Toronto City Council will be tackling the issue of defunding the police in their virtual meeting on Monday.
It's the latest in a string of efforts from Toronto Mayor John Tory to reform the police and emergency services, by either defunding the police, or by the creation of a new, non-police response force that do not carry weapons.
"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-Indigenous and anti-Black racism, and to racism against marginalized communities," Tory wrote in a release published last week.
"We must fix that model by changing the way policing is done in order to stamp out systemic racism within our police service and to rethink, in some cases, whether police are the right community response at all," he concluded.
That motion goes directly against the words of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who said that defunding the police went against his beliefs.
“I just don’t believe in defunding the police: It’s a massive, massive error,” Ford said at his June 9 press conferences from Queen's Park. “I don’t believe in cutting police budgets. Simple as that. I believe in increasing them.”
Toronto is not alone in their motion to defund policing, as cities across North America battle with the idea following the death of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police force.
Motion has support from councillors
Two of Toronto's councillors have publicly supported the move to reduce the police force's budget for 2021, according to the Toronto Star.
Coun. Josh Matlow (Ward 12) tweeted last week that supported the motion to cut the budget.
Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 13) seconded the motion, which follows public demands to defund the police. The motion asks police to cut next year's budget by 10 percent which would mean a $122 million decrease from the current $1.22 billion budget.
The motion pushes staff to point out areas of investments that will “enhance resiliency in marginalized communities.”