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B.C. councillor says charge against Surrey mayor shows need for civic integrity commission

Click to play video: 'Surrey mayor still silent on public mischief charges and refusal to leave the Surrey Police Service Board' Surrey mayor still silent on public mischief charges and refusal to leave the Surrey Police Service Board
WATCH: Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum was more interested in opening outdoor swimming pools in a new video than talking to Global News about the latest allegations about him. Meanwhile, two of his Safe Surrey councillors are also remaining mum on the issues, ciiting the case before the court. Catherine Urquhart reports. – May 26, 2022

As Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum remains silent about his public mischief charge and refuses to step down from the Surrey Police Service Board, a New Westminster city councillor is speaking out.

Mary Trentadue said she and others are advocating for the creation of a municipal integrity commission.

Read more: Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum refused to step down as chair of Surrey Police Board: reports

“Unfortunately what’s happening in Surrey is a perfect example of why we need a municipal integrity commission,” she told Global News.

“The mayor in Surrey is being investigated. He is continuing to sit as mayor. He is continuing to sit on his police board, and it really degrades the opinion that the public has of elected officials. It’s quite a farce.”

Last week, Global News reported on police Information To Obtain (ITO) documents in the mayor’s investigation, which began after McCallum told RCMP his foot had been run over during a confrontation with demonstrators outside a Surrey supermarket.

Those ITO documents were unsealed following a Global News court challenge.

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Read more: Woman at centre of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s public mischief case speaks out

In part, the documents state: “McCallum provided a version of events that has been partially disproved based on the statement provided (by driver Debi Johnstone) … and the video surveillance obtained from the Save-On Foods.”

Johnstone has also released a statement disputing the mayor’s version of events.

“I am the victim that Mr. McCallum falsely accused September 4, 2021,” she said.  “I remain steadfast in my original statement of innocence. I’m unable to comment further at this time.”

Safe Surrey Coalition councillors have remained silent about recent revelations.

“I won’t be commenting now or ever about ongoing matters before the courts,” Coun. Laurie Guerra told Global News.

Read more: Surrey mayor under renewed pressure to resign as newly released court docs discredit claims

“I will not be commenting on an issue that is before the courts,” echoed Coun. Doug Elford.

Councillors Allison Patton and Mandeep Nagra have not responded to recent requests for comment.

“At this point there is absolutely no accountability for mayors and councillors doing their work,” Trentadue said.

She added that that she has met with a number of provincial ministers about a municipal integrity commission, and remains hopeful it could become a reality.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 31. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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