For Immediate Release
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is condemning the decision this afternoon by members of the City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) to approve yet another proposed police budget increase. There were close to 30 public delegations, including eleven written delegations, reiterating the promise that was made last year to either freeze or reduce the police budget. The vote today runs contrary to a motion passed unanimously by City Council last Winter that sought to support the Police Services Board in their work.
“What FEDCO members said today by their vote was that they are not there to represent the community but rather themselves,” said Sam Hersh, a board member of Horizon Ottawa. “The community was and has been clear, there is no need to further study a budget freeze or reduction - it is the right thing to do.”
This latest proposed budget increase comes on the heels of over a year of massive protest and resistance not only in Ottawa but across North America, signalling a desire for a mass reallocation of police funding towards things like mental health, housing and other social supports. It also comes after over a year of multiple scandals for the Ottawa Police, including several high-profile cases of violence, sexual harassment, and corruption charges.
The vote to approve the proposed 2022 budget increase is going to the rest of council on July 21st, the last council meeting before the Summer break.
“We are going to continue to push to make sure this increase is not approved on July 21st.” Said Hersh. “In a city where hundreds go to sleep outside every night, dozens are needlessly dying monthly from drug overdoses, and families struggle to put food on their table, there is no world where this police budget increase is justified.”
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