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Horgan says Surrey police transition is 'hornets' nest', Mayor McCallum's problem

Last Updated Sep 24, 2020 at 10:32 am PDT

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)

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Surrey’s new police force is already proving to be a hot-button issue in this provincial election as B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan distances himself from the transition.

Wednesday morning John Horgan said Surrey’s Mayor Doug McCallum opened up a “hornets’ nest” with Surrey’s transition from the RCMP to a municipal police force, adding that any action taken will be the responsibility of the Mayor.

And Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman tells NEWS 1130 it’s going to be a very divisive issue throughout this election campaign.

“I’m not surprised that it’s the number one issue that’s being talked about in this provincial election,” she says.

“That means that not all Surrey residents and Surrey businesses want this transition. Why are we focusing on this in the middle of a pandemic? Even prior to the pandemic? The investments that are needed in our city are really prevalent in terms of infrastructure investments, in terms of road investments, in terms of investments for a family.”

Although Huberman says, “it’s not too late” to stop the transition, especially since the pandemic has impacted the economy.

“The priority now needs to be on economic recovery, a focus on the economy, a focus on jobs, a focus on families. And the RCMP is working through Surrey. There is no evidence that crime is going to be reduced as a result of a new civic police force in our city.”

Huberman predicts people’s votes in this election will be impacted not only by the policing issue, but also the pandemic as a whole.

“It’s up to residents to vote in this election to come out and ensure that our livability and public safety is adhered to within our city.”