SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Phoney baloney — that’s what one group campaigning to keep the RCMP in Surrey has to say after a recent survey which suggests there’s overwhelming support for a transition to a municipal force was released by the city.
Now, the Keep the RCMP in Surrey group is calling on the province for help, saying it doesn’t trust numbers from the city.
The group’s Ivan Scott says Mayor Doug McCallum’s claims don’t line up with what he’s been hearing at public events.
“On behalf of The KEEP THE RCMP IN SURREY CAMPAIGN, I totally reject the findings of the so-called Surrey Police Department Proposal Engagement Process,” he says.
He says he’s gathered 3,300 signatures in support of retaining the federal force, but the city claims 93 per cent of 11,000 people it surveyed are in support of a switch to a Surrey Police Force.
Keep the RCMP in Surrey is demanding the city release the full methodology behind the survey for scrutiny and disclose the qualifications of the staff involved in assembling it.
“It is, in our opinion, a very shallow, dishonest, superficial, box-ticking exercise, crafted by Mayor McCallum’s people to deliberately mislead and deceive the public and further to attempt to bamboozle the BC Provincial Government into approving Mayor McCallum’s new Surrey Police Department proposal, by the provision of false and misleading so-called survey results information,” Scott adds.
He believes misleading questions on the survey would have skewed the results.
Scott and others in the group would like the province to reject the entire engagement process to date and hold its own, independent survey to establish “the real” level of support for a municipal force.
The city said on Monday that the overwhelming support was found after it had conducted 23 public consultations over a five-week period, with the majority of respondents saying they agreed the police department should be “locally led.”
Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis, who is in favour of keeping the RCMP, also questions the results. She told NEWS 1130 she believes the questions asked were “slanted.”
“The survey wasn’t done based on any facts,” she said. “When most of the public engagement was done, it was done before the police report was even made public, so I don’t know how people could be expressing opinion on a report or on a transition plan that they have not yet seen.”
The full report is expected to be made public when it goes to council in mid-July.
-With files from Marcella Bernardo