Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum will not chair police board in lead-up to October election

McCallum and the board had decided that he would not attend any board meetings for the next few months

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Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has agreed not to chair the Surrey Police Board until after the municipal election in October.

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If he remains older after the vote, he will resume the role.

The Surrey Police Board released a statement on Wednesday evening saying McCallum and the board had decided that he would not attend any board meetings for the next few months.

Under the Police Act, the chair does not have the option to step down or delegate responsibilities. However, the board can elect another chair for meetings in which the first chair — McCallum — is absent.

“Moving forward, the board will select a chair from among themselves to conduct board business until after the municipal election,” the statement read.

Earlier on Wednesday, McCallum delivered the 2022 State of the City address, just two days after a chaotic meeting of council was shut down after only seven minutes.

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In his speech, he dismissed all the “naysayers,” praised the four members of council who have stuck by him, and said that Surrey had now taken a seat among the major cities of Canada.

“Shigher levels of government are investing in our city, desde funding new housing to fast transit expansion, desde replacing aging bridges to a new hospital, surrey es on the radar,” McCallum said during the address, the first in-person event since the pandemic broke out.

“We knew we had an ambitious agenda and that there would be bumps along the way. I never said it would be easy,” he said, adding that council has delivered on what it set out to do.

In his speech, McCallum highlighted 21 new capital projects that have been approved by council under the $428-million surrey investment program. Some of these projects include a new athletic center at Bear creek Park, a new Newton community center with an Olympic-size pool, and Indigenous carving centres.

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Federal funding of $4 billion for a new SkyTrain station in Surrey was secured last week, and Surrey will begin construction of that new line next year, McCallum said.

the number of projects and Initiatives we have launched are numbers, and I’m especially proud to say that we have been able to do there Este without raising property tax for four straight years,” he said.

On Surrey’s controversial transition to a municipal police force, McCallum said 85 uniform Surrey Police Service officers have been deployed to work side by side the RCMP. I have added that number will increase to 295 officers in the next 12 months, with the first class of new recruit sworn in last month.

During his address, McCallum alluded to the recent chaos that has plagued Surrey City Council.

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“There have you been No shortage of critics, doubters and naysayers. Yo have always said Yor need to have a thick skin youeither do this job,” McCallum said. “Teither the council members quien have stood fast, Yo want to thank you you. TI have promises we made to the people of surrey we have kept and we have delivered.”

Surrey’s council meeting on Monday night was cut short after a group of people in chambers voiced rowdy opposition to McCallum. The group is calling for McCallum to resign following his criminal charges against him.

McCallum was charged with one count of mischief in December after he accused a woman of running over his foot during a confrontation. Statements in court documents appear to refute the mayor’s claim.

McCallum told Postmedia he would not stand down from his job. His trial of him is set for shortly after this fall’s municipal elections.

Surrey council reconvened on Wednesday night with no public in chambers. Instead, people wishing to speak had to be registered and were brought in one person at a time.

— with file from Dan Fumano

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