Surrey Policing Decision Brings Huge Concerns for Future Business Taxation

The Minister of Public Safety in the province has stated that the City of Surrey has failed to demonstrate that moving back to the Surrey RCMP will be safe and not affect other communities throughout BC, thereby not meeting the requirements imposed on the process.

This ruling implies that the City of Surrey must proceed with its plan to transition to the Surrey Police Service, despite the city’s decision to keep the RCMP as the police of jurisdiction. The Minister is directing the City of Surrey to proceed with the Surrey Police Service and cited Section 2 of the Police Act that gives him authority to make this decision.

“We are disappointed with the decision made by the BC Government today,” said Jasroop Gosal, Policy & Research Manager, Surrey Board of Trade. “The RCMP has implemented many policies and procedures that ensure effective policing in Surrey. What Surrey residents and businesses need is a solid policing strategy with adequate wrap-around support services. Further there is no evidence that moving to a municipal police force won’t impact the movement of police officers from other jurisdictions to ensure that Surrey has the appropriate number of police officers needed on a per capita basis.”

In addition to his final decision, Farnworth says the province is also recommitting the millions of dollars it promised to help offset costs associated with moving ahead with the SPS. The $150 million is expected to help ensure those costs aren’t passed on to residents and businesses.

“There is no evidence that a new police force won’t impact business taxation. It is always businesses that bear the brunt of increased taxation. This is a costly transition where a police force will be created with no support from the federal government or training jurisdictions. All infrastructure and ancillary support infrastructure will need to be created. This will take some time.”

Jessica MacDonald has been appointed as an advisor to ensure the transition is effective and efficient.

Legislation will be proposed in the Fall to ensure that a situation like this does not happen again.

“The next steps for Surrey are crucial, and this complex situation will be closely monitored by the Surrey Board of Trade.”


Jasroop Gosal, 604-634-0345,