In early April of this year, I wrote a letter outlining the concerns I had with Mayor Doug McCallum’s decision to continue towards replacing Surrey RCMP with a city police force.
I felt that the mayor was being irresponsible in heading down the path of changing the policing model in Surrey while the city and the entire country was dealing with the financial impact from the pandemic. Again, it will no doubt take years for individuals, businesses and governments to recoup these costs as a result of the pandemic.
Now is not the time to replace an effective police force – the RCMP – with an unknown city police force, which appears to be at the whim of our mayor and some of his councillors.
As a Surrey resident, while I continue to be concerned with the proposed policing model change in Surrey, I am extremely dismayed with the way it is being handled by the mayor and some of his supporters.
Of note, there has been several inappropriate Facebook posts, with ads indicated being paid for by Safe Surrey Coalition, about the RCMP in the past week that have no purpose other than to attempt to humiliate the RCMP. I am specifically referring to two ads which appeared on Facebook this past week regarding the sexual harassment complaints made against the RCMP from 2010.
The screen shot shows that the ads were “sponsored and paid for by Safe Surrey Coalition” with the headlines “Former Mountie paints picture of near daily harassment” (Globe and Mail) and “B.C. Mountie alleges years of sexual harassment” (CBC). These cases were dealt with several years ago and I question why Safe Surrey Coalition feels the need to bring these cases to the forefront at this time.
I am a retired RCMP member having served from 1974 to 1995. Please be mindful, that I am not portraying myself as a spokesperson for serving or retired female RCMP officers, but I am proud to have been a member of the RCMP having served for 21 years.
In my opinion, the actions of Safe Surrey Coalition are in the realm of “dirty” politics which serve no purpose. The men and women of the RCMP continue to do an outstanding job. Let them do their job without having to “dig up dirt” to further a political cause. I am very aware that the RCMP have made big strides towards harassment free workplaces and continue to ensure the best possible work environment for their members and civilian employees.
Further to this, our mayor continues to support the lack of transparency as to the costs associated with the proposed policing transition. If there is nothing to hide then why not answer the questions posed to him by other councillors and Surrey citizens? Mayor McCallum appears to be looking out for himself and prioritizing his wants over the needs of the citizens of Surrey.
It is time to ask again and receive the answers to the questions that have been asked. It is time for some of our Surrey politicians to stop behaving like bullies and to start acting like leaders. The citizens of Surrey need a local government that is transparent, is decent and listens to the people.
Donna Morse, Surrey