Will Mike Farnworth’s words come back to haunt him?
With the fate of Surrey’s policing situation now in the Public Safety Minister’s hands, let’s remind you of things he said during the early days of the policing transition.
Confronted with acrimony from both sides on the issue of whether Surrey should have its own police force instead of the RCMP, Farnworth habitually chose to deflect.
At a press scrum, Dec. 5, 2019: “What I said is that municipal policing is the responsibility of the local government.”
After acknowledging that “the City of Surrey is responsible for policing,” Farnworth told the Now-Leader on Feb. 27, 2020: “It’s laid out in the Police Act. They are the ones who get to decide what kind of model they want.”
Concerning a grassroots campaign to have a referendum on the transition, Farnworth told the Now-Leader on May 12, 2021: “But at the end of the day, this was a decision made by Surrey council, and Surrey council, if they want to overturn it, you know that they need to take it up with Surrey council.”
And here’s what Surrey’s NDP MLAs had to say, Now-Leader, Nov. 22, 2021, on the referendum question:
Jagrup Brar (Surrey-Fleetwood): “It is a city matter, the City of Surrey council made a decision…” Rachna Singh (Surrey-Green Timbers): “Our stance has been always that this was a decision made by the City of Surrey and we have been supporting the City of Surrey with that.” Jinny Sims (Surrey-Panorama): “It is the decision of Surrey council, that’s the division of power that exists.” Harry Bains (Surrey-Newton): “It’s the city’s decision, we don’t want to interfere with the city’s decision.”
Have Farnworth and the NDP painted themselves into a corner here? Should not the same deference extended to Surrey council’s decision to initiate the transition in 2018 also apply to Surrey council’s decision in 2022 to reverse the process?
You be the judge.