SURREY’S South Asian population is getting increasingly angry and frustrated at what it believes to be the RCMP’s ongoing attempts to sabotage the new Surrey Police Service and the NDP Governments’ awkward handling of the situation.
On Sunday, the Board of Surrey’s Lakshmi Narayan Mandir fired off a stiff letter to Mike Farnworth, Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General, demanding that he fulfill “what the electorate decided upon three years ago” and reminding him that he acknowledged his “statutory responsibility “to ensure that a transition plan provides safe and effective policing.”’
Also, on Sunday, Surrey’s Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar and Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara leaders in a joint letter to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum decried the politicizing of Surrey’s policing mandate by those looking to promote their personal agendas and urged him to ensure that the democratic mandate for a municipal police for Surrey is implemented in a timely manner.
Here is the letter sent by Satish Kumar, President, Lakshmi Narayan Mandir (speaking on behalf of the entire Board):
Dear Minister Farnworth,
We as Members of the Board of the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir are writing to express our concern with the recent announcement that the new Surrey Police Service (“SPS”) was being limited in the amount of officers it could onboard due to a cap you have imposed.
As reported in the media, your government’s Policing and Security Branch has left the SPS with approximately half the number of recruits they wished to bring on over the coming calendar year.
Our Board believes strongly in this policing transition, and as expressed in both the 2018 election and the failure of opponents to garner enough support for a referendum, we believe the Government of BC now has an obligation to facilitate this process seamlessly.
We believe that your government should add capacity to the Justice Institute of British Columbia immediately so that additional training can occur in the years of this upcoming transitory phase.
Further, it is also contingent that your government holds the RCMP to account as per your provincial contract so that they are complaint and cooperative with the incoming SPS.
While we understand the highly politicized environment that this issue has engineered in Surrey, we do not believe that a loud minority should detract from fulfilling what the electorate decided upon three years ago.
Please consider our concern for public safety seriously, as we believe that any further delays or administrative barriers will only serve to put our Surrey neighbourhoods at risk. On February 27, 2020, you acknowledged your statutory responsibility “to ensure that a transition plan provides safe and effective policing.” We appreciate this ongoing commitment from you, and hope that you can now intervene to address this unfortunate bottleneck.
We hope to be able to continue a conversation with you on these issues, and look forward to your response to this correspondence.