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Doug McCallum complaints about pro-RCMP group revealed

Eight files related to former Surrey Mayor since 2019 were summarized for investigators and submitted to McCallum’s Provincial Court public mischief trial.
Doug McCallum leaves the courthouse Nov. 1, 2022

Outgoing Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum complained three times to the Surrey RCMP about protesters outside his house, including one dressed as a skeleton on Halloween 2021. 

Eight McCallum-related files since 2019 were summarized for investigators and submitted to McCallum’s Provincial Court public mischief trial, where McCallum’s lawyers have alleged he is a victim of criminal harassment.  

The summary provides further details about friction with the grassroots group opposed to Safe Surrey Coalition leader McCallum’s drive to replace the Mounties with a municipal force. Brenda Locke, who defeated McCallum in the Oct. 15 civic election, has vowed to cancel the transition.

At 6:09 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2021, McCallum called 9-1-1 to report the costumed woman walking up and down in front of his Crescent Beach house with a Keep the RCMP in Surrey (KTRIS) sign. He also said there was a vehicle he could not describe with a Keep the RCMP in Surrey sign and people yelling “go home,” “retire” and “Keep the RCMP in Surrey.” 

No threats had been made, but it was not the first such occurrence. “McCallum stated he was tired of it,” said the summary and he asked police to identify the woman and ask her to move along.

“Police explained the female was not committing an offence, so they could not compel her to identify herself or move along, but they would ask,” said the police summary.

Police found the costumed woman carrying a sign which read “McCallum death of democracy.” She was cooperative, but said that she was aware of her right to protest under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

“Protester advised she would be leaving within the hour. McCallum was told to call back if there were further problems. No additional call was made,” said the report.

McCallum made similar calls to police about protesters outside his house on April 23, 2021 and July 24, 2021, but there was no wrongdoing and police made no arrests. 

The summary mentions allegations of two sinister, anonymous threats made to city hall.

Police were informed Jan. 4, 2021 that a supervisor in the engineering department received a photocopied letter that contained a swastika, picture of Adolf Hitler and various comments, including "It's time for you to go", "You are history" and "There is a bomb in your house ready for you.”

The employee and McCallum gave statements. McCallum mentioned KTRIS, but “stated his experience with this group had never been threatening before, only harassing in nature.” Police found no links to KTRIS and reviewed surveillance footage, “but the person who delivered the letter could not be found. Investigational avenues were exhausted and the file was concluded.”

A separate anonymous phone message through the main switchboard to McCallum’s office indicated his “life might be on the line.” 

“Despite inquiries with the city and Telus, the origin of the call could not be tracked,” said the summary of the June 18, 2021 incident report. “Safety plan discussed and victim services was offered but declined. Investigational avenues were exhausted and the file was concluded.”

The summary also mentioned a letter received by McCallum’s closest ally on city council and personal companion, Allison Patton. 

On June 8, 2021, Patton reported an unknown correspondent told her to resign and made reference to personal matters.

“Patton described ongoing investigations she had been involved with at her place of work. There was nothing overtly threatening, or efforts to threaten or extort Patton in the letters.  
Patton felt she was being targeted by the Keep the RCMP in Surrey group, strictly because of their opposing political agenda.”

Police followed-up with KTRIS founder Ivan Scott and members of the group, “who advised they had sent emails in the past, but had never sent actual letters. File was fully investigated, no suspect was identified and the file was concluded.”

Scott complained to Surrey RCMP Oct. 19, 2020 after McCallum cut his microphone during a public hearing and asked for a security guard to eject him from the chamber. Scott refused to leave. He complained to police that a security guard touched his arm and wanted the guard and city manager Vince Lalonde charged. 

Investigators closed the file when they determined it would not meet Crown counsel charge approval standards.

Debi Johnstone complained to Surrey RCMP on Sept. 17, 2019 against McCallum, after she said he came close to her face and made a comment similar to “I advise you to watch what you say.” Johnstone admitted to saying “SUC, SUC, SUC” in reference to “Surrey Unsafe Coalition.”

“No offence committed, file concluded.”

McCallum alleged that Johnstone ran over his foot in a Save-On-Foods parking lot on Sept. 4, 2021. Police instead accused McCallum of lying about the incident and he was charged with public mischief. McCallum pleaded not guilty on Monday. 

Johnstone and Scott are among seven KTRIS activists banned from attending city council meetings in September 2021. McCallum’s majority also hired a law firm to seek an injunction against the seven, but they hired a lawyer to contest the application on constitutional grounds. McCallum eventually rescinded the motion in December 2021. 

The same seven also challenged the city’s sign bylaw. While B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nigel Kent dismissed their application, he ruled last July that city hall needed to rewrite the bylaw. Kent said that limiting political signage on private property to election periods would infringe on the right to political expression. 

“These particular petitioners have been directly targeted by certain members of Surrey city council for special treatment; they were the subject matter of a (quickly and appropriately rescinded) bylaw prohibiting their attendance at council meetings and an injunction lawsuit seeking to enforce that bylaw,” said Kent’s ruling. “Their organization (KTRIS) has even been accused, wrongly it appears, of inflicting physical injury on the Mayor.”