The Police Offered to Reallocate $8 Million of their Annual Budget To Communities. Council Said No Thanks.

 

Photo by Jon Yee

 

Yesterday, City Council failed in their promise to tackle systemic racism. Calgary City Council, in a time of fiscal need, ignored calls for police reform from a broad coalition of Calgarians (as well as the Police Chief) and instead voted against Calgary Police Service’s own proposal to fund the Community Safety Investment Framework and instead gave them even more money than they requested. 

 

The CPS offered to reallocate $8 million dollars (just 2%) of its existing budget per year to work with community partners. That’s $80 million over a decade. Council said no. An amendment championed by Councillors Gian-Carlo Carra and Jeff Davison instead results in one-time funding of $8 million dollars from the City’s reserves, not the CPS budget, as “seed funding” for the Community Safety Investment Framework. There is no certainty on how or when the Framework will be funded after the first year. 

 

The CPS and Police Commission will instead manage the $8 million dollars that CPS promised to reallocate to community partners. The CPS has admitted that it is a systemically racist organization. Council, not the police, should have oversight of community funding.

 

 

Council squandered its opportunity to accept the CPS’ offer to reallocate $8 million dollars of its existing budget per year in the Community Safety Investment Framework. The CPS continue to get a blank cheque from Council. When organizations everywhere are facing cuts, our Council saw fit to give the Calgary Police even more money. We need new leadership on Council. 

 

While our city and province struggle with Covid-19 and declining revenues, our Council decided to spend your money rather than accept the offer from CPS. 

 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the film No Visible Trauma premiered, documenting the problem of systemic racism and police brutality within the Calgary Police Force— despite attempts by one CPS member to block the film’s release.  

 

 

What did Council do, anyways?

We’ve ranked the performance of Calgary’s city councillors on this issue. Some opposed us from the start, some expressed and even demonstrated some support, but all of them failed to deliver when the decision came to reallocate CPS funds to support our communities.

 

WARD & COUNCILLOR

 

GRADE

 

ON DEFUND

 

1 — WARD SUTHERLAND

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D-

Voted for initial motion, didn’t deliver in the final vote.

2 — JOE MAGLIOCCA

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F

A member of the “Farkas Blank Cheque” club. Opposed any scrutiny of the CPS budget. Championed a blank cheque for CPS, the City’s largest budget item. Gave CPS more taxpayer money then they even asked for.

3 — JYOTI GONDEK

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C-

Voted for the initial motion. Participated in our Facebook Live. Former police commissioner. Didn’t deliver in final vote. 

4 — SEAN CHU

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F

A member of the “Farkas Blank Cheque” club. Opposed any scrutiny of CPS budget. Championed a blank cheque for CPS, the City’s largest budget item. Gave CPS more taxpayer money than they even asked for.

5 — GEORGE CHAHAL

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C-

Police Commission Member. Voted for the initial motion, participated in our Facebook Live. Didn’t deliver in the final vote. 

6 — JEFF DAVISON

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F

Ignored our coalition after participating in a Facebook Live. Claims to address the problems of marginalized communities, while ignoring them.  


Spent the City’s reserve funds for one-time funding for communities. Considers the lives of racialized Calgarians like a “business deal”

7 —DRUH FARRELL

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C-

Supported initial reallocation motion. Let us down in the final reallocation vote. 

8 — EVAN WOOLLEY

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C-

Championed initial reallocation motion. Let us down in the final reallocation vote. 

9 — GIAN-CARLO CARRA

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F

Supposed to be our “progressive” police commission member, but appears to have capitulated to Davison in back room deal. Downplayed existence of Calgary Police brutality during Council discussion.

11 — JEROMY FARKAS

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F

“Farkas Blank Cheque” club president. Opposed to any scrutiny of CPS budget. Championed  blank cheque for CPS, City’s largest budget item. Gave CPS more taxpayer money then they even asked for.

12 — SHANE KEATING

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C-

Supported initial reallocation motion. Let us down in final reallocation vote. 

13 — DIANE COLLEY-URQUHART

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D

Opposed initial motion. More concerned about the reputation of the Police than the lives of her constituents. Downplayed existence of Calgary Police brutality during Council discussion.

14 — PETER DEMONG

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D

Opposed initial motion.

MAYOR NAHEED NENSHI

D

Voted for initial motion. Did not demonstrate leadership in the follow-through to help make  reallocation happen. 

     

CITY ADMINISTRATION - CITY MANAGER DAVID DUCKWORTH

D

Ignored Council’s Nov 3 approved motion to consider reallocation of $20 million of the CPS budget to the Framework. Only considered CPS’ Nov 7 budget submission to reallocate $8 million.

Chief Neufeld

B-

Offered to reallocate $8 million from the CPS' annual budget to fund communities— unfortunately, Council said no thanks. 



We have strong support

 

Black Lives Matter march in Calgary, June 3, 2020. Photo credit: Jon Yee

 

Thank you for demonstrating that Calgarians strongly support reallocation of the police budget to fund our communities. Here are some stats:

  • 15 Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Non-People of Colour and 2SLGBTQ+ organizations came together to form the Defund2Fund Coalition to reallocate 30% of the CPS budget to communities. Each organization represents a unique cross-section of our Calgary community
  • Over 100 Calgarians wrote Council supporting reallocation of at least 5% ($20 million) of the police budget to fund a Community Safety Investment Framework
  • Nearly 30 Calgarians spoke at Council public hearings in support of reallocation of a portion of the police budget to communities 
  • 2,000+ Calgarians from all across the city signed our petition to reallocate 30% of the CPS budget to communities
  • We published 17 articles from diverse voices, which include detailed research backing up our request to fund communities and defund the CPS

 

We’re Not Done

The Defund2Fund Coalition is not done. Together, we drove reallocation of police funding for a Community Safety Investment Framework to the top of the City Council agenda in the 2021 budget deliberations. We will keep fighting to reallocate the CPS budget to our communities. Sign our petition and register for our emails to receive updates. We did this with the help and commitment of over 2,000 people, and with your help we will continue to fight another day.

 

 

Stay Involved

 

1. Help us reach 2,500 signatures on our petition

Share this message with at least three friends and family members and ask them to sign our petition. 

 

 

2. Continue to spread the word

Share this message with your friends and family that we must continue to fight for reallocation of police funding into the community.

 

 

3. Donate to Project Calgary

Project Calgary is works with community leaders to champion ideas for a better Calgary. You can support Project Calgary with a one time donation or by becoming a monthly donor for as little as $10/month.

 

 

 

Thank you for joining us in taking action!