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City of Surrey’s $1.2 billion annual budget deserves independent oversight and accountability 

Surrey, B.C. (August 9, 2021): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says Vancouver's appointment today of Mike Macdonell as the city's first auditor general should be a "heads up" to Surrey council to rethink its opposition to an independent auditor general.

"I want to congratulate Mike Macdonell and Vancouver city council on the appointment, it’s certainly a very good day for Vancouver taxpayers,” said Annis. “Frankly, I was surprised and disappointed that our mayor and all of my fellow councillors voted against my motion earlier this year to create an auditor general for Surrey. It's an important job that already exists in major cities right across the country. Our own city’s annual budget is $1.2 billion and growing, so it makes good sense to have complete transparency and accountability. Taxpayers deserve to know how we’re spending their money and how we ensure real value for every tax dollar we spend.”

Annis said Surrey is "a growing city with complex programs and finances" and taxpayers deserve the benefits and oversight that come with an independent auditor general. Annis said the cost of the Surrey Police Service is one example of where an auditor general could provide taxpayers with transparency and accountability.

"Right now, there isn't a single taxpayer in our city who could tell you what the police transition is really costing," explained Annis. "An auditor general could put the spotlight on those costs and processes and give our taxpayers the information we're all looking for."

Annis said Canada’s largest cities, as well as the federal and provincial governments, have independent auditors general as a way of holding politicians and governments more accountable, while ensuring greater transparency around spending and the effectiveness of costly programs.

“Frankly, my push for an auditor general is about transparency and accountability, not politics," added Annis. "So, I was a bit shocked when the idea was turned down. How can anyone be opposed to more facts, more transparency, and more accountability, particularly when it comes to our tax dollars? At the end of the day this is about being on the side of our taxpayers. I hope the appointment of Mr. Macdonell in Vancouver will give our mayor and council the chance for some sober second thought.” 


Media contact:
Councillor Linda Annis