New Surrey council terminates RCMP contract, backs out of LRT plans
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018 7:52AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 6, 2018 7:17PM PST
SURREY, B.C. - The newly elected mayor and council in Surrey, British Columbia have passed motions to replace the city's RCMP detachment with a municipal police force and back out of plans for a light-rail transit link.
The motions - passed unanimously after Monday's swearing in of the council - are the key planks of Mayor Doug McCallum's Safe Surrey Coalition platform, as well as seven of the eight councillors elected last month.
McCallum told reporters that scrapping the largest RCMP detachment in the country in favour of a municipal police force and rejecting light rail in favour of an elevated SkyTrain link are the best choices for Surrey.
He says he has support for both initiatives from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, and he believes the switch to municipal policing can be accomplished within the next two years at a cost to the city of about $120 million.
Assistant RCMP Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, who is in charge of the Surrey detachment, has already said his officers will remain on the job throughout any changes.
TransLink, the authority responsible for Metro Vancouver's regional transportation network, issued a release Monday night saying it's pausing work on the light-rail project while awaiting further direction from Surrey council.