Up to 5,000 people are expected at a rally scheduled for Surrey city hall on Monday, as public dissent grows around the municipal budget.
Surrey council is expected to give final adoption to its five-year financial plan on Monday. The document calls for no new police officers, no new firefighters, and a freeze on hiring new city staff.
More than 200 people packed city hall on Dec. 2 to voice opposition to the budget, many decrying the lack of investment in public safety.
Former City Coun. Mike Starchuk is coordinating a rally in the city hall plaza at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16.
Starchuk said the rally is vitally important.
“This is important because the politicians that are elected today were elected to speak on our behalf,” Starchuk told Pulse FM Wednesday. “And so far, the only people speaking on our behalf are people that are opposed to this budget.”
He expects anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people to attend the rally.
He said the councillors who supported the budget failed to express to the public why they were.
“The council that is pushing this budget forward, had plenty of time in council chambers to explain to other councillors and the public why this is a good thing,” Starchuk said. “Why not having any rec centres, why not having any (new) first responders … why that’s a good thing, and they chose not to say anything in chambers.”
The planned rally is scheduled for 6 p.m beside city hall and the regular meeting of Surrey council is scheduled for 7 p.m.