This should be some adventure.
Nobody can accuse Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and council of sitting on their hands. They likely set a speed record for getting down to business on Monday night, approving two monumental motions right after being sworn in.
There’s no hyperbole here. They cancelled light rail transit, favouring expansion of SkyTrain, after putting the Surrey RCMP on notice that within two years its service here will be in the city’s history books.
Both developments come as no surprise, considering they were cornerstones of the Safe Surrey Coalition’s campaign. But to put it into perspective, as to the seismic nature of these motions, the RCMP has been policing Surrey since May 1, 1951 – when the mayor was just six years old.
Will the transition to a city police force be smooth? Not likely. Will maintaining continuity in ongoing criminal investigations be an issue during this change of the guard?
Now that the motions have been made, the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. It will be most interesting to see how these initiatives play out in the months and years to come.
It will also be interesting to see what role Councillor Linda Annis will play, as the lone vestige of Surrey First. The slate that dominated council for a decade before Surrey voters showed it the door, with this one exception.
Her first action on council was to toe the line with McCallum and his coalition, voting to cancel Surrey First’s beloved LRT as well as the RCMP’s contract.
After the inaugural vote, Annis told reporter Amy Reid, “I’m obviously going to hold them accountable for those issues.”