Surrey City Council passes motion to protect itself, City staff from harassment at public hearings

DURING Monday afternoon’s regular Council land use meeting, Surrey City Council passed a motion, effective immediately, which will protect the democratic process for future Council meetings, while ensuring a safe and respectful environment for Council and staff.

Individuals who have repeatedly disrupted and verbally harassed Council and City staff during public hearings will now be provided the opportunity to submit their questions and comments through written format. These individuals have been given notice of the changes in how they can participate in public meetings, which also outlines that physical access to Council Chambers will not be granted.

“Our democracy provides for freedom of thought, opinion and speech, but when the discourse devolves into aggressive and disorderly behavior, we must ensure that Council and City staff are able to carry out their duties without fear of verbal assault and harassment,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “I am disappointed by the ongoing hostile behaviour of these particular individuals which is why Council has felt it necessary to put these measures in place.”