Outside council chambers inside Surrey’s city hall. (File photo)

Outside council chambers inside Surrey’s city hall. (File photo)

City council

Councillor slams Surrey’s ‘last-minute’ budget consultation

City of Surrey expected to release 2022-26 financial plan Friday

Coun. Linda Annis is slamming the City of Surrey’s “last-minute” budget consultation ahead of its holiday break.

The City of Surrey is expected to release its Five-Year (2022-2026) Financial Plan Friday (Dec. 17) ahead of a public meeting on Wednesday (Dec. 22) at 11 a.m.

According to a release from the city, “council has provided direction to staff to have the Five Year Financial Plan (2022-2026) finalized before the holiday break. It also requires Council to undertake a process of public consultation regarding the Five-Year Financial Plan before it is adopted.”

In a release from Annis sent Friday, she said holding a final council vote on Christmas Eve is “positively Grinch-like.”

She added that after being “weeks late in getting the 2022 budget together,” Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is “railroading it through a handful of public consultation days as people are getting ready for the holidays, with a council vote planned for Christmas Eve.”

Amber Stowe, the city’s communications and media relations lead, couldn’t confirm if there would be a meeting on Dec. 24. She said council will set the next meeting date on during Wednesday’s finance committee meeting.

The Now-Leader has reached out to the city to confirm the Dec. 24 meeting.

Surrey’s budget is “complex and over $1.2 billion annually,” noted Annis.

“Public advertising to let people in Surrey know what’s going on or how to participate has been largely limited to social media. It’s an absolute sham.

The finance committee meeting will be livestreamed at surrey.ca.

The city’s release notes members of the public will be given an opportunity to provide comments to the finance committee following the staff presentation.

Written comments can also be submitted three ways: through the regular council public hearing submission form, by email to clerks@surrey.ca or by fax to 604-501-7578.

The deadline to submit written comments is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 21.


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