VOICE OPINION COLUMN
SURREY Mayor Brenda Locke’s claims of being transparent were exposed just last week as we reported in our story titled “Surrey taxpayers paying tens of thousands of dollars for lobbyist for RCMP; Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke’s double standards shock Surrey-ites.”
Bob Mackin of Glacier Media Group reported that Surrey City Hall has hired BC Liberal insider Mark Marissen, former husband of former BC premier Christy Clark, to lobby the NDP government to keep the RCMP in Surrey. Mackin revealed that “Marissen is also a longtime associate of Shannon Salter, Eby’s deputy minister, cabinet secretary and head of the public service.”
Locke and her staff at City Hall refused to provide any information to Mackin. Instead, the City’s freedom of information (FOI) office sent an email requesting a $10 payment. Mackin pointed out that Locke had promised to eliminate the $10 FOI fee imposed by then-mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition council majority. She had declared: “By eliminating the fee, residents will see we are serious about transparency and good government.”
So what happened to her transparency?
Locke thought that with her SECRET MISSION AGENT, keeping the RCMP in Surrey was a LOCK!
However, the government decided that more facts had to be unlocked!
Earlier, her scare tactic with exaggerated financial figures to scare Surrey-ites about the police transitioning had been exposed left, right and centre.
NOW that Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on Thursday asked for more information from the City of Surrey, the RCMP and the Surrey Police Service regarding the ongoing transition, Locke seems to have lost her balance completely and it shows very clearly that she is NOT FIT to be the mayor.
Locke and her RCMP masters are now IN A PANIC just because Farnworth has quite rightly asked for more information from all three parties involved to make sure of ALL the facts.
Farnworth said in a statement on Thursday: “The director of police services has determined that additional information is required to inform further consideration of the matter and has made a request to the parties for that information.”
And the minister noted: “The policing transition in Surrey is unprecedented and complex and requires a full and in-depth analysis,” adding: “”This matter affects not only policing in Surrey, but across the province. The stability of policing is fundamental to ensuring our provincial responsibilities are met. Public safety in the City of Surrey and throughout British Columbia continues to be our core driving principle.”
That IS the government’s job – due diligence, and not the scare tactics and false figures that Locke and her gang have been flinging around recklessly.
It is also SHAMEFUL that BC Liberal MLAs from Surrey Trevor Halford and Elenore Sturko do not understand what “due diligence” means. They should stop playing dirty politics with this issue.
HOWEVER, Locke can’t face up to hard facts, and so, once again she fired off another of her press releases that has made her a joke in the media.
Locke said on Thursday: “The City is now considering its options as I do not believe the Province’s reason to delay its decision is justified. The inability to make a timely decision is unfair to SPS and RCMP officers and their families.”
Wow, so now Locke has SOME sympathy for the SPS officers and their families also! She never bothered about that earlier.
Locke added: “It also impacts the City’s ability to complete our budget for 2023. The longer two police agencies are operating with this uncertainty, the more taxpayer dollars are being unnecessarily spent. The instability needs to come to an end, and a timely response is critical.”
Again, the financial scare tactic!
Locke insisted: “The City and the RCMP completed comprehensive plans on the steps forward to maintain the RCMP. We have clearly and thoroughly provided all the necessary details to demonstrate our ability to maintain the Surrey RCMP and can do so in a more cost effective and timely way than continuing with SPS. The RCMP has served Surrey well for 70 years and crime has been trending downward over the past decade.”
And she added: “It is natural to want more information as we put our Plans into effect. It is a waste of time to continue to do that work prior to the Province’s decision. The Minister needs to confirm the City has already made the decision. Now we need to act to get more information and an Action Plan in place. The City is ready to act. The Province needs to do the right thing and confirm the City has the right to this decision.”
The lady is sure showing her true colours now!
Pushy like a bully — instead of confidently saying, “No problem. We will provide you all the additional facts and clarifications you want.”
What are the facts?
The Surrey Police Service was established after Doug McCallum of Safe Surrey Coalition won the 2018 municipal election on that mandate with 40 per cent of the total votes cast — as compared to the 28 per cent of the total votes cast for Brenda Locke in 2022 on her pledge to keep the RCMP in Surrey.
What is more, Locke of Surrey Connect won by fewer than 1,000 votes! Locke bagged 33,111 votes as compared to McCallum’s 32,338 votes — a difference of only 973 votes.
When RCMP supporters kept insisting that McCallum couldn’t get rid of the RCMP because he didn’t get 50 per cent of the votes and that they wanted a referendum, Locke supported them wholeheartedly. Not once did she disagree with them and, in fact, even encouraged their fascist behaviour.
In fact, a referendum by pro-RCMP forces that was inspired and paid for by the RCMP’s National Police Federation could not even garner as many votes as McCallum won as mayor!
So what’s happened now, Locke?