VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the Province announced their recommendation for the City of Surrey to continue its transition to the Surrey Police Service. Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and B.C. Green Caucus representative on the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act has issued the following statement:
“Moving to a Surrey Police Service is the move towards better regional services that our legislative committee recommended. A municipal police force will be better positioned to reflect the diversity of the community. Communities should have the ability to influence how they are policed, by having their services accountable to them.
“The months of uncertainty is a lack of provincial leadership that has cost the taxpayers of Surrey millions. It’s been a year since the Committee tabled our report recommending a provincial police service and embracing a regional approach. There has been little progress with implementation.
“The Committee understood the politics involved in policing and that is why we recommended Minister Farnworth establish an all-party committee to depoliticize policing transformation. Instead, the BC NDP have decided to shoulder the entire burden on their own, weakening the overdue recommendation for change, and furthering the politicization of police services at the local and provincial level. I have no doubt that a collaborative approach would have minimized the political aspects about the Surrey policing decision.
“The BC NDP’s process, and decision not to create an all-party oversight committee, has made this decision more fragile and less resilient by politicizing this issue. Rather than recognizing necessary police reform is a project that takes a decade, a lifespan covering multiple parliaments, potentially with changes in governing parties and arrangements, we are witnessing power politics, not good governance.
“The Committee recommended moving to a provincial police service. This government is selecting recommendations that suit their political goals, instead of offering a comprehensive approach with adequate oversight and accountability, including improved police culture, training and supports.”
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]