Who says you can’t fight city hall?
Surrey’s Darlene Bennett is experiencing a particularly emotional week. Her husband Paul was shot dead in their driveway in Cloverdale on June 23, 2018 in what police believe to be a case of mistaken identity.
She is also absorbing the work that’s cut out for her after Elections BC approved her application last week to conduct an initiative petition to learn once and for all what kind of support – and opposition – there is to the City of Surrey’s plan to swap out the Surrey RCMP for the Surrey Police Service. It’s a milestone achievement in what’s been a raging debate since the current city council took power in 2018.
Bennett’s campaign is catching fire. And it needs to, if she is to collect the required number of signatures within 90 days after the petition is issued on Aug. 16. It’s purpose is to have the provincial government hold a binding referendum in Surrey, featuring a single question on whether people want the Surrey RCMP to stay or be replaced.
Bennett and her supporters have a herculean – but not impossible – task ahead of them.
In her corner is Bill Tieleman, who helped former Social Credit premier Bill Vander Zalm mount a successful referendum campaign that led to the defeat of the Harmonized Sales Tax in 2011.
Tieleman and Bennett are definitely not alone in their conviction that Surrey residents need to be canvassed on this controversial issue, despite Mayor Doug McCallum’s position that this was already accomplished through his election win in 2018.
Bennett’s campaign, after much hard work, should finally shed light on the truth of the matter.