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A third councillor in Surrey, B.C. has quit the political coalition that won seven of eight city council seats last fall, citing concerns about the mayor’s plan to replace the RCMP detachment currently serving the city with a new municipal force by 2021.

Jack Hundial spent 25 years as a Mountie, with 14 of them in Surrey, the province’s second-most populous city, before entering politics as a member of Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition. He said Mr. McCallum has taken a “rushed” approach to the policing transition.

Despite his policing experience, Mr. Hundial said Thursday that Mr. McCallum met with him only once to spend 30 minutes discussing policing reform.

“It was just one minute of me trying to offer my support and framing up some best practices on where we need to go with public safety. And it was 29 minutes of him telling me how he no longer needed my support, or wanted me involved in any way with public safety.”

Earlier this summer, councillors Stephen Pettigrewe and Brenda Locke departed the Safe Surrey Coalition after each expressed grievances about the mayor, including on the police file. The coalition now has four council seats.

Mr. McCallum has said Surrey is the largest Canadian city without its own police force, and that a new force, though 10-per-cent more expensive annually for fewer officers than the current RCMP arrangement, would be more effective and responsive to community concerns.

A blueprint report on the new force was developed without public consultation, and sent to the province this summer for approval. The NDP government has asked for additional information in some areas before making a decision.

In an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, the mayor’s spokesperson declined comment on Mr. Hundial’s description of the meeting last fall, referring to a brief statement issued earlier Thursday as Mr. McCallum’s only comment on the councillor’s departure.

In that statement Mr. McCallum said the coalition continues to have a majority on council and is focused on delivering on its promises to voters.

Mr. Hundial has long said there has not been enough consultation on the policing reform. He said, based on his experience, any public-safety program created without full public input is destined to fail.

Although he sought office on a bid to reform policing, and voted, with the rest of council, to create the new force, Mr. Hundial has had mounting concerns about the reform process. In a statement Thursday, he described it as “rushed, not well thought out and, as we hear, increasingly each day, causing the community to be divided.”

Safe Surrey Coalition promotional material released during the election campaign described the former Mountie as “the right person to have on council as we shift to the local police force that Surrey needs.”

It added, “Jack understands the best practices that other municipal police forces currently have in place. He knows what’s needed to build Surrey’s own police force and to ensure that it’s ready to tackle the gangs and gun crimes.”

The Globe reached out to remaining coalition councillors. Two – Laurie Guerra and Allison Patton – responded. Both said they had no plans to exit, and that they had seen Mr. Hundial’s departure coming.

Ms. Guerra said she could not comment on Mr. Hundial’s recollection of his meeting with Mr. McCallum, but said the mayor has been inclined to listen to members of his team.

Ms. Patton said that she expects the public will be satisfied with the police force once it is up and running.

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