Surrey mayor accuses public safety minister of bullying, misogyny

'Bullying and misogyny'

The mayor of Surrey says B.C.'s public safety minister is a "bully" who has treated her in a misogynistic way, while both officials accuse each other of playing games around which force will police the city.

Mayor Brenda Locke says Mike Farnworth, who is also the public safety minister, has been "a bully all the way through" the council's process that ultimately determined it would return to the RCMP.

Locke says she's worked in politics for a long time and has never "used the gender card," but in this case, she says she absolutely thinks "there is misogyny going on."

Her remarks come after Farnworth issued a statement saying he became concerned last Wednesday after learning a report on the future of policing in Surrey had not been shared with the province but would be put to a vote by council.

The minister says he asked Locke to share the report and delay the vote, but it went ahead before he had a chance to determine if the plan would ensure safe policing.

Locke says the report wasn't shared because it hadn't yet been agreed upon by council and the city hasn't received signed non-disclosure agreements from those with the province who want to review the document.

A representative of Farnworth's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Locke's claims.

The mayor announced on Friday that a majority on council had voted to revert to the RCMP well into the transition to the Surrey Police Service, saying the change back would be far less costly than going with the independent force.

Farnworth had given the city a deadline of Monday afternoon to share the report, otherwise he says he'll be forced to make a determination without it.

"It is critical that I receive this report. Now is not the time to play games. The safety of people in Surrey is too important."

Locke says the deadline left the city with one business day to send the report from the time council voted last Thursday.

"One day, and he expects us to have everything ready and a report to him by noon, and he's saying we're playing games?" she said Monday.

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