What with Surrey’s policing transition, the mayor’s impending trial on a charge of public mischief, acrimonious council infighting, outcry for transparency from city hall, you name it, if the coming civic election in this city could be likened to soup, it would not be a consomme but rather a full-on chowder, thickened with issues.
To date, there are two identified contenders for the mayor’s chair, with Mayor Doug McCallum seeking re-election and Coun. Brenda Locke aiming to retire him.
Locke says the main ingredient for this election chowder is the policing transition. This is what she told the Now-Leader in February: “There’s no doubt to me that this election, the ballot question if you will, the ballot question for Surrey will be the police transition. The people that are going to be running are going to have to pretty much pick a lane.”
Last week’s report from a provincial committee reviewing the Police Act, which recommends that B.C. move to a provincial police force as well as regional forces, added a big handful of croutons to Surrey’s election chowder.
As reporter Lauren Collins notes in her front-page story this issue, this report has the mayoral candidate rivals doubling down on their take on what this all means for policing in Surrey, as the city continues to transition from the Surrey RCMP to the Surrey Police Service. Of course, they disagree.
The report’s recommendations are just that – recommendations, not policy. But with their addition to the mix, and the complexity of an already complex and contentious issue such as the city’s policing transition, Surrey residents trying to make sense of it all might well experience some indigestion heading into the Oct. 15 civic election.