Surrey claims B.C. knows SPS will cost $750M more than RCMP over 10 years

The City of Surrey is claiming the B.C. government knows the transition to the Surrey Police Service as the police of jurisdiction will cost $750 million more over 10 years than if the city stays with the RCMP.

The claims come Wednesday, with the city saying B.C. commissioned a report from Deloitte, which “reveals” the details.

The City of Surrey has declined CityNews’ request to see the report, and it has not been made publicly available.

“This report confirms that the Province has been hiding titanic level costs from Surrey taxpayers,” said Mayor Brenda Locke in a statement.

“The Premier and Solicitor General said they had no idea where the City of Surrey was getting our cost estimates from when they were sitting on a report that showed the true cost to be hundreds of millions more than we had even imagined.”

The city says it received the report as part of information shared in upcoming legal proceedings between the municipality and province. It adds it first requested the report from the province a “year ago, but that request was denied.”

“As recently as November 2023, the Solicitor General told media that the report confirmed the Province’s cost estimates. However, submissions from the SPS clearly show plans for an anticipated staffing level of 958 officers shortly after becoming police of jurisdiction, and to move to a two-person vehicle deployment model,” the city claimed.

“This alone would result in an estimated $45 million annual incremental cost over the RCMP, and does not include other transition costs previously estimated by the City.”

Locke says the move to keep the report hidden means “it is clear” that the province didn’t want the information to be made public.

“I don’t know how to look at this other than a complete betrayal of trust. They have known that the cost of this transition would be hundreds of millions more than the City’s own estimates, and they hid that information from the public for a year,” Locke said.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that they were required to finally disclose the report as part of the City’s legal efforts, taxpayers would have found out when it was already too late.”

The release of the report’s details come after Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced earlier this week that the Surrey Police Service would take over from the RCMP this November.

Mayor Locke will be holding a news conference Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. You can watch CityNews 24/7 live or listen live to CityNews 1130 to keep up to date with this story. You can also subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.