SURREY, B.C. – Ahead of the release of the City of Surrey’s Budget for 2022, the National Police Federation (NPF) is identifying millions of dollars of unaccounted spending related to Surrey Police Service (SPS) transition costs.
In September, Mayor McCallum and his slim majority Councillors defeated a motion calling for a compete, line-by-line breakdown of the 2021/2022 police budget.
“Taxpayers deserve a full and transparent accounting in the City’s 2022 budget. It has been two years since Mayor McCallum promised to reveal a plan and full costs for the proposed SPS transition, and taxpayers continue to be intentionally kept in the dark about the ballooning transition and policing costs,” said Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation. “The Mayor and his followers, as well as the Surrey Police Board, continue to spend tens of millions of dollars despite the fact that SPS is still not providing actual police service.”
Given the ongoing transition delay, Surrey taxpayers are now paying 100% of both the SPS and RCMP costs, not including millions in federal contributions that Surrey receives to cover annual RCMP costs.
At the same time, the Mayor continues to increase taxes for hard-working Surrey residents and businesses. Surrey’s Budget 2021 saw the capital parcel levy on homeowners triple from $100 to $300, on top of an average property tax increase of 11% to pay for a police service that is not yet operational – all during drastic economic downturns caused by COVID-19.
By failing to create a plan or to conduct a feasibility study to account for all costs, the Mayor and Surrey Police Board have left many unaccounted for, including:
- Liability costs in litigation and potential payouts – the RCMP is self-insured, which means the RCMP absorbs the costs of litigation; whereas the SPS will have to bear the costs of any successful lawsuits brought against them, its members and command staff. To mitigate this risk, the SPS will require insurance for legal fees and settlements related to lawsuits- accidents, civil actions, compensation claims, and other issues. These cases can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend and millions of dollars to settle.
- Costs for ongoing legal action – if the proposed transition occurs, former Surrey RCMP Members will need to return to Surrey to testify in court, often on multiple occasions for upwards of three to five years for serious offences. The City of Surrey will also be required to pay for meals, travel, and accommodation, as well as RCMP Member wages, often at overtime rates.
- Federal Sale Tax exemption – The City will no longer receive this exemption and will be required to cover the increased cost of $1.4 million, which is estimated to grow by $100,000 annually based on inflation.
- Integrated Homicide Investigative Teams (IHIT) – The City will lose the 30% federal subsidy for the IHIT. This 30% subsidy is unique to the RCMP IHIT program in BC. The 2020 federal contribution to the Surrey RCMP was $1.5M. Taxpayers will now be on the hook for this cost.
- Lower Mainland Integrated Policing Teams – Surrey will forfeit the 10% federal subsidy, requiring taxpayers to pay 100% for Surrey’s portion of the Lower Mainland Integrated Policing Teams including Police Dog Services, Forensic Identification Services, Air Support services, and Emergency Response Teams among others. The 2019 cost for this was $1.8 million.
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations