Surrey council chambers. (File photo)

Surrey council denies motion to delay policing transition and seek First Nations consultation

Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke called for suspension of policing transition process, arguing First Nations weren’t consulted

Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke’s motion calling for the immediate suspension of the city’s policing transition process because First Nations have not been consulted on the plan to swap out the RCMP for a city-made police force has failed on a five-to-four split council vote.

Locke presented her motion at Monday night’s council meeting. She made her notice of motion on Jan. 27, asking that the process be suspended “until a sufficient, respectful and transparent consultation process that meets the federal, provincial and municipal obligations to consult with our First Nations peoples affected by the proposed changes has been adopted.”

READ ALSO: Locke calls for brake on Surrey policing plan, says First Nations not consulted

But Mayor Doug McCallum ruled her motion out of order.

“I’m going to rule it out, on the advice of our lawyers and that,” McCallum said, and gave five reasons why.

“First of all, it goes against a unanimous council motion to cancel the RCMP contract and to work on our own police force. The second point is the topic has been examined and addressed by the provincial-municipal policing transition committee which is before the government currently,” McCallum said. “Third point, First Nations have relationships with senior levels of government, meaning the Province and the federal government, that determine the nature of the consultation.”

homelessphoto

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)

McCallum also said it is the role of the police board, “once it’s formed, to deal with this situation as they develop and hire police officers to work with our First Nations in Surrey, so the police board, when it does get formed, will play a key role in that future consulting.”

The fifth reason McCallum gave for finding Locke’s motion out of order, he said, is that there is “every likelihood” the Semiahmoo band, which he said is policed by a “completely different” contract than Surrey’s contract with the RCMP, will not be affected by Surrey’s changeover to its own police force.

“But that will be up to them to decide if they want to work out some contract with the police board to deal with that,” McCallum added.

“The last one is this whole subject is to be negotiated at a later time. It has been addressed by the committee that looked at the transition and the future of dealing with this rests with the new police board when it is formed by the government.”

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor’s motion to ‘immediately stop’ policing transition process fails

Locke then spoke in rebuttal.

“Do we no longer at this chamber have to ask First Nations? We are a city that gathers here on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples and it would seem to me that it is appropriate that we consult with those peoples,” she said. “The fact that we did not do that is an error on our behalf and something that we have to correct. It doesn’t mean the process is over, it just means the process has to be slowed down so that we can consult with the Coast Salish people on the land that we are generously offered here.”

homelessphoto

Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)

Locke then challenged McCallum to put it to a vote.

He did, and her challenge of his out-of-order finding failed on a five to four vote, with councillors Linda Annis, Jack Hundial, Steven Pettigrew and Locke voting in support of Locke’s motion and councillors Doug Elford, Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton, Laurie Guerra and Mayor McCallum voting against it.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

City of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘It takes time to reverse course’: Dix says health ministry working on Abbotsford health issues

Adrian Dix says government is attempting to address Abbotsford’s health care issues

Langley woman hopes for donor after sudden kidney failure

Shelagh Brennan went from skydiving to dialysis appointments last year

PHOTOS: Abbotsford teachers take on Abbotsford Police in dodgeball game

Fundraiser for school redevelopment occurred on Tuesday afternoon

Country star Maren Morris to play Abbotsford Centre

Local concert one of only three in Canada for Grammy winner

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Cypress Mountain offers free lift tickets March 13 in honour of snowboarding pioneer

Jake Burton Carpenter invented the sport of snowboarding

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

White Rock man says landlord ‘threatened’ tenants for seeking cash after no heat over Christmas

Porte Realty VP says original notice was harsh and quickly replaced

Most Read