Safe Surrey Coalition writes to Elections BC to intervene with policing referendum campaigners

Consistent disregard for bylaws, rules and regulations render initiative efforts unfair and illegitimate 

AFTER weeks of completely ignoring bylaw enforcement officers and various parameters set out for the initiative process, the Safe Surrey Coalition has written a letter to Elections BC requesting an investigation into, and subsequent action on, the Surrey policing referendum campaign.

As can be seen in the photo, the proponents are advertising community signing events that continue to use large signage within public spaces, which is in contravention of Surrey City by-law 13480 that prohibits advertising of any kind in the city’s public parks.

Further, the Safe Surrey Coalition has also contacted various private landlords about petitioners using their property, only to be told that not only have they not provided consent (written or otherwise), but in many instances, didn’t even know the petitioners were on their premises.

According to the Elections BC website: “Canvassers must obtain permission from the landlord or property owner before gathering signatures on private property or at public facilities. This includes apartment buildings, strata properties, malls, recreation centres, and schools. Wherever signatures are being gathered, canvassers must abide by any applicable bylaws, rules or regulations.”

With a group that doesn’t believe in the legitimacy of local enforcement and has no intention of abiding by Surrey’s bylaws, Elections BC needs to step up now before the referendum efforts are brought before the courts, according to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum.

“The petitioners’ campaign began with the announcement that they were disregarding the requirement to collect signatures in 87 communities and continues to show a lack of respect and regard for local laws or residents,” said McCallum on Saturday.

“That aside, their growing list of bylaw infractions and infringement of public and private spaces without consent is unacceptable, and Elections BC must conduct a full investigation with the 90-day time frame now more than half complete.”