Elections BC looking into intimidation complaint against Surrey mayor

Elections BC confirms it has received a complaint regarding an interaction between Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and group of citizens hoping to force a referendum on the future of policing in that city.

Surrey Police Vote Citizens Initiative opposes the city’s ongoing transition from the RCMP to a municipal force and is collecting signatures for a petition.

The move was a key plank in the mayor’s election campaign.

On Saturday, there was a confrontation between McCallum and the petitioners at a supermarket at South Point Exchange Mall.

Surrey Police Vote volunteers accuse the mayor of threatening to call bylaw officers on them.

“We had permission,” said Surrey Police Vote spokesperson Bill Tieleman. “It’s private property, not a Surrey city property. And we had the permission of Save-On to be there.”

The group’s complaint to Elections BC accuses the mayor of attempting to intimidate them and interfere with their democratic rights.

The mayor declined to speak with CTV News Vancouver about the allegations on Wednesday, but in an interview on Monday he accused a Surrey Police Vote volunteer of assaulting him with a car.

“She hit my hip and my knee as she was turning right,” McCallum said, alleging he had been hit on purpose.

“I hadn’t moved. I was just standing there. And she ran over my foot.”

Surrey RCMP is looking into the mayor’s accusation and is asking anyone who witnessed an interaction he had with a grey Ford Mustang at the mall on Saturday to get in touch.

Elections BC says it takes all complaints about interference seriously.

“The Recall and Initiative Act prohibits individuals and organizations from impeding, preventing, or otherwise interfering with an individual’s right to sign a petition,” said Elections BC communications director Andrew Watson in a statement to CTV News.

“Whether or not this occurred in this case will be part of our review.”

Surrey Police Vote would like to see penalties imposed on McCallum if Elections BC finds any wrongdoing.

“To have the mayor of the city come in and say, ‘Get out of here,’ and whatever else he said, and indicate to them they shouldn’t be there, is intimidation,” said Tieleman. “It’s interference and it shouldn’t happen. And it’s against Elections BC rules.”

The first 50 Surrey Police Service officers are expected to begin patrols in late November.