Despite Ottawa’s claim that Surrey has 20 new RCMP officers here, none have shown up yet, The Leader has learned.
Last week, the federal government minister in charge of the RCMP said Surrey had 20 new “boots are already on the ground.”
That’s not so, it turns out.
For weeks, NDP MPs have been hammering the Conservatives in the House of Commons over the Tory promise to deliver 100 police officers to the city this year.
Jasbir Sandhu, NDP MP for Surrey-North (left), called the pledge an empty campaign promise in the House on June 4.
“Immediate action is needed, but the Conservatives are stalling and refusing to commit to a timeline for the arrival of new RCMP in Surrey,” Sandhu said to Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney at the time. “Will the minister please provide a clear timeline today for the deployment of new RCMP our community?”
A week later, Blaney announced the 20 officers were in Surrey.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that the deployment of the first 20 members committed to Surrey is underway and that boots are already on the ground,” Blaney said in a news release on June 11.
However, The Leader has learned the local RCMP head count hasn’t changed.
The current complement of officers is 703, exactly what it was on April 1, long before Blaney’s announcement.
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner confirmed what sources had said, that new police officers have not yet arrived.
One source, who refused to be named, said the issue was “far too political” to wade into.
However, Hepner checked with Surrey RCMP Officer-in-Charge Bill Fordy and he confirmed the complement is still at 703.
He did note that an unknown number of officers have been identified to come to Surrey, but the number of boots on the ground has not changed.
Calls to the federal ministry were not returned by The Leader’s press deadline Wednesday.
Sandhu said the Conservatives are simply playing pre-election politics with Surrey.
“I think the Conservatives are playing games with the safety of people in Surrey,” Sandhu said. “That’s shameless.”