home banner

We’re in year six and the transition remains bogged down by the mayor’s costly petty politics: Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, B.C. (April 9, 2024): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says Mayor Brenda Locke’s decision to reject $250 million in provincial government funding for the police transition is a "serious slap in the face” for Surrey taxpayers, and a reminder that the transition has become about political ego, rather than city policing.

“The province originally offered $150 million towards the cost of the transition, then it offered a further $100 million," said Annis. "The mayor has rejected the offers. As a result, while the original $150 million in funding will continue, it will be coordinated directly by the province through the SPS, rather than through the city. The additional $100 million is gone because of the mayor's decision to reject provincial assistance."

Annis added that the mayor has said running two police departments is costing Surrey taxpayers $8 million every month, which is almost $100 million over the past 12 months.

"Meanwhile, the mayor continues to put up hurdles, all of them designed to bog down and derail the move to the Surrey Police Service," explained Annis. "Mayor Locke has demonstrated over and over that she is only interested in obstructing the transition, which now includes rejecting millions in funding from the provincial government, and an ongoing court case."

Annis also added that almost every other important issue in the city has been sidelined by the ongoing police transition.

“The police transition is holding city hall hostage, and until the transition is on track and moving forward, almost every other issue and priority in Surrey is on hold,” said Annis. “Community infrastructure, housing, affordability, economic development, schools, healthcare, and transit are all part of our city’s future. Council needs to be able to manage multiple priorities, particularly when you realize we will be the biggest city in the province in five short years, and we will have a million residents in just 18 years.”

Annis said the police transition is now years behind schedule, and there are several more years to go before it is complete.

“We are almost six years into the transition,” said Annis. “If Doug McCallum or Brenda Locke had bothered to hold a referendum, the community would have resolved this issue years ago. Instead, both of these mayors ignored the community, even though Surrey residents are paying the bills. The police transition in Surrey has become a perfect case study about the costly impact of politicians who think they know better than taxpayers, but don’t.”

Annis is encouraging the province and the SPS to get on with completing the transition as quickly as possible, with or without the mayor’s cooperation.

“Our residents and taxpayers are tired of the city hall games, and we are frustrated by the constant politics and delays," noted Annis. "Our residents simply want to get on with finalizing this issue. Rejecting provincial funding to complete the transition has to be the last straw. Taxpayers definitely deserve better."