A referendum gives all of us our say, and the ability to respect a decision that we make together when we hear the facts and the options.”