604 Now

Surrey 911 Services Funds Cut In Favour of New Police Force, Sparking Outrage

Surrey City Hall council meeting

Photo: stephenccwu / Flickr

Surrey City Hall was overflowing Monday night in a scene described as “chaos,” due to the new budget.

City council passed a contentious five-year financial plan, despite protesters shouting and speaking over each other.

RELATED: Provincial Government Reveals Plans For New Hospital In Surrey

The new budget is allocating $130 million for a new Surrey Police Force, but there are no additional funds for other police officers, firefighters, or community resources.

What a night! #SurreyBC Council ends in chaos over the sacking of the RCMP & lack of police funding,” tweeted Harold Steves.

Surrey’s 2020 budget includes a 2.9% property tax increase, along with one-time capital costs to help pay for the new independent police force’s transition.

People Took to Twitter to protest chaotic council budget meeting
Photo: @APPSurrey / Twitter

The budget means there is no room to hire more firefighters, in order to prioritize police funding.


Surrey Council Kept Tight-Lipped

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said council members were not allowed to speak on budget items due to “safety issues.” He said those who interrupted the meeting would be escorted out.

Former city councillor Mike Starchuk with the protest group “Speak up Surrey” said it was “disturbing” that council members were not allowed to speak.

“For somebody to stand in front of all those people and take that right away, that’s completely and totally irresponsible and wrong,” he said.

Meanwhile, protesters from two groups chanted outside, while City Hall had more than 400 people in the council chambers. Hundreds more stood in the lobby.

At one point, the Mayor’s Safe Surrey coalition left because of all the booing. People also took to Twitter to express their concerns about the new budget.

Surrey BC Community Advocates tweeted, “Surrey BC has gone back to being the butt of all jokes again and destroys our amazing city.”


Regardless, the budget was approved by a 5-4 vote.

What are your thoughts on the Surrey City Council budget plan?

For more Metro Vancouver news, read our News section.


Log in or create an account to save content

Become a local insider