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Liberal leader’s promise to put hold on Surrey police move away from RCMP criticized


October 5, 2020
By The Canadian Press

SURREY, B.C. — An election promise by British Columbia Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson to intervene in the city of Surrey’s transition away from the RCMP is drawing fire.

Wilkinson has promised an elected Liberal government would freeze the transition to the independent police force and hold a referendum to put the final choice in the hands of Surrey residents.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum was elected on the promise of changing the police force and says in a statement he’s appalled the Liberal leader would stoop to this level of desperation to garner votes.

McCallum says the B.C. Liberals decision to interfere in a unanimous decision of an elected city council should concern all local governments.

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Mike Farnworth, the NDP solicitor general who approved the police changeover last year, says Wilkinson’s promise is a major violation of the relationship between local and provincial governments.

Farnworth says Wilkinson’s decision has also reversed the position taken by his own members of the legislature, who said the policing issue is a municipal responsibility.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020