SURREY First Councillor Linda Annis said on Wednesday that the finding by Surrey’s Ethics Commissioner that Councillor Rob Stutt “contravened “ the city’s Code of Conduct when he participated in the November vote to keep the RCMP in Surrey means he should not have voted.
By not voting, the motion would have failed because it would have been a tie vote. The motion passed at the time 5-4.
Annis said: “The Ethics Commissioner was clear that a reasonable person would have seen the potential for bias because of Councillor Stutt’s family connection at the time to the RCMP. It begs the question why the Mayor didn’t see that conflict, and why she allowed Councillor Stutt to vote. If the motion had failed, I think it would have changed things quite a bit. Instead, it has continued the political chaos and cost that surrounds the policing issue.”
Annis added that the fact that the vote happened in public in November is also a good reason why there should have been a public vote last week, instead of a secret vote.
She pointed out: “Transparency on November 14 showed the conflict, but the vote in-camera last week means we cannot talk about how people voted, which is hard for taxpayers and residents to understand.”
Annis said: “Transparency has been missing on this issue from day one…that includes details about the real numbers and costs. Numbers that are secret can’t be taken seriously. The numbers around policing need to be public and they need to be challenged and defended in public.”