The minister responsible to oversee Surrey’s policing plan says he wants to see that plan made public, but he won’t be rushed into releasing it.
On May, 22, Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of public safety, received Surrey’s plan to transition from the RCMP to a municipal force.
Surrey councillors viewed the document behind closed doors and are not allowed to share its contents.
Several councillors and the public have been saying the report should be made public as soon as possible, particularly regarding potential costs of switching from the RCMP to a municipal force.
Farnworth said the process will not happen quickly.
“This is not just an exercise that’s going to happen overnight,” Farnworth said Wednesday. “This is a 200-page document dealing with the very complex issues around policing.”
“My statutory responsibility as solicitor general is to make sure a plan that is developed by Surrey, meets all the needs of the citizens of Surrey in terms of a policing plan that can work for a transition.”
Mayor Doug McCallum had said in his State of the City Address that municipal boots would be on the ground by July, next year.
Farnworth, while not speaking directly to that claim, didn’t appear to be in such a hurry.
“We’re going to take the time that’s needed to do the job thoroughly and properly,” Farnworth said. “And as I’ve said, I’m not going to put an artificial timeline on how long that’s going to take.”
He would like to see the report made public quickly and completely.
“I would like to see the report released publicly as soon as possible,” he said. Operational sides of it may be kept private. “Apart from that, I think it should all be public.”
Meanwhile, Surrey is conducting a series of public consultation meetings throughout the city, but critics say there isn’t much consulting or information being given.
City scheduled public meetings on Surrey police
|Fleetwood Community Centre||15996 84 Avenue||Consultation Session||May 29||3 – 7 pm|
|Bear Creek Skateboard Park||8502 King George Blvd.||Survey Stations||May 30||10 am – 2 pm|
|Central City Shopping Centre||10153 King George Blvd.||Pop-Up Kiosk||May 31||1 – 3 pm|
|Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre||13458 107A Ave||Consultation Session||June 1||12 – 5 pm|
|Surrey Sports & Leisure Complex||16555 Fraser Hwy #100||Consultation Session||June 5||3 – 7 pm|
|Bear Creek Pavilion||13750 88 Avenue||Pop-Up Kiosk||June 7||2 – 5 pm|
|Bridgeview Community Centre||11475 126A Street||Consultation Session||June 8||10 am – 2 pm|
|Punjab Banquet Hall||8155 128 Street||Consultation Session||June 9||10 am – 2 pm|
|Scott Road Park and Ride||12515 110 Ave||Survey Stations||June 11||7 – 10 am|
|Gateway SkyTrain Station||108 Ave and University Drive||Survey Stations||June 11||4 – 6 pm|
|King George SkyTrain Station||9900 King George Blvd.||Survey Stations||June 12||7 – 10 am|
|Crescent Beach||Beecher Street and O’Hara Lane corner||Survey Stations||June 13||10 am – 2 pm|
|South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre||14601 20 Avenue||Consultation Session||June 15||12 – 5 pm|
|Newton Athletic Park||7395 128 Street||Pop-Up Kiosk||June 16||9 am – 1 pm|
|Newton Recreation Centre||13730 72 Avenue||Consultation Session||June 19||3 – 7 pm|
|Guildford Recreation Centre||15105 105 Avenue||Pop-Up Kiosk||June 28||3 – 8 pm|
|Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara||7050 120 St||Pop-Up Kiosk||June 30||9 am – 1 pm|