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Surrey's largest Sikh gurdwaras, Hindu mandir throw support behind move to municipal force

Last Updated Jul 2, 2019 at 1:13 pm PST

FILE - A Surrey Police cruiser sits outside the Cloverdale Recreation Centre during the first open house about creating an independent police force in Surrey. (Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Executives of Surrey's six largest Sikh gurdwaras, largest Hindu mandir among those supporting municipal police force

Members say they represent a significant portion of Surrey's 168,000 South Asians

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – There are lots of people who still support Mayor Doug McCallum’s move to a municipal police force, and among them are the executives of six of Surrey’s largest Sikh Gurdwaras and its largest Hindu Mandir.

In a letter to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, the members say they represent a significant portion of Surrey’s 168,000 South Asians.

They’re demanding Farnworth green-light the transition from the RCMP as soon as possible.

“All seven institutions, whose congregations collectively represent a significant percentage of the city’s 168,000 South Asian residents, have signed onto and publicly released correspondence to the Minister requesting immediate action in allowing the plan to proceed,” the letter reads.

Related article: Despite being banned from Surrey Canada Day event, volunteers grab 2,000+ signatures in support of RCMP

It cites the impacts violence has had on the South Asian community in particular, and those who are part of it are anxious for change.

“We are tired of waiting for real change in Surrey’s policing, which is why all of our executives have signed this letter to Mr. Farnworth,” a press release says. “The BC government must listen to the people who voted in favour of Mayor Doug McCallum’s proposal last October.”

Those behind the letter also highlight the “anger” felt over the provincial government’s signing of a 20-year RCMP renewal agreement in 2012.

Related article: 9/10 people in Surrey support municipal force, consultations find

The City of Surrey’s transition plan was handed over to the B.C. government in June for review.

In June, results of a public consultation released by the city suggested nine out of 10 people in Surrey support replacing the RCMP with a municipal force.

The results of the survey have been questioned by some groups, who claim misleading questions would have skewed the results.

-With files from Taran Parmar