United Citizens of Surrey state that DEMOCRACY HAS DIED IN SURREY and call on the Mayor and Council to listen to and address citizens’ concerns.
January 13, 2020, Surrey, B.C. – The Surrey-based group “United Citizens of Surrey” gathered for a “Death of Democracy” protest in the City Hall foyer and to attend the City Council meeting. This was a protest against democratic procedures not being followed by the Mayor at Council meetings and Councillors’ voices being silenced by the Mayor.
In the foyer, “Death of Democracy” protesters, wearing black, had a skeleton in a casket…….we will likely see their continued presence at upcoming Council meetings. (see photos) “City staff attempted to get protesters to go outside the foyer into the -7 degree weather, but they were adamant about staying as precedents exist; i.e., those supporting McCallum’s budget were allowed to keep their signs at the December 16th meeting.” according to Mahwish Yousaf of United Citizens of Surrey.
At to-night’s Council meeting of January 13th, Councillors Pettigrew, Locke, Hundial and Annis each spoke to the Council about the procedures at December 16th meeting; and, subsequently declined their support of minute approval.
McCallum cautioned crowd about clapping for these Councillors; however, in his Mayor’s report, when he spoke to proceeding to by-laws on plastic bags, he surely did not ask for clapping to desist.
According to Citizen/taxpayer Annie Kaps, “At the December 16th meeting,
- McCallum pushed through 33 motions (#11 and #15 to 47);
- not only did Mayor McCallum not follow correct meeting procedures—ignoring point-of-order submissions—the minutes incorrectly recorded (when video viewed) a Councillor’s vote regarding Metro representation;
- since Mayor does not appear to count Councillors’ votes—never turning his head—it’s almostimpossible for the City Clerk to properly record hands which appear ever so briefly;
- Mayor urged taxpayers to leave, stating budget item was finished and that other items on theagenda had to be dealt with. Media and a few attendees in the chambers knew differently, as theydidn’t leave until after final reading. Truly an undemocratic move.
The divide in City Council was visible in December 16th meeting, where separate groups rallied for and against a city police force. The meeting was delayed at several points, especially when the Mayor and the remaining four Councillors of his coalition left the chambers. The budget was passed, providing no funding for additional police officers or fire fighters, but earmarking $130 million for transition to a city police force. In August, the provincial government approved Surrey’s plan to transition to a municipal force. The Mayor has stated that the force will launch in the spring of 2020.
The United Citizens of Surrey is an advocacy group dedicated to bringing awareness of Surrey issues and the seeking of solutions through democratic means, all for the betterment of our community.
WHAT: Death of Democracy Protesters
WHEN: Monday, January 3, 2020, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Inside City Hall and during City Council meeting
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