For the second time in a month, Surrey’s mayor has declined to allow recommendations from the city’s environment committee.
On Monday night, Surrey’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) forwarded recommendations to council to make sure the city’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (BCS) was fully funded.
The BCS is described as one of the strongest pieces of environmental protection legislation in Surrey, and ESAC is concerned it is not adequately funded.
On May 29, ESAC spent about a half an hour preparing recommendations to council on the funding for the BCS.
On Monday night, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum ruled the recommendations as “premature” and would not allow council to vote on them at this time.
“I’m not going to let this go ahead,” McCallum told his council colleagues. “This is a finance request, which has to follow our proper procedure, which is starting in September.”
The recommendations can be considered by council at that time, McCallum said.
“At this time, I’m going to rule that it’s premature… until we get into the financial discussions,” McCallum said.
It’s the second council meeting in a month where McCallum declined to consider ESAC recommendations.
On June 10, the mayor said recommendations on adjustments to the tree bylaw were “redundant” as staff were already working on the tree bylaw.
This was cause for Coun. Steven Pettigrew, ESAC chair, to stand on a point of privilege two weeks later to address the issue at a regular council meeting. McCallum ruled him out of order and threatened to eject him from the meeting.
Weeks prior, Pettigrew left the mayor’s Safe Surrey Coalition, saying he could no longer support the degradation of trees in the city.
The ESAC committee anticipates discussing the repeated refusals of its recommendations at its next regular meeting on July 31.