Premier Eby says B.C. officials will brief Surrey mayor, council over police dispute

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VICTORIA — British Columbia Premier David Eby says he expects his government and Surrey's mayor and council to work together to resolve the police service issue in the Metro Vancouver city.

Eby says he's spoken twice with Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke since Friday when the government recommended the city proceed with its transition to the Surrey Police Service rather than return to the RCMP.

Locke, who was elected last fall on a promise bring the Mounties back to Surrey, said the council will review the government's recommendation, but her initial reaction was to continue with her council's plan to return to the RCMP.

Eby says the government is in the process of arranging briefing meetings about the policing issue with Locke and councillors but a date has not been set.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the government's decision is based on ensuring public safety in Surrey and across the province because the RCMP has 1,500 vacancies in B.C.

He said the RCMP faces recruitment challenges and keeping the RCMP in Surrey would make them worse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press