Calgary's city council has just approved a motion to begin the defunding of its police force, the Calgary Police Services.
The motion passed with a solid 9 to 5 majority in the Council. It specifically calls for the reallocation of $20 million CAD from the budget of the Calgary Police Services over a two year period. The money is slated to be funneled into bolstering various social services.
Calgary has had activists in and out of its city council pushing for this motion over the past several months. Councilor Evan Woolley tabled the motion, backed by Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, and fellow Councilors George Chahal and Gian-Carlo Carra.
The mayor has been supportive of the motion and Calgary's police chief Mark Neufeld, back on September 10, surprisingly made a statement saying that defunding his own police force was "a fair discussion to have." Neufeld went on to say "We commit to reallocating funds from our 2021 operating budget to design an alternative crisis response model that best services our community."
Other Alberta politicians aren't so enthusiastic, however. Alberta's Justice Kaycee Madu said that the idea of defunding the police is misguided.
Calgary mayoral candidate and Councilor Jeromy Farkas has also voiced strong opposition to the idea, saying he was not opposed in principle, but that due diligence would be necessary to ensure proper allocation of the funds.
People on social media have also been scathingly critical of these new measures, feeling that crime is already on the rise, and that this will only make it worse:
Specifics of where the $20 million would be allocated under this motion have not been made available yet.