Surrey policing report to Province needs to be transparent and fair, says Councillor Linda Annis

SURREY First Councillor Linda Annis said on Monday that the city team putting together the policing report to the province calling for reversing the transition to the Surrey Police Service should include a forensic accountant or auditor in addition to former RCMP members Peter German and Tonia Enger.

“Tonight, council is being asked to contract Peter German and Tonia Enger, both former members of the RCMP, to assist with this report to [Solicitor General and Public Safety] Minister Mike Farnworth,” noted Annis. “If we’ve learned anything about this whole transition issue over the past four years, it’s that we need transparency and we need to be seen as fair and accurate with the facts.”

She added: “The report needs to reflect the real costs of the police transition to the Surrey Police Service, and the costs of reversing that plan and staying with the RCMP. To me that means we need to have more than two former members of the RCMP helping to put the report together. We need to be seen to be transparent and unbiased, and so I will be asking to add a forensic accountant or outside auditor that provides that accountability and professional independence.”

Annis said: “While I have every confidence in Mr. German and Ms. Enger, a third member of the team, someone not associated with the RCMP, should also help put the report together in order to give Surrey residents and the province the confidence that Surrey has been both fair and accurate in what we find and what’s being proposed going forward.”

She said that since city council turned down her motion for a referendum, it is council’s responsibility to produce a report to the province that is as fair, transparent, unbiased and factual as possible.

Annis added: “By turning down a referendum that would give Surrey voters their say, council must now demonstrate to the community that the report to the provincial government is completely fair, completely unbiased and based on the facts. Our citizens continue to be sidelined in this whole process, which means the least city council can do is ensure that what is being presented to the province is as transparent and unbiased as possible, so that we can all be confident that the numbers and facts are completely accurate. We need to take the politics out of any report and let the facts and numbers do the talking.”