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

ICYMI: Harrison Summer newsletter rundown

Village staff compiled an update

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Where are the most dangerous roads in Agassiz-Harrison?

Motorists reported 418 crashes in 2019, according to ICBC

Community Camera: August 13, 2020

Submit your Community Camera photos to news@ahobserver.com

Property crime sees drop in Harrison area, local RCMP reports

Property theft takes a significant dip while mischief incidents rise

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

BCSPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read