SURREY, B.C. – The City of Surrey released its 2022-2026 Financial Plan late on Friday, December 17, highlighting over $17.5M in unbudgeted Surrey Police Service (SPS) one-time transition costs.
The five-year plan presented a $63.7M budget seemingly aligned with 2021 forecasts, but also identifies additional new and unaccounted costs, including $8.5M for necessary SPS officer security clearances and $9M for demobilization uncertainties, atop numerous other costs that haven’t been accounted for or have been ignored. The report clearly indicates that any further charges such as these will necessitate an increase in the total one-time transition costs and overall budget.
“Basic math tells us that the real cost of the Surrey Police transition is moving upwards of $81.1M, representing a four-fold increase in just three years. The speculative nature of these additional costs and ongoing lack of a thorough plan leaves residents and businesses in the dark about the real tax implications here,” said Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation. “The Mayor and Council owe taxpayers budget transparency, proper time for meaningful review and engagement, and a vote on such a massive and expensive undertaking. Surrey residents deserve better.”
The NPF reviewed Surrey’s 2022-2026 Financial Plan and outlined significant concerns in a formal submission to Surrey’s Finance Committee, responsible for reviewing the Financial Plan. Beyond the skyrocketing one-time transition costs, the plan also states that the 2.9% property tax increase will predominately be used to offset increased public safety resourcing and expenditures rather than other capital and social priorities.
Many Surrey homeowners reported that the real 2021 property tax increase was an average of about 11%, in addition to a 200% increase, from $100 to $300, to the capital parcel levy to pay for the SPS transition.
“The lack of respect for Surrey taxpayers’ hard-earned money, particularly in the fifth wave of an endless pandemic, is a concern for all residents,” said Trevor Dinwoodie, long-time Surrey resident, Director of the National Police Federation and RCMP Staff Sergeant. “Many residents want to keep the Surrey RCMP, and our Members love working in this community and provide exceptional policing services. Even a $10M investment in the Surrey RCMP would have a much bigger policing and public safety benefit, rather than this exorbitant transition.”
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 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