Rowdy scenes force early end to Surrey council meeting on Monday night

Mayor Doug McCallum pulls the plug after opponents in the crowd get too vocal

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Surrey’s council meeting on Monday night was cut well short after a group of people in chambers became too vocal in their opposition to mayor Doug McCallum.

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As has happened in the past, a group of citizens who are calling for McCallum to resign sat in the public area and began jeering as the mayor was speaking.

This led to the mayor adjourning the meeting after seven minutes. The meeting has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. on June 1.

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McCallum holds the balance of power on Surrey council as he is backed by four of the eight councillors (Doug Elford, Laurie Guerra, Allison Patton and Mandeep Nagra).

The other councillors are Linda Annis, Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial and Steven Pettigrew.

Locke will be running against McCallum for the mayor’s seat in the October municipal election.

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After the adjournment, Annis issued a statement taking aim at the mayor.

She said the meeting was adjourned as McCallum’s rivals were calling for him to resign “over his criminal charges.”

“City council meetings under Doug McCallum have been bad for many months, but this is the worse I have seen it,” Annis said.

“There’s plenty of blame to go around on a night like this, but if Surrey residents were watching this tonight they would be shaking their heads and wondering how our city can run now until election day on Oct. 15. It was an embarrassing night for our city and its taxpayers.”

McCallum has been under fire since regaining the mayor’s seat in Surrey and moving to get rid of the Surrey RCMP — replacing them with a municipal police force.

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More recently, he and his supporters on council were criticized for preventing the city’s ethics commissioner from processing any claims until after the election.

McCallum was charged with one count of mischief in December after he accused a woman of running over his foot during a confrontation. Statements in court documents appear to refute the mayor’s claim.

McCallum could not be reached for comment.

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