Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking Toronto City Council to develop alternatives to police in certain situations.
On Monday Toronto City Council will be voting on a motion penned by Tory asking council to create “alternative models of community safety response.”
Tory connected his motion to recent calls to defund police departments across the world.
“In recent weeks, here in Toronto and around the world, people have been raising their voices and calling for an end to racism generally, to anti-Black racism and to racism experienced by Indigenous and marginalized communities,” Tory told reporters earlier this week.
“As mayor, I acknowledge that despite our city being one of the world’s most diverse, systemic racism continues to be a real issue here in Toronto and there is much more all of us can do and must do to confront it and to eliminate it.”
The motion specifically calls for the creation of a separate agency to deal with non-violent or non-weapons-related situations. The motion suggests that in these cases police involvement is unnecessary.
Earlier in March, a motion was put forward by Coun. Josh Matlow and supported by Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, demanding that Toronto Police Services’ budget be cut by 10%.
The earlier motion by Matlow and Wong-Tam does not specify exactly how the $122 million taken from Toronto police would be used. The motion also does not discuss how police would fare with fewer funds, even as violent crimes continue to grow in the city.
Coun. Wong-Tam took to Twitter after Tory announced his motion, claiming that his motion does not do nearly enough to defund the police.
Coun. Matlow’s motion will be debated Monday.
Last year saw a record number of shootings in Toronto, with 582 shot and 33 dying as a result.