Skip to main content

'We wish we could do more': Surrey mayor takes aim at province after budget approval

Surrey City Hall is seen in this photo shared by the City of Surrey on Facebook on Oct. 6, 2023. Surrey City Hall is seen in this photo shared by the City of Surrey on Facebook on Oct. 6, 2023.

Surrey city councillors approved the 2024 operating and capital budget on Monday that included a six per cent property tax increase, plus a one per cent tax increase for roads and traffic. 

Surrey’s mayor, Brenda Locke, quickly released a statement following the vote calling the decision a “progressive, forward thinking financial plan” as the city continues to expand during a time when money is tight for many in the community.

“Our ambitious capital program includes 13 new projects and reflects our commitment to ensuring that Surrey will remain a dynamic and thriving community for generations to come,” wrote Locke.

The mayor went on to write that the list of projects include the approved $310.6 million Newton Community Centre which she says is the largest capital project undertaken in terms of both funding and scope while also mentioning the Cloverdale Sports and Ice Complex is a priority to complete.

The budget approval came with some regret as well. The mayor wrote that council wishes they could have done more but face financial constraints.

“As much as we are doing, we wish we could do more,” wrote the Mayor.

“The fact is, Surrey Police Service (SPS) is putting a financial strain on our ability to deliver new projects.”

Locke claims that the SPS exceeded its budget by more than $22 million in 2023.

SPS told CTV News on Tuesday morning that it was funded last year for costs up to six months as operations of the police service were thought to be dissolved in the summer.

“The 'over budget' comment refers to the fact we continued operating after July, which we had to do as it was integral for public safety and the continuation of the policing transition that was approved by the provincial government,” wrote an SPS spokesperson.

In her lengthy statement, Locke also took aim at the province, writing that the city’s general manager confirmed that Surrey has not received any promised or publicly committed funding from Victoria for policing.

She wrote that if Surrey transitions away from the RCMP, it would cost the city over $500 million over the next decade. Top Stories

Stay Connected