B.C. government will provide Surrey with police service answer by spring: Farnworth
February 21, 2023 By The Canadian Press
Feb. 21, 2023, Victoria, B.C. – The British Columbia government will hand down its decision on which force will police the City of Surrey before spring, but the public safety minister says no matter what the answer, local taxpayers will fund the changes.
Mike Farnworth says he expects a decision from his ministry on either returning to the RCMP or staying with the Surrey police transition before property tax notices are mailed to residents in late May or early June.
Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke tabled the city’s draft five-year budget last week forecasting a 17.5 per cent property tax increase for this year, with 9.5 per cent of that being costs towards the police transition.
Locke was elected last fall on a promise to transition Surrey back to the RCMP after the former city council began the transition to an independent police service.
The B.C. government approved the first transition to the police service and must do the same for the move back to the RCMP, in a decision that Farnworth has said is to ensure that there is a safe plan for effective policing throughout the region, not just Surrey.
Farnworth says any costs associated with Surrey’s decision to reverse course on its policing provider will be left for the city to fund.
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