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Here's how much the City of Surrey spent on its legal challenge to the police transition

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The City of Surrey spent nearly $1.3 million on legal fees on its failed challenge to the provincial government's order that it must continue the transition to a municipal police force.

Spending details provided to CTV News Vancouver in response to a Freedom of Information request show the city received invoices totalling $1,283,065.99 for legal services related to its petition for judicial review in B.C. Supreme Court. That total includes "fees, disbursements and GST," according to the city.

"Additional costs" related to the court case are still being calculated, the city said.

The city also spent more than $80,000 on lawyer and former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German, who advised the city on its legal case.

Peter German & Associates Inc. submitted invoices to the city totalling $29,432.03 for work completed between October and December 2023, the city said in its latest FOI response. That total was in addition to $50,935.51 the city had previously disclosed in response to an earlier FOI request. Combined, those amounts equal $80,367.54.

Notably, the provincial government refused to provide an accounting of its own legal costs in response to a media inquiry, describing the information as "privileged."

"The cost of the province's legal defense is privileged, so we cannot provide this information," reads a response from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

On Wednesday, the province and the city jointly announced that they had reached a deal that will see the provincial government provide $250 million in funding to support the city's ongoing transition from the Surrey RCMP to the Surrey Police Service.

That total includes $30 million annually to help with transition costs through 2029, plus a further $20 million each year until 2034 if SPS salaries are higher than RCMP salaries would have been.

Stopping the transition to the SPS was Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke's signature campaign promise when she unseated former mayor Doug McCallum in the 2022 election.

Taking the province to court was Locke's final effort to make good on that promise, but Justice Kevin Loo ruled in May that the provincial government's Police Amendment Act (PAA) – which was passed in October and included provisions specifically obligating Surrey to continue the transition – was constitutional.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Abigail Turner

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