In general, our reporters have thus far found it difficult to reach Surrey’s new mayor Doug McCallum for comment, a situation we hope will soon change as he finalizes his transition to city hall.
That said, he did, in what might be record time, seize the opportunity to point fingers at the RCMP roughly nine hours after a young man was shot dead on our city streets in the early hours of Friday morning.
McCallum’s intention, as is well known, is to replace the Surrey RCMP with a city police force. His self-serving press release stated that “this latest incident of deadly gun violence further emphasizes the need for the City of Surrey to have its own police force.”
His argument is flawed. To blame the local police force for this particular shooting, which his statement in effect did, is akin to blaming McCallum for all of Surrey’s traffic crashes because he is mayor.
After all, they are happening on his watch, right?
During the election campaign, we saw Surrey’s 10th homicide of the year politicized by McCallum, and his mayoral rival Tom Gill, within hours of a 30-year-old man being shot dead on our city streets. And here we are, one month later, seeing the process repeated by the mayor.
Politics and public service aside, let’s not forget that these victims, despite what they may or may not have done to put themselves in harm’s way, were human beings with families and friends.
Politicizing a homicide so soon after the fact, no matter how well the underlying intention may be, is insensitive at best and at worst smacks of opportunism.
McCallum should have waited before pressing send. If not out of respect for the dead, at least out of respect for the living.