On Wednesday morning, Surrey council got its first look at a long-awaited plan to move to a municipal police force.
The details were given briefly at an in-camera (private) meeting of Surrey council.
As such, councillors cannot disclose the details of what happened in that meeting.
However, several are concerned about what they saw.
Coun. Brenda Locke would only say that the public must see the report before launching into a meaningful public consultation process.
The first one is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) and the public will not have seen it.
“I can tell you I have seen the report,” Locke told PulseFM Wednesday. “I think it is critically important that the public participate fully in the dialogue that they have the opportunity to do.”
To do that, the public must see the report that was briefly shown council on Wednesday.
“I think the public should be talking to the solicitor general about seeing the report and particularly look at the financial implications is going to have on them,” Locke said, adding Surrey residents should also let council, the province and the solicitor general “know their feelings about this transition.”
Coun. Linda Annis agrees completely.
“It’s absolutely critical that the citizens of Surrey see the report now,” Annis said. “I think they should have seen it earlier.”
She said it will be very difficult for the public to give informed input at Thursday’s meeting without first seeing the report.
There are no plans right now to make it public.
Mayor Doug McCallum sent out a release at 4 p.m. Wednesday thanking staff and the city of Vancouver for helping with the report.
“The completion of the Policing Transition Report is a landmark moment for the City of Surrey as it marks an important step in bringing local accountability to the citizens of Surrey,” McCallum states in the release.
The mayor said he would be making no further comment outside of the release.