Elections BC has approved a petition launched by the widow of a Surrey, B.C., murder victim that could set off a binding referendum over policing in the city.
An initiative petition application has been approved under the Recall and Initiative Act. The petition is titled “Initiative to conduct a Surrey policing binding referendum”. Learn more about the petition process and our role here https://t.co/fffAsjWLFW #bcpoli— Elections BC (@ElectionsBC) June 17, 2021
Darlene Bennett, with the group Surrey Police Vote, launched the campaign over concerns about rising costs associated with starting up a new municipal police force that will replace the RCMP.
In order for the petition to succeed, setting off the referendum, signatures from at least 10 per cent of the registered voters in each of British Columbia’s 87 electoral districts must be collected within 90 days of the petition's start.
Bennett's husband was shot and killed in front of their Surrey home in 2018 in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity.
She says in a statement posted to the group's website that she believes there needs to be more transparency over Surrey's push for a local police force.
Surrey's budget for 2021 shows the transition to a local police force is $18.5 million over the original $45-million estimate.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2021.