Two Surrey councillors are criticizing the city and the mayor for withholding details of a public engagement on policing this year.
In the spring, the city of Surrey held 23 public engagement events regarding a proposed switch from the Surrey RCMP to a municipal police force.
There were more than 11,000 responses, which were summarized and released, but details were kept under wraps.
Pulse FM has requested those details under Freedom of Information, but has been denied because they will be released in 60 business days. Pulse has requested a review by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Couns. Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke sent out a joint press release Monday chiding the mayor and the city for withholding the details of the engagement process.
The city had said previously that it would release all the details, but changed its mind, the release says.
“Somehow it became too hot to release and the report was classified as confidential. This begs the question: how can public feedback be confidential?” the joint release asks.
“We challenge McCallum to release the report and let citizens read it for themselves so they can actually see what they really wished for. This is a critical choice for Surrey. This is not the time to be hiding information. Public Safety is too important and mistakes will have numerous consequences that will impact the quality of life for generations. This is not a game Mr. Mayor.”
The councillors say the public does not need to be censored or sidelined.
“Public engagement is a two-way process and you can’t just shut it off when you don’t like what you’re hearing,” the release concludes.
Pulse has requested a comment from the mayor’s office, but has not yet received one.