Connect with us

Community Board

RCMP in Surrey and Mayor McCallum

Published

on

Photo Rafal Gerszak / The Globe and Mail

Photo: Rafal Gerszak / The Globe and Mail

I am a retired RCMP member with 39 years experience. I have policed Surrey in a command role, have been a past resident of Surrey and have also served with the Delta Police Department. So I guess it is okay for me to have an opinion on the topic.

I served as the Surrey RCMP Operations Officer from July 1999 to July 2001 and occasionally the Acting Officer in Charge of Surrey Detachment. Those were back in the days when Mayor McCallum was Mayor the first time. You know, before he was voted out.

We had quite a ride of it back in the day when dealing with him. If the walls could only speak.

I have read and listened to his rhetoric and untruths about the RCMP and to this point have remained silent.

In Macleans magazine, they note McCallum believes Surrey long ago outgrew the RCMP, which has policed the city since 1951. He says residents are prepared to pay a bit more for a municipal force, allowing enough officers who are fully invested in the community to be hired and trained for urban policing.

Wow, a bit more. That is an understatement and while the exact cost of the transition is still not clear, I would urge City of Surrey residents to persist in getting an accurate dollar figure from their Mayor and Council. The devil will be in the details.

“The RCMP are trained to do mostly rural policing in Canada. They still are controlled by Ottawa.” (Doug McCallum). Another bogus statement and those in Surrey have heard their past and current OIC’s (Chiefs) comment on this claim. The statement is further shown to be bovine skat in that if McCallum thought the RCMP were not suited for municipal policing, why on earth would he then be so intent and reliant on hiring as many RCMP members as he can to create his own SPD?

Do your homework folks and check the course training standard for the BC Justice Institute Police Program against the RCMP Cadet Training Program Course Training Standard. JIBC trains police officers for large and small departments in BC, as does the RCMP for large and small detachments across Canada.

I have heard comments attributed to McCallum that he wants police officers who are invested in and connected to the community. When I was in Surrey I served on local boards of governance, my wife taught in the Surrey School District and our kids went to school in Surrey and later worked in Surrey. When little Heather Thomas was abducted in Cloverdale, where we lived, I was out on my own time looking for her. Is that the connection or investment he was looking for?

And what about the several members of the RCMP who have given their lives while serving the citizens of Surrey. Is that not invested or connected to the community enough for the Mayor?

We have heard figures of only 20% of VPD members live within the City of Vancouver. Surely that does not make the other 80% not invested or connected. And please don’t get me wrong. This is not an us and they situation, but rather about facts as they do matter.

I have often wondered what it was that put the RCMP in McCallum’s cross hairs? I thought maybe it was related to a speeding ticket on the Crescent Beach road where the the officer signed it with “Surrey RCMP Traffic Section”. McCallum directed the RCMP to close down the traffic section and move them to other duties. The Chief of the day told him that was not going to happen. McCallum persisted.

At the time, the Surrey Traffic Section consisted of about 25 members engaged in traffic enforcement and accident investigation. Not every police officer likes doing traffic work, and it is important to have a component of your police service engaged in directed traffic law enforcement. Mayor McCallum did not agree. There was a small conference at about the same time at the Guildford Sheraton. The main speaker was the Chief of Toronto Metro Police, Julian Fantino. Mayor McCallum attended as a guest. During a Q&A Mayor McCallum stood up and said that his Chief had guys wasting time on traffic duty when they were needed elsewhere in his view. Fantino responded…Mr. Mayor, traffic law enforcement is critical to a policing service and integral to safe homes and safe communities and that he did not agree with the Mayor’s position. Mayor McCallum sat down and that was the end of cancelling the traffic section.

We sent out a press release one afternoon to the effect that there had been a very bad injury MVA at the intersection of 184th and #10 Hwy and that traffic was not moving. Mayor McCallum called over and asked what was the purpose in sending out this negative to Surrey news release. It was explained to him that it was to alert motorists via the media that traffic was not moving and to stay clear and pick another route. He hung up.

Or then there was the time his office called after a press release was issued about a bad guy that was dangerous to the public peace and told us not to send those out as it made Surrey look bad. We tried to explain the necessity in warning the public and we continued to send them out. Yes, safe homes and safe communities.

Maybe he remained mad over this debacle. If you do some research, you will find that in 2000 or 2001, the following unfolded. Mayor McCallum was at a sporting event in Surrey. Some local seniors had parked in a manner in which access to a fire hydrant was blocked. As we learned. a Surrey Bylaw Officer pulled up and was in the process of ticketing the offending vehicles. As the story went, the Mayor stepped in and openly challenged the Bylaw Officer and told him to back down. A RCMP member was nearby. heard this and piped up that the Mayor should leave the Bylaw Officer to do his job. There was some verbal back and forth.

The RCMP member was so annoyed, he actually filed a self generated police report. Further, he made a copy of the report in his frustration and in while still in his uniform drove to the office of the Surrey Now/Leader in his police car, walked in, said nothing and dropped a copy of the report on the receptionist’s desk. They published a story in the newspaper and the Mayor was upset. He complained and we followed up at our end and had to administer informal discipline to the RCMP member for failing to safeguard a police report.

In our dealings with him back then, it was always about the power. control and the ability to influence. There was a Public Safety Committee, but in my view he just paid it lip service and gave directions and exercised decisions from the hip either personally or via his CAO.

He would sometimes come into Public Safety Committee meetings, stand there and make statements and quasi directions and then leave. No decorum and no discussion. The PSC Chairperson would just look over and shake her head.

He must figure that when he has his hands on the entire police force as the Chair of the Police Board that it will be all “sunshine, wide roads and shallow ditches” with everything going his way. I truly believe he wants all of the “launch codes” to himself.

VPD have a big traffic unit…I wonder if SPD will as well (me laughing).

Alistair Macintyre
RCMP Assistant Commissioner (Retired)

This article was submitted by a reader from the Surrey Community. You can submit your own community story, press release, event or public notice directly to our Community Board today! We also have advertising and promotional options for businesses.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Community Board

Citizen driven initiative to crowdsource, compile, and share COVID-19 data on exposure events in your community at businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, and malls.

Published

on

COVID Reported (www.covidreported.com) provides daily updates regarding potential exposures in your community at businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, salons, and malls. We combine all available exposure data into one centralized database, empowering you to keep you and your family safe by providing you with a more complete picture of COVID-19 activity in your community. We take the potentially lifesaving data, analyze it, map it, and send critical alerts in situations when a business has more than 3 exposure events within a 60-day period or when we notice other patterns in specific geographical locations which may pose a potential exposure risk to you and your family. 𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 “𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞” 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐅𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐮𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬.

We also rely on people like you to help crowdsource data on exposure events that may not be well publicized. When you send us a tip, we verify the information and share this critical data with the COVID Reported community, all while keeping your identity private. With your help, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19, keep families safe, prevent deaths, and help ease restrictions. And unlike COVID alert apps which only provide notifications after a potential exposure, COVID Reported can also help protect you from being exposed in the first place.

Are you aware of a COVID-19 exposure event at a grocery store, restaurant, coffee shop, salon, or mall? If so, please contact us.

𝐓𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐚 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐩, 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐬 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐅𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠:

1) The name and address of the business, when the infected employee was working at the business, and when and where the exposure information was posted.

2) Any supporting documents you have such as a news story, an email from the businesses confirming the exposure event, or a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter post from the business which confirms the exposure.

Why did we start COVID Reported? We are a father and son team that started this project in order to provide as much information as we can to help keep you, your family, and our communities safe. We are in much more deadly wave of COVID-19 and the most recent scientific evidence shows that those who are infected with COVID-19 yet are asymptomatic can still experience lifelong health complications such as serious lung damage. Our motto sums up our mission, share the info, see the info, stop the spread.

https://www.citynews1130.com/…/white-rock-father-son…/

https://globalnews.ca/…/online-initiative-encourages…

Continue Reading

Community Board

Kisaan Ekta Collective Supports Punjabi Farmers Protesting in India

Published

on

“In light of Punjabi Farmers protesting in India, media blackouts, and misalignment, we are committed to a call to action to keeping ourselves and each other informed on what’s really going on.” Kisaan Ekta Collective is a group of individuals from Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON who are synthesizing information on the issue to transparently inform + urge a call to action to continue keeping each other informed. Visit kisaanekta.co for more information on the matter, ways to help, educational resources and artistic expressions on the matter.

Continue Reading

Community Board

As Flu Shots Remain Scarce, Two Flu Vaccination Clinics in Surrey Have Hundreds of Appointments Available

Published

on

Amid reports of family doctors and pharmacies running out of vaccines, and of patients’ flu vaccine appointments being canceled, two mass flu immunization clinics in Surrey are open and welcoming patients.

The clinics, which opened on November 2 and will run through December (or until supplies run out) are open to all Surrey and North Delta residents.

Jointly operated by Fraser Health and the Surrey-North Delta Division of family practice, these clinics have the capacity to provide thousands of flu vaccines, depending on demand and availability, and they are far from fully booked.

“We designed these clinics with the understanding that the demand for flu vaccines this year would be much higher than in previous years,” says Tomas Reyes, Executive Director of the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family practice. “Now that supplies have become scarce in our communities, we want to encourage anyone in Surrey and North Delta who still needs a flu shot to book an appointment – this is what these clinics were designed for.”

Those wishing to receive a vaccine will have to be free of any COVID-19 symptoms, and screening will be conducted at the vaccination sites before each appointment. Appointments can be booked online at https://surreynorthdeltaflushot.secureform.ca, where patients will also be able to select the time and location of their appointment.

Spots are expected to fill quickly, so organizers recommend booking as soon as possible.

About the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice

Established in 2010, the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice is comprised of nearly 400 physicians at various career stages, 40 resident doctors and 200 Medical Office Assistants from across Surrey and North Delta.

The Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice brings together family doctors to enhance the delivery of health care services in the community. It is a member-driven non-profit society, created by and for doctors, who understand the needs and realities of serving a community as large and diverse as Surrey and North Delta. The Division is funded by the Government of BC and Doctors of BC.

More information about the SNDFP can be found here: https://www.divisionsbc.ca/surrey-north-delta

About Fraser Health

Fraser Health is responsible for the delivery of hospital and community-based health services to over 1.8 million people in 20 diverse communities from Burnaby to Fraser Canyon on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

Their team of nearly 40,000 staff, medical staff and volunteers is dedicated to serving patients, families and communities to deliver on our vision: Better health, best in health care.

Continue Reading

Community Board

Two Immunization Clinics Opened This Week in Surrey

Published

on

On November 2, two large immunization clinics offering accessible flu vaccines opened in Surrey. Jointly operated by Fraser Health and the Surrey-North Delta Division of family practice, these clinics will provide flu vaccines to the Surrey-North Delta community, during the upcoming two to three months they will be in operation.

The clinics will be operating in two locations – at the Newton Urgent Primary Care Centre and at the Axis Primary Care Clinic in Cloverdale and will offer vaccination services by appointment only.

The two organizations have worked together to implement these clinics in a very short amount of time in order to meet increased community demand.  These clinics are available in addition to the traditional channels of pharmacies and family physicians providing flu vaccines to their patients.

The clinics will be open to everyone and will accommodate individuals struggling with barriers to access, such as low-income individuals and those without a family physician.

Those wishing to receive a vaccine will have to be free of any COVID-19 symptoms, and screening will be conducted at the vaccination sites before each appointment. Appointments can be booked online at https://surreynorthdeltaflushot.secureform.ca, where patients will also be able to select the time and location of their appointment.

Spots are expected to fill quickly, so organizers recommend booking as soon as possible.

About the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice

Established in 2010, the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice is comprised of nearly 400 physicians at various career stages, 40 resident doctors and 200 Medical Office Assistants from across Surrey and North Delta.

The Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice brings together family doctors to enhance the delivery of health care services in the community. It is a member-driven non-profit society, created by and for doctors, who understand the needs and realities of serving a community as large and diverse as Surrey and North Delta. The Division is funded by the Government of BC and Doctors of BC.

More information about the SNDFP can be found here: https://www.divisionsbc.ca/surrey-north-delta

About Fraser Health

Fraser Health is responsible for the delivery of hospital and community-based health services to over 1.8 million people in 20 diverse communities from Burnaby to Fraser Canyon on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

Their team of nearly 40,000 staff, medical staff and volunteers is dedicated to serving patients, families and communities to deliver on our vision: Better health, best in health care.

Continue Reading

Community Board

Surrey social enterprise leader Harsh Thakkar is an RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant of 2020

Published

on

Multiculturalism is one of the things Harsh Thakkar loves most about Canada. But it comes with its share of challenges, like language barriers, which can keep newcomers feeling left out. That might explain why Thakkar, head of DIVERSEcity Interpretation and Translation Services in Surrey, B.C., is so passionate about communication across cultures. “Language should never be an obstacle for anyone in a country as diverse as Canada,” says Thakkar, who is one of this year’s RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners.

Thakkar oversees a team of more than 300 interpreters and translators who help clients communicate, especially in the health care and court systems, in more than 88 languages. Under his leadership, he has grown the business to include rare languages, Indigenous languages and even American Sign Language (ASL). “We are proud to be a designated provider for provincial and municipal government interpretation and translation needs,” he says.

And the kicker is that it’s all for a good cause. DIVERSEcity Interpretation and Translation Services is a social enterprise, certified by Buy Social Canada. That means its profits go toward the good works done by its parent charitable organization, DIVERSEcity Community Resource Society, which helps immigrants, refugees and vulnerable populations.

Knowing his work is helping immigrants is poignant for Thakkar, who came to Canada from India as an international student in 2001. He faced his own challenges, juggling his business studies with being a peer mentor, while trying to gain work experience, even though international students were then limited in their ability to work off campus.

“This also made it more difficult to secure work experience points to later qualify under the skilled immigration category,” he says. “This motivated me to run for campus student representative. After winning the election, I went to the Parliament of Canada to speak about allowing international students to work off campus.”

Thakkar, who’s thrilled the rules have improved since then, says, “It’s important to stay positive in the face of challenges. The most important attribute that helped me achieve my goals is my personal drive and ‘can-do’ attitude and maintain enthusiasm even when things get tough.”

The same lessons apply in business. Professionally, Thakkar has developed a reputation as a charismatic, optimistic leader with organizations like the Vancouver International Marathon Society before coming to DIVERSEcity.

Thakkar, who also manages DIVERSEcity’s CELPIP Language Testing Centre, says he wants to continue to grow in his current role and take every opportunity to support newcomers to Canada, including mentoring international students in his personal time.

“As immigrants, we are surrounded by a lot of challenges, but don’t let those stop you from moving forward,” he advises. “A positive mindset is what’s going to allow you to succeed in your goals in Canada,” he says. “Honestly, we are so blessed to be in a country where people care about each other, so all you have to do is go out there and talk with people.”

And if they speak a different language, Thakkar can help you with that!

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Designed by Binary Souls.

X
X