Hardie lone Surrey MP to speak to whether city should have policing referendum

Surrey’s four other federal politicians appear to be dodging the question

Is Surrey Liberal MP Ken Hardie a lone voice in the wilderness by calling upon the city to hold a referendum on its plan to replace the Surrey RCMP with a city police force?

Surrey’s four other MPs appear to be dodging the issue.

The MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells wrote in a guest column published in the Now-Leader last week that while “senior governments do not often get involved in purely local matters,” the “switch to a city police force has emerged as a big and costly decision.”

READ ALSO: Surrey MP calls for referendum on city’s plan to set up its own police force

“I’m calling for either a referendum or a ballot question in the next municipal election,” Hardie also told the Now-Leader. “I think what I’m calling for is to have the public make the final decision. What we heard in the campaign, the promise from Doug and his coalition, was very aspirational but nobody knew the implications – what it would mean, what it would cost, etcetera.”

If Sukh Dhaliwal, Liberal MP for Surrey Newton, has an opinion on the matter, he’s keeping it to himself. But at least he replied to our request for comment.

“The prime minister and minister’s position has been very clear that policing is a local government responsibility, you know, and we are going to support the City of Surrey, whichever direction they want to go,” Dhaliwal said Friday (Dec. 6). “We want to stay out of it and if there’s a transition we want to make sure this is done in a very safe manner and whatever it needs to support the safety, we will provide our support to the local government and we would not interfere in their decisions.”

Did Hardie cross the line, then?

“Every citizen of Surrey has his own opinion and I respect democracy, I respect people’s point of view but I as an elected representative from Surrey-Newton, I stand with the prime minister and with the minister of emergency preparedness and CDSA,” Dhaliwal replied.

homelessphoto

Sukh Dhaliwal, Liberal MP for Surrey-Newton. (File photo)

As a citizen living in Surrey, is Dhaliwal preferring not to say if he agrees with Hardie or not?

“Right now I’m an elected representative. I have my personal view but I respect the people had the confidence, their continued confidence in me, and I want to respect that office,” Dhaliwal replied. “As their elected representative I would rather focus on the people of Surrey-Newton than on my own.”

So, is Dhaliwal then abstaining from sharing his opinion?

“However you take it,” he said.

Tamara Jansen, Conservative MP for Cloverdale-Langley City, had a legislative assistant email a statement to the Now-Leader on her behalf.

“It is always important for local governments to listen to the needs of their constituents,” Jansen’s statement reads. “Of course, this is a decision for the local community to make. I hope it’s one that ensures that taxpayers get value for their money and that the public is kept safe.”

The Now-Leader has encountered no evidence that Surrey’s two other MPs – Liberal MP for Surrey Centre Randeep Sarai and Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, South Surrey-White Rock – have a position on the referendum that they wish to share publicly, as neither has replied to repeated requests for comment.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read