RCMP want Surrey to show millions in ‘hidden costs’ for police transition


SURREY (NEWS 1130) — A bargaining agent for Mounties is calling on the Surrey Police Board to reveal the true cost of the city’s plan to transition from the RCMP to a municipal force.

The National Police Federation (NPF), which represents more than 20,000 Mounties across Canada, has outlined a list of major costs it says Surrey hasn’t disclosed when it comes to the shift from the RCMP to a municipal police force.

NPF President, Brian Sauvé, says there are millions in hidden costs, including the IT budget.

According to the NPF, the cost for IT has already ballooned by $500,000, and Sauvé says the IT budget could potentially double, based on expert estimates.

“They have said anywhere from $35-$50 million, and that’s an upfront cost in order to be operational by April 1 [2021],” he says.

Surrey’s contract with the RCMP ends Mar. 31 and the municipal force is expected to launch the following day.

Sauvé also says there are unaccounted numbers for administrative costs for hiring new officers and certain liability and legal costs, on top of the loss of federal and provincial tax exemption.


And the budget of $129 million over five years for the transition isn’t enough, says Sauvé.

“We’ve looked through all the numbers that have been provided by the city, and there’s, for lack of a better word, just not being truthful with respect to what this might look like.”

Sauvé argues a lack of transparency in the transition process has been a problem since the beginning, and now that the new police board is in place, it must be accountable to Surrey residents.

“It’s up to the police board to disclose and be transparent about IT infrastructure costs, salary costs, transfer pensions, services that are going to be provided, all those things to the residents of Surrey that no one has really spoken about, yet.”

He argues the new police board needs to be transparent about the costs, or, just pause the transition plan altogether, especially given the financial uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.

“It’s about being honest with the residents so that the residents can actually choose what’s best for them.”

At the beginning of August, the Surrey Police Board officially approved a motion to create the municipal police service.

The new police board will meet virtually Tuesday.

-With files from the Canadian Press

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