Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek walked away from the podium after a journalist asked her about supporting the defund the police movement as violent stabbings have prompted growing concerns over public safety.

The Counter Signal’s Keean Bexte questioned Gondek over her past commitments to defunding the police after she announced a new action plan for transit safety after two women were stabbed last week. 

In 2021, while still a Ward 3 Councillor, Gondek and eight other members of Calgary City Council voted to defund the Calgary Police Service by $20 million. 

“Just a handful of months ago you were fighting tooth and nail against increasing the police budget and you were actively supporting defund the police rhetoric. I’m just wondering when you realized that police forces were not optional? Did it take the random stabbings, police officers getting killed to realize it was important to fund police departments?” asked Bexte. 

“How can Calgarians trust you when you flip flop on basic issues like public safety?” 

Gondek walked away from the podium without answering the question.

In a news conference before City Hall, Gondek announced on Thursday that Calgary transit would double the amount of security present at its stations.

CTrain stations will also have overnight patrols boosted. Pairs of Calgary Police Service officers and community peace officers will be present seven nights a week. 

“It will take all orders of government and partners together to make real and meaningful improvement,” said Gondek who spoke alongside Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

On Tuesday, Smith announced that the provincial government will be directing officials to hire 100 more street-level police officers over the next 18 months to increase the visible law enforcement presence and tackle rising criminal activity in Edmonton and Calgary.