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City’s entire $500,000 PR campaign is a confusing, inaccurate, and politically motivated delaying tactic that is costing taxpayers time and money: Councillor Linda Annis

 LAnnis with Card
Photo: Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis with household mailer received over the Christmas holidays

Surrey, B.C. (January 3, 2024): When Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis received a household mailer over the Christmas holidays against the transition to the Surrey Police Service, she had to look twice to see who sent it.

“Unless you scan the QR code on it, you would never know this came from the City of Surrey. There’s nothing on the card itself, which is unusual for material coming from city hall,” said Annis. “At the same time, the facts particularly around the budget, are just not true. Frankly, this costly public relations campaign is just one more delaying tactic that is costing our taxpayers time and money, even though the provincial government has legislated the transition.

“To waste $500,000 on political ego is unconscionable. We don’t have a spare $500,000 to waste, and every taxpayer can think of much better ways to put that kind of money to good use. It’s one more reminder that since the municipal election in 2022 the police transition has sidelined every other important issue in our city, and here we are in January of a new year, and it looks like we are stuck once again on the same subject because of the mayor.” 

Annis said the actual policing budget submitted by the SPS at the end of November does not resemble the numbers being used by the mayor.

“Politically motivated numbers are no substitute for the truth, and that’s what this boils down to,” said Annis. “Right from the very start of the transition the numbers have always been suspiciously loose and incomplete. Both Doug McCallum and Brenda Locke shaped the numbers to suit their version of the transition. It’s one thing to have your own opinions, but you can’t have your own facts, and this $500,000 public relations campaign looks to be more fiction than fact as the mayor continues to stall the move to the SPS, at considerable cost to our taxpayers. We need to wrap this up, finish the job, and get on with other important issues that have been ignored. In the history of this city, I cannot think of any other issue that has eaten up more time and more money, and left taxpayers so frustrated about the future.”