VICTORIA, B.C. - In response to Minister Farnworth’s announcement regarding policing services in Surrey, Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley and Leader of the BC Greens, has issued the following statement:
“Today Minister Farnworth exercised statutory authority under the Police Act to ensure adequate policing in Surrey by setting a plan in motion to move forward with the Surrey Police Service.
“This prolonged debate has come at a tremendous cost to Surrey residents, British Columbians, and public safety. Moving forward I urge the Minister and all involved to ensure the process remains transparent and meaningfully engages with the concerns of the community.
“The announcement today mentioned that the province is concerned about providing oversight of policing services in Surrey. I think it’s important that provincial oversight of policing is enacted throughout British Columbia. This was a need identified by the all-party Special Committee to Reform the Police Act, whose recommendations the BC NDP have been sitting on for 14 months.
“The committee explicitly recommended an all-party oversight committee to ensure that a transformation of policing in B.C. is democratic and de-politicized. They also recommended that B.C. move away from the RCMP and create a provincial police service.
“If there is anything we have learned from Surrey’s experience, it is that policing reform must remain evidence-based and de-politicized. The BC NDP said today that they plan to amend the Police Act in the fall. It is essential that those amendments implement the recommendations of the Special Committee.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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