Shooting in Surrey leaves a 22-year-old man dead. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Shooting in Surrey reveals tension over city’s plan to replace RCMP

Mounties say a 22-year-old man died in what is believed to be a targeted shooting with gang-conflict ties

The latest shooting death in Surrey, B.C., has uncovered signs of tension over the city’s decision to replace the RCMP with its own police force.

Mounties say a 22-year-old man died in what is believed to be a targeted shooting early Friday, and it appears to be linked to the region-wide gang conflict.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum released a statement saying the death is “yet another example of the ongoing trauma and fear that are being inflicted on the communities, residents and families of Surrey.”

One of the mayor’s election promises was to get rid of the RCMP in favour of a municipal force, and McCallum said council is moving rapidly on that front.

The mayor said he’s “dismayed” by the resistance from the provincial level and he urged Premier John Horgan to remove any roadblocks to help the transition proceed.

RCMP Deputy Commission Brenda Butterworth-Carr then issued a statement in response to McCallum’s comments, saying as citizens of the region they, too, are alarmed when there is gang violence in our streets.

“Statements like this risk undermining public trust and confidence in police,” she said. “Any erosion of public trust and confidence challenges our ability to solve complex cases with assistance from people who are often reluctant to participate in the first place.”

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth also responded to McCallum’s claims in a statement, saying the government is working with Surrey on its policing plan.

READ MORE: Surrey shooting being politicized

READ MORE: Surrey crime stats so far this year mirror 2017’s numbers

“No one is putting up any roadblocks,” said Farnworth. “We are prepared to work with the mayor. He has to be willing to work too. A new police force isn’t created over the weekend but the province is committed to working with the city as they move forward.”

The minister said the government wants to make sure a strong plan is in place that ensures people in Surrey have policing they can be confident in.

The government has invested in anti-gang programs in Surrey and enhanced policing and will continue to work to ensure people feel safe, he said.

Premier John Horgan said there is a “serious issue” with gang shootings in the Lower Mainland and the province wants to address that. He said the province would work with McCallum when the mayor brings forward a plan.

“We need to have a plan. You can’t just get in front of a microphone and say, ‘Why haven’t you fixed this?’ It takes work and he knows that full well.”

Butterworth-Carr said their department is working with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team to find out who murdered the young man.

She said she wants to reassure the public that their officers, the integrated policing teams and independent policing forces will work diligently to maintain public safety.

“Until Surrey RCMP is no longer the contracted police service, our employees must be allowed to and will continue to police safely and effectively. I will not allow public confidence in policing to be undermined or eroded,” she concluded.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC Bus North service extended to September

Transportation ministers have extended the service, which was set to expire at the end of May

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

Around 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the region over the next eight years

Poetry month sees launch of “Oona River Poems” at Rupert library

Peter Christensen consciously and lovingly documents our physical and psychological landscapes

Lily Swanson celebrates her 90th birthday in Prince Rupert

The Acropolis Manor resident has 22 grandchildren and is a great grandmother to 25 children

Prince Rupert students share portraits of kindness with children in Peru

The Memory Project gives teens a chance to sharpen their art skills and global awareness

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read