Debi Johnstone said to the provincial court she recognized Doug McCallum when she stopped at a crosswalk on Septmeber 2021, before she would start collecting signatures for her petition for a referendum to keep the RCMP in Surrey.
She is a member of a group that opposes McCallum’s proposal to replace the RCMP with a local police force. This promise caused a significant rift in Surrey between those who wanted to keep the Mounties and others who wanted them out.
Johnstone says she was in her car at the time she told McCallum to resign and that she would be the one to bring him down.
Johnstone says when she initially saw McCallum, she had the top down on her car and he was about 15 feet away. She then said McCallum walked over to her car and asked “What did you say, madam?”
Johnstone said she told McCallum he was the worst ever Mayor of Surrey, mean-spirited and a liar
According to Johnstone it was a heated argument between both of them
“It became unpleasantries between the two of us, back and forth,” Johnstone said. “It was a heated debate.
“I swore at him,” she testified. “I made a reference to him having a scaly face.
“I called him a scaly-faced motherf—-er.”
Johnstone said McCallum was saying things back “He told me I was a loud mouth, and something to the effect that I was no good for Surrey,” she said. “He told me I wasn’t allowed to be there.”
The provincial court hear from Johnstone that McCallum threatened to call bylaws on her in which she told him to go ahead and she will call the RCMP.
“As I drove away I yelled, ‘You’re evil.’” Johnstone said.
She told the court she drove away slowly because she was in a parking lot and she was looking for a parking spot.
She said she doesn’t recall McCallum saying anything to her as she drove away nor hear, feel or see anything unexpected.
In his complaint to the RCMP that day, McCallum allegedly said that Johnstone had almost pinned him at the back of his vehicle, run over his foot, and then driven off in a dangerous manner.
According to Fowler, McCallum called 911, proceeded to the emergency room of the local hospital, and gave a statement at the RCMP detachment.
“The question, ultimately, will be whether Mr. McCallum intended to mislead the police by making false statements to the police with the intention to cause Ms. Johnstone to be suspected of having committed an offence she had not committed,” he said.
The surveillance footage shown in court shows McCallum standing close to Johnstone’s car while it is stopped at a solid yellow line near the store’s entrance.
Johnstone said that after finding a parking spot, she saw McCallum speaking with Ivan Scott, the organization’s founder, close to a tent that volunteers had erected.
Scott asked her if she had drove over the mayor’s foot.
“I laughed and said, ‘Of course not,”’ she told court.
Johnstone said later that day of the interaction she got a call from an RCMP officer and went down to the station to give him a statement.
She said the officer told her she would be investigated for assault with a weapon and criminal harassment.
McCallum’s lawyer, Richard Peck, asserted that Johnstone may have used cursing to intimidate his client and demean his “disability.”
He said that she had previously employed similar strategies, including calling new officers “scabs” during a demonstration against the Surrey Police Service.
Despite the fact that she used language “unfit of a lady” in the incident involving the mayor, Johnstone argued that it was not illegal for her to do so because she had been denied the right to speak at council meetings and was therefore attempting to be heard.
“I wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to go into the corner and shut up like he wanted me to,” she said.
Peck suggested she had been temporarily barred from the council chambers because she was “very disruptive”.
Johnstone previously testified in court that she supported McCallum in 2018 because to his pledge to extend the SkyTrain and his worries for the general welfare of the populace.