TORONTO – Toronto City Council approved a report to introduce changes to policing in Toronto. The report, introduced by Mayor John Tory with the support of Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson and Councillor Shelley Carroll, proposes the development of alternative service delivery models for community safety response and increased accountability.
In recent weeks, here in Toronto and around the world, people have been raising their voices and calling for an end to racism generally, highlighting anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism, and racism against marginalized communities.
The City of Toronto is committed to confronting systemic racism, listening to residents, and making meaningful changes to ensure Toronto’s communities are kept safe.
There has been an ongoing rally outside of Toronto City Hall in Nathan Phillips Square. The area according to rally organizers is an occupation.
Rebel Media has been attempting to cover the rally and has been told by City Hall Security that they are causing a disturbance and have been trespassed off of the property as they attempt to report on the occupation.
This motion proposes the development of alternative service delivery models for community safety response, particularly for individuals experiencing mental health crises, which would not involve police officers attending the scene. This would ensure that police are doing police work, and communities are receiving the right response for the issues they are facing.
The motion also proposes a realignment of the City’s budget priorities that focuses on the most marginalized in our community, to ensure they have the supports they require to address the root causes of crime and provide opportunities for all Torontonians.
In the past five years, the City has developed plans to address these issues, including the creation of the first Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit in North America, the City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and Indigenous-led Poverty Reduction Strategy, and the Immediate Steps to Address Gun Violence Plan.
In addition, the City has created an Indigenous Affairs Office to lead the City’s work on Reconciliation. The motion proposes that in addition, to further prioritizing and wherever possible accelerating these investments in future budgets, any savings or re-allocations realized through a review of Toronto Police service functions, will be invested back into these Council-endorsed programs.
Citizens can review the Report CC22.2 and the amendments made by City Council at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.CC22.2.
You may also read the report from Mayor John Tory on Changes to Policing in Toronto: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-148277.pdf.