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British Columbia

Surrey, B.C., to stay with RCMP over independent force, costing the city millions

SURREY, B.C. — The mayor of Surrey, B.C., says council has voted to revert its policing back to the RCMP, a move than will cost the city millions of dollars. 

Mayor Brenda Locke told reporters that she has spoken to Premier David Eby and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth about council’s decision.

The B.C. government recommended in April that Surrey continue its transition to the independent Surrey Police Service, offering $150 million over five years to help the city cover costs, but saying it would not pay the estimated $72 million in severance for officers if council decided to go back to the RCMP.

The transition to the independent police force was well underway when Locke was elected on the promise to return policing to the Mounties. 

Locke says she couldn’t estimate the cost of the move back to the RCMP, saying only that it will “obviously be millions.” 

Farnworth said the government’s decision to recommend staying with the independent force was a safety issue based largely on deployment throughout the Lower Mainland due to 1,500 RCMP vacancies across B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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