Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, left and former attorney general Wally Oppal. (Now-Leader file photos)

Surrey Policing Transition committee report forwarded to Wally Oppal

Oppal tells Now-Leader it will take him about a month to determine if it ‘passes muster’

Wally Oppal says it will take him about a month to review the report of the joint provincial-city committee that has been tasked with overseeing Surrey’s transition from the RCMP to a city police force “to see if it passes muster.”

“I haven’t seen it,” he told the Now-Leader on Monday, “but it’s up to me to review it all to see whether or not I think it passes muster. I’m really impressed by the work they’ve done, but I haven’t seen it. There’s no doubt that I’m going to have to go through all of it – it’s quite a few hundred pages, 350 or 400 pages – so I’ll probably work on it during the holidays. Ultimately it’s up to me to decide whether or not it meets the standard to send over to Victoria.”

The City of Surrey issued a press release late Monday afternoon stating that the transition process has taken a significant step forward with the provincial/municipal policing transition study committee on Monday forwarding its report to former B.C. Supreme Court judge Wally Oppal, who is in charge of overseeing the plan.

“I am very pleased that the members of the committee achieved consensus on the report,” Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum stated in the press release. “They have done a superb job. I very much appreciate the cooperation of the RCMP and other stakeholders in completing a very comprehensive report. All next steps on the transition will be the responsibility of the Surrey Police Board.”

Asked what McCallum’s last comment means, Oppal replied “I don’t know what that means. First of all there is no Surrey Police Board and I don’t know why they put out these things.

“There’s no Surrey Police Board, they’re getting way ahead of themselves. When I look at the report, and I’ve looked at it, and I eventually send it on to the director of policing – that’s Brenda Butterworth-Carr – she will then look at it to see whether or not it meets the appropriate standards. She will then send that off to the minister, the solicitor general, and he will then decide whether or not Surrey has met the next step in the process. After that, if it does, the provincial government will then have to take steps to establish a police board and the police board will then advertise for a police chief. So we’re still quite a ways away from it all.”

Meantime, Surrey-Cloverdale Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt suspects the NDP provincial government acted too hastily in giving the green light to the Safe Surrey Coalition’s plan to transition from the Surrey RCMP to a made-in-the-city police force.

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, gave the city the go-ahead on Aug. 22 to established a Surrey police force.

“I was kind-of surprised at how quickly Farnworth responded to council’s desire to change police forces with a plan that, to me, had a lot of holes in it,” Hunt told the Now-Leader.

READ ALSO: Province approves Surrey’s plan to establish municipal police force

“I sort of expected there to be a volleying back and forth that the provincial government, Farnworth, of course, would have said, ‘Well, interesting, but here’s some deficiencies in your plans, work on these,’ and sort of a volley back and forth that would also tend to clarify the reality of what we’re seeing today, which is that there wouldn’t be any increase in police members, that you would in fact have challenges with the budget,” Hunt said. “Because the budget that (Mayor) Doug (McCallum) talked about during the election, I’m not sure how realistic that is and now that we’re actually doing the plan, that information needs to be out there.

“So,” Hunt said, “I’ve been kind of surprised at how Farnworth has not pushed back on it for more information.

“He’s involved in the Surrey situation whether he likes it or not, because he gave it the green light. Therefore, if you’re going to work with the City of Surrey on this, then work with the City of Surrey and walk through this thing until the transition’s finished, don’t ‘Oh sure, great idea, and wipe my hands of it’ because that doesn’t work for the security of citizens in any community. The NDP are involved because they are a part of working this transition before they got all the information that they needed to make sure the transition was going to work properly.”

READ ALSO: Oppal says Surrey mayor wrong about policing transition timeline



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 school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

Fraser Health relocates Surrey COVID-19 testing centre

New location will triple testing capacity: Dr. Victoria Lee

White Rock acupuncturist suspended for ‘scare tactics, excessive fees’

30-day suspension for Jun Hua (Davy) Hua issued Aug. 18

Latimer Road the latest Surrey school to report COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read