The RCMP are investigating a possible criminal charge of public mischief in connection to allegations made by Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum about an incident in a Save-On-Foods parking lot last month, Global News can now report.
Global News requested an interview with McCallum, but was told by a spokesperson “the mayor will not be commenting.”
For more than three weeks, Global News had been barred from reporting the information because of a B.C. Supreme Court non-disclosure order, which was recently successfully challenged. That order was tied to a court production order, which was served on Global BC by police on Sept. 21.
The production order revealed the investigation into public mischief and demanded a raw and unedited copy of the interview I did with McCallum on Sept. 6.
During the 20-minute interview, the mayor alleged he had been struck by a car driven by a woman canvassing for signatures for the group Keep the RCMP in Surrey in the parking lot of a Save-On-Foods store in South Surrey on Sept. 4.
“As she pulled out, she clipped my knee and my bottom leg and ran over my foot at the same time and then took off,” McCallum said in the interview.
He added that after he was hit, he did his grocery shopping, then went to Peace Arch Hospital.
“They took some X-rays, they looked at my foot and everything, and they said that the soft tissue was very badly bruised,” he told Global News at the time.
That interview is now evidence in the public-mischief case, along with surveillance video from the Save-On-Foods.
The special projects unit of the RCMP’s Major Crime is handling the investigation, and lawyer Richard Fowler has been hired as special prosecutor.
He’ll provide legal advice to investigators as may be necessary, conduct any related charge assessment, and assume conduct of the prosecution if charges are approved.
Lawyer Ravi Hira, QC, said he couldn’t speak to this specific case, but explained “a production order is like a search warrant.”
“The requirements for getting a production order are almost as high as that for search warrant. You need a sworn affidavit … that he/she believes a criminal offence occurred.”
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, public mischief involves “making a false statement that accuses some other person of having committed an offence.”
“If you make a false report of a crime to police you are committing public mischief contrary to section 140 of the Criminal Code,” Hira explained.
“We don’t want people making false accusations against other citizens and expending our precious police resources, that’s wrong that’s criminal.”
The municipality is transitioning from the RCMP to a municipal police force. It was one of McCallum’s election promises in 2018 and has divided the public.