A group of Surrey RCMP supporters claim they were denied entry to Surrey's Canada Day celebration.

Ivan Scott of the "Keep the RCMP in Surrey" campaign says he was turned away at the gate of the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Cloverdale.

"They said I wasn't allowed in because I had signs and that it was a protest," said Scott. "Then I thought let's just test it out and we walked through."

A dozen supporters stood at the entrances with clipboards, asking attendees to sign their petition.

Their goal was to collect at least 1,000 signatures from Surrey residents by the end of the day.

"Give them the opportunity to express their right on everything that they want to."

It comes days after the city denied the campaign's application to set up an information booth at the festivities.

In a statement, the City of Surrey said the Canada Day event is meant to be an inclusive, politics-free environment.

Scott was adamant the group be allowed to collect signatures, under the right to free speech. Despite ignoring instructions from security guards at the gate, the group says the day went on without incident.

"I did have a chance to speak with staff after that and said today's not the day to be having this controversy," said Acting Mayor and Surrey City Councillor Jack Hundial. "Today's the day for celebration and for family to get together."

Hundial, a former 25 year member of the RCMP, has been openly critical of the public consultation process for the municipal force for months, despite being a part of the Safe Surrey Coalition.

"I think we need to more consultation," he said.