– “I believe [the Mayor’s] assertion is, not only inaccurate, but intended to confuse residents and business owners”
– “The costs to terminate the transition and almost 400 employees (estimated at over $200M including sunk costs) are also not mentioned in the Mayor’s statement”
SURREY Police Service Chief Constable Norm Lipinski said in a statement on Friday: “Today, Mayor [Brenda] Locke issued a public statement that suggests Surrey residents will face a one-time 55% tax increase if the Province of BC approves the continuation of the policing transition. I believe this assertion is, not only inaccurate, but intended to confuse residents and business owners.
“As previously stated by SPS, a number of financial assumptions were used in the City’s Plan to Retain the RCMP as the Police of Jurisdiction in Surrey in order to arrive at an inflated cost ($235M) of the transition over the next five years. These assumptions included a nine-month pause in the transition which has not been previously contemplated by any party, and an assertion that the transition would take another five years, which is also inconsistent with previous discussions with the three levels of government. It is also unclear why a municipality would ask its residents to pay for costs that would be incurred over a five-year period, in just one year.
“I am deeply concerned that Mayor Locke continues to use financial assumptions to inflate the cost of Surrey’s transition to a municipal police service. The costs to terminate the transition and almost 400 employees (estimated at over $200M including sunk costs) are also not mentioned in the Mayor’s statement.
“Accurate costs and information on Surrey’s policing transition are important, but they are not the only factor to consider; adequate and effective policing in Surrey and throughout the Province are also critical.
“It is important that we all allow the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General the appropriate time and space to make a measured and thoughtful decision on this most consequential matter, without political influence.”