McCallum’s ‘Safe Surrey Coalition’ introduced, public safety platform detailed

SURREY — Surrey mayoralty candidate Doug McCallum revealed a $21 million six-point public safety platform Tuesday morning while introducing four city council running mates.

Seeking office as the Safe Surrey Coalition, they are small business owner Rina Gill, community advocate Laurie Guerra, lawyer Justin Thind and Surrey journalist Beau Simpson.

Simpson has taken a leave of absence from his job as editor of the Now to run for council.

The six-point platform, heading into the November civic elections, includes the introduction of a Mayor’s Integrated Public Safety Council to replace the police committee, establishing minimum thresholds for service levels in accordance with the RCMP contract accountability provisions, and doubling the number of police officers on patrol and speeding up the hiring of 95 new RCMP officers to 2015.

The platform also calls for doubling the number of bylaw officers, investing $4 million per year over four years into a "crime prevention through social development community strategy (CPSD)," launching a public awareness campaign and "encouraging involvement" with the RCMP public crime prevention programs and the Surrey Crime Prevention Society.

The Safe Surrey Coalition’s press release says Surrey is "faced with an ongoing crime wave that is being met with inaction by the current Surrey mayor and council."

McCallum, who served as Surrey’s mayor from 1996 to 2005, was defeated by Dianne Watts while seeking a fourth term.

"People are fearful in neighbourhoods across Surrey and are looking for leadership, detailed proposals and most importantly a plan for action on the issue of public safety," McCallum said.

"The Safe Surrey Coalition represents a group of candidates with diverse community involvement, political affiliations and professional backgrounds that are united by one overpowering concern: public safety."

Within the first 100 days of taking office, the coalition says, it would double the number of uniformed general duty officers on patrol to 72.

All told, McCallum said, the annual costs of the 95 new RCMP officers would be $15 million, the 24 new bylaw officers $2 million and the CPSD, $4 million to a total of $21 million.

“Together, if we get our community working, with all of our city staff, and with the RCMP, and we work together, then we will drive crime from our community,” McCallum said.

He identified three sources to pay for his plan. Six million dollars, he said, would come in budget savings with no cuts to police or staff, but in part by “shutting down” the Surrey Regional Economic Summit. Five million would come from taxation as new residents and businesses locate in Surrey and $10 million would come from “administrative savings” and liquidation of assets. The Surrey City Development Corporation, which McCallum said owes the city $70 million, would be eliminated.

McCallum said that if elected his slate would “immediately” close down unlicensed drug rehabs in Surrey.

“We need to shut those down.”

He could not commit to not raising taxes, though — noting none of his coalition is privy to city hall’s financial state. “We will be developing a policy and I think the policy will be very clearly that we’re going to trim expenses and we’re going to certainly look at no further taxes.”

Related story: Number of Surrey officers available per shift is "very upsetting."

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

OUR VIEW: Wards for Surrey worth a hard look

Ward system divvies up city into neighbourhoods with a council member representing an electoral region

Civilian oversight of Surrey police deemed ‘fundamental’

Surrey Police Board executive director says inaugural meeting showcased passion, focus

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Driver maces pedestrian after hit and run in Langley City

Police were on the scene at Michaud Crescent Wednesday morning

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Most Read