The RCMP is conducting an investigation into possible public mischief related to claims made by Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum.
According to court documents served on Global News, the RCMP is investigating a possible criminal charge of public mischief following the mayor’s claims he was “run over by a vehicle” in an altercation with members of the Keep the RCMP in Surrey group on Sept. 4.
Public mischief involves “making a false statement that accuses some other person of having committed an offence,” according to the Criminal Code of Canada.
This comes after Global was served a production order requesting raw footage from a 20-minute interview with McCallum. That interview is now evidence in the case, according to Global News.
Keep the RCMP in Surrey founder Ivan Scott, who said he didn’t witness the alleged incident, called the mayor’s claim “absolute rubbish.” Campaign members were collecting signatures at the South Point Save-On Foods that Saturday afternoon when McCallum arrived.
McCallum could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday morning.
Coun. Brenda Locke, who like McCallum will be running for mayor in the next civic election, told the Now-Leader on Thursday that “in terms of what happened today, there hasn’t been any charges laid. I think it’s important that we all let the special prosecutor do their work. It’s important to everybody, including the public.”
Coun. Allison Patton, a Safe Surrey Coalition councillor on McCallum’s team, was also not on scene but shortly after had repeatedly characterized the incident on the Now-Leader’s Facebook page as “attempted murder.”
She said Thursday her comments were based on her experience as a naturopath.
Surrey Coun. Allison Patton getting into back-and-forth arguments with her constituents on Facebook, and in the process accusing basically everyone under the sun of lying, is something to behold.
FYI nobody actually threatened her.
— Aaron Hinks (@aaron_hinks) September 7, 2021
“That came from my perspective as a naturopathic physician,” she said, adding that the outcome might have been different for a more “slight” individual.
“Let’s just say that happened to us, what if we fell down, what if we bled out? Now what the mayor has on his side is he is, you know, a tough fellow in that sense, a tough fellow. What he doesn’t have on his side though is he’s not 25,” she said. “As a physician of naturopathic medicine for 20 years, I know how things can go awry because I’ve had many patients who it didn’t go as well for them when they were hit by a car. So that’s what I’m talking about.”
As for the police investigation, Patton had this to say.
“The thing that concerns me,” she said, “just take away the characters for a moment, remove who we’re talking about and just generally look at a person who experiences an incident. So let’s just say a victim experiences an incident. And then you have police not focusing on the victim, but potentially, from what I can hear here, deciding the victim is the bully.
“So the part that bothers me about that is what about all the other cases out there where the police, and this is why they have victims services, where the police have not taken victims seriously. So take away the characters because it’s a high-profile situation, you know, we have a new police coming, we have the police that’s leaving investigating the person involved in having the new police coming, it’s murky waters we’re dealing with,” Patton told the Now-Leader on Thursday.
“The thing that hits my gut, that I don’t like,” she said, “is the fact that those who are meant to protect us, meaning our police service, our safety service, are taking the perspective that a victim was causing the trouble, if that’s what they’re implying, I’m not saying that’s what they’re implying.”
On Sept. 20, the BC Prosecution Service announced Richard Fowler, QC had been appointed as special prosecutor to provide legal assistance and advice to the RCMP. It was the week before that the RCMP requested help during the “early stages of the investigation.”
The assistant deputy attorney general, according to the BCPS, said that “in light of the nature of the allegations, the Mayor’s position as a public official in a senior position of authority, and the ongoing public discussion about the change from the RCMP to a municipal police force in Surrey, a Special Prosecutor should be appointed.”
Following Fowler being appointed, a production order was served on Global News requesting raw footage from a 20-minute interview with McCallum
Global News reporter Catherine Urquhart said for more than three weeks, Global News has been barred from reporting on the information due to a B.C. Supreme Court non-disclosure order, which they recently successfully challenged.
The BC Prosecution Service communications counsel Dan McLaughlin said neither the BCPS nor the special prosecutor “will be making any further comment at this time” as the investigation is ongoing.
Meantime, BC RCMP senior media relations officer Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said they are “not in a position to speak to any specifics as it relates to the ongoing investigation.
“We are aware of that some of the individuals involved include an elected official and all persons are entitled to privacy and fair process during the investigation.”
She added the BC RCMP Major Crime Section has taken over the investigation “to ensure there is no potential for real or perceived conflict of interest or improper influence.”
– Files from Aaron Hinks