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Surrey, B.C., police transition deal from RCMP to local force complete, says minister

Last Updated Jul 10, 2024 at 4:43 pm MDT

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the City of Surrey's long-running police service debate is over with the completion of an agreement that will see the RCMP be replaced by the municipal Surrey Police Service by the end of this year. Farnworth speaks during an RCMP news conference in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, March 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER — A long-running and fractious dispute between the British Columbia government and the City of Surrey over its police department has ended with a cash agreement.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the deal sees the RCMP being replaced by the independent Surrey Police Service on Nov. 29 as part of a $250-million, 10-year agreement.

Farnworth says the deal ensures safety for the residents of the Metro Vancouver city and comes with a guarantee that the local government will not levy a police tax to cover transition costs over the next decade.

It ends a bitter two-year process of name-calling and court action as Surrey’s council attempted to go back to the RCMP amid a transition to the independent force.

The final agreement was reached after Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said last month she accepted a judicial review that ruled the province has the authority to complete the transition from the RCMP to the local force.

Farnworth says Surrey council has accepted the government’s $150 million transition offer, including an additional guarantee of $20 million over five years if Surrey Police Service salaries are higher than what the city would have paid RCMP officers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2024.

The Canadian Press