More on this petition:
The 2020 budget for Toronto Police Services is $1.076 BILLION of the $13.5 billion 2020 operational budget. I am asking Mayor John Tory to: 1. To never again vote to increase the Toronto Police Service budget. 2. To propose and implement a TPS budget cut of, at the absolute minimum, $276 million or just 10% of Mayor John Tory’s estimate of a $2.76 billion budget shortfall – what he called “one of the greatest financial challenges the city has ever faced” – as we struggle to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 3. To prioritize the expansion of community-led health and safety initiatives over future financial investment into the Toronto Police Service. In the face of cyclical police violence happening throughout North America right now, there is no better time to commit ourselves to change. We have seen that investing in body cameras, civilian reviews or de-escalation and implicit bias training doesn’t work. What we need in Toronto is leadership that can initiate a reduction in the immense police violence that targets our most marginalized people, toward the eventual abolition of police and prisons. In order to do this, I call on you and the City Council to reduce funding in these ways: - Withhold pensions and don’t rehire cops involved in excessive force cases- Require cops to be liable for misconduct settlements- Reduce the size of the police force, and stop sending armed/uniformed cops on mental health-related calls. An increased police presence, which includes TTC inspectors and enforcement officers, does not keep us safe, rather it directly threatens the lives of our most vulnerable communities (BIPOC, the LGBTQ2S+ community, unhoused people, street-based sex workers, people with disabilities, people experiencing poverty, etc). Instead of investing in policing, our city must prioritize alternatives like education, increased mental health services, housing initiatives, income security, harm reduction services, accessible rehabilitation, mutual aid, social workers, conflict resolution services, transformative justice, and other vital community-based support systems. These initiatives must support our most vulnerable communities and centre the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in Toronto. We should look to and learn from organizations like Black Lives Matter Toronto, Black Legal Action Centre, Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, PASAN, Toronto Prisoners’ Rights Project, Maggie’s, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and so many more. Our city can lead the way in defining public safety through community not cops, where Black, Indigenous and people of colour are free from police oppression. I am asking you to create a better future for all residents of Toronto by divesting from harmful policing and investing in life-affirming services.