SPS is a vanity project, pure and simple, with no public safety rationale behind it and a budget that is out of control and a danger to the city
Surrey, B.C. (March 19, 2021): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the $335,000 compensation package for the chief of the mayor’s new police department is the last straw in a “vanity project” that is ripping the community apart. Meanwhile, taxpayers are forced to watch from the sidelines as Doug McCallum’s long-standing animosity towards the RCMP plays out “at a staggering cost” to residents and the future of the city.
“This isn’t about Norm Lipinski’s compensation package, which is about $100,000 more than what we’re paying the RCMP head of our police department,” said Annis. “Norm is a good man, but he’s tied to Doug McCallum’s ongoing animosity towards the RCMP, something that goes all the way back to his previous terms as mayor of Surrey. The fact is, there has never been a public safety rationale behind the mayor’s push for a city police force, and his promise that a municipal force would cost just 10 per cent more is complete fiction.”
Annis said transition costs are out of control, taxpayers are in the dark about absolutely everything to do with the SPS, and there has never been any serious explanation of why Surrey is doing this in the first place.
“Surrey’s RCMP do an incredible job with the limited budget and manpower they’ve been given,” said Annis. “If we want more policing then let’s put the dollars being spent on the transition into our Surrey RCMP where they can do some real good right now. Instead, every taxpayer in Surrey is forced to stand on the sidelines watching the mayor’s high-priced vanity project unfold in front of them, and they don’t like what they see. Whether it’s the incredible cost of the chief and his three deputies compared to their Surrey RCMP equivalents, $20,000 a month for a public relations consultant with nothing to say, or the fact that Surrey is going to have to poach police officers from every other community in the Lower Mainland to fill its ranks, this whole thing is one big mistake. It’s something our community sees firsthand every time we learn more about the transition. Clearly, Doug McCallum has ignored Surrey residents and shut them out of any real consultation or the facts.”
Annis said the high cost of the SPS senior officers is just “a symptom” of the real problem.
“It’s clear that the mayor wants a municipal force, regardless of the cost, regardless of the price taxpayers will have to pay, and regardless of the real impact to public safety in our city,” said Annis. “This stopped being about our city a long time ago. Instead, it’s all about one man’s ego, and everything else be damned. That’s the real issue, not Norm Lipinski’s $335,000 salary.”
Councillor Linda Annis
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