SURREY (NEWS 1130) – The mayor of Surrey’s moves to get rid of the RCMP and bring in a municipal police force took an odd turn at Monday night’s city council meeting.
About halfway through the proceedings, he had to make a proclamation regarding the centennial anniversary of the RCMP, reading a lengthy history of the force in Canada and B.C.
“Therefore it be resolved that I, Doug McCallum, hereby declare February 1, 2020 as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Appreciation Day in the City of Surrey.”
— Tarnjit Parmar (@Tarnjitkparmar) January 28, 2020
Yes, the mayor is asking everyone in Surrey to appreciate the Mounties this Saturday. The police force he’s pushing out of the city.
It took two minutes for McCallum to get through the proclamation, even though he read it rather hastily, and apparently without his usual volume.
“We can’t hear you, Mayor!” yelled someone from the gallery midway though his statement, causing McCallum to stumble before he continued.
On Twitter, people have questions.
“The guy who wants to spend an extra $4M a year for a private police force with 18 fewer officers than the Surrey RCMP currently have, is proclaiming an RCMP appreciation day?” @MarkSweeney writes.
“No clue what he is trying to achieve or the vision,” @Eagleeye0073 adds.
“Hats off to the City staff that made this happen. He better show up to whatever event is planned,” @bcajmiles says in a reply to a tweet about the proclamation.
“Wish it was replace Mayor McCheese day,” @tequilasmommy tweets, while @GurjotBakshi comes in with the cheeky, “At this rate I wonder what day he’ll proclaim as Uber appreciation day?”
At this rate I wonder what day he'll proclaim as Uber appreciation day?
— Gurjot Bakshi (@GurjotBakshi) January 28, 2020
There has been no shortage of tweets like these, but there are also a number of others who questioned the soundness of some of Mayor McCallum’s decisions.
McCallum, elected in 2019, promised to bring in a new municipal police force to replace Surrey’s RCMP detachment.
A joint transition team — chaired by provincial government appointee Wally Oppal, a former B.C. attorney general — is currently working on the logistics of making the switch.
-With files from Tarnjit Parmar