Toronto Mayor John Tory's latest proposal of a $48.3 million budget increase for the Toronto Police Service (TPS) has outraged many residents of Toronto.
The proposal brings Toronto police's 2023 budget to approximately $1.16 billion—higher than the police budget in 2022 and 2021, which was $1.1 billion and $1.07 billion respectively.
The investment would introduce 200 more officers in the police force, which the city describes as "priority response units".
“One of our principal responsibilities is to keep our community safe and to keep Torontonians safe. This will show itself in a proposed 4.3 per cent increase in the police budget,” Tory said at a news conference Tuesday announcing the investment.
Tory has faced a lot of backlash by the residents of the city, who believe that Toronto needs funding in other arenas instead. Toronto is already facing a major hospital and housing crises, with high inflation and food insecurity since the pandemic.
John Tory is announcing a $48 million increase to the police budget. He rewards his friends in uniform, while neglecting the basic services we need to live. Investments in people, not policing, will keep us safe
A statement from @NoPolicing pic.twitter.com/owznf7jluI
— Bran Van Jones (@DesmondCole) January 3, 2023
I would prioritize affordable housing, but what do I know. https://t.co/EHHPFxX50M
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) January 4, 2023
Mayor @JohnTory before you further balloon Toronto Police Budget by nearly $50mill please consult outside your 4 walls. You may wish to begin with families of Taresh Bobby Ramroop, Regis Korchinski Paquet, D'Andre Campbell and COUNTLESS others. Address ROOT causes.
— Dr. Jill Andrew, PhD (she/her) (@JILLSLASTWORD) January 5, 2023
Dear @JohnTory ,
How is increasing Toronto police budget by nearly $50 million going to address lack of affordable housing, food insecurity, and lack of mental health services in underfunded neighborhoods? Which people are you truly trying to police? What's your goal?
— Birgit Uwaila Umaigba (@birgitomo) January 3, 2023
•@JohnTory is deliberately deaf to what his constituents need/require of him because of his constant pandering to @TorontoPolice as well as the #TorontoPoliceCommission!
It's beyond disgusting.
He won't listen to Harm Reduction professionals on how to fix the overdose crisis! https://t.co/67sZ7vX7fh
— Natalie - Harm Reduction, Peer Support Worker (@HarmReductWork) January 5, 2023
#Toronto @cityoftoronto @JohnTory. I regret voting for you during the 1st run for mayor. I did NOT make that mistake the 2nd time as I knew the hard working folks of Toronto would suffer. SHAME. https://t.co/xhvgvDwqLR
— H (@H__Wall) January 5, 2023
All I heard was ridiculous amounts to the police. That does not solve problems, work on your social issues and you can decrease the police funding further. Not rocket science.
— S Loughead (@sanl) January 5, 2023
Police is the largest budget item in the books, has been for a while. Why hasn’t that brought down violent crime?
— Asif Hossain (@asifintoronto) January 5, 2023
The TTC budget explicitly links the 10 cent fare increase to hiring 25 new special constables. As if $48M wasn't enough @JohnTory wants you to pay for more transit policing every time you take the TTC. Directly from your food and rent budget, not even taxes.
— rapidly warming girl summer (@latestagewhat) January 5, 2023
Welcome to Toronto, we don't have swimming lessons, reliable transit, public toilets, not-gross garbage cans, remotely affordable housing or adequate sewer capacity
Which is why we will spend $50m more on our budget's biggest line item, which addresses none of those problems https://t.co/fbhQMBAfoo
— Denise Balkissoon (@balkissoon) January 3, 2023
“One of our principal responsibilities is to keep our community safe and to keep Torontonians safe."
Except police don't prevent crime, they react to it. If you want a safer city, you need economic changes. Cheaper housing, free transit, community programs. This is basic stuff. https://t.co/qQtXcZC3pM
— Filipe Dimas (@FilipeDimas) January 4, 2023
@JohnTory .... what happened to understanding the root cause of criminality, and in this city there are many social reasons where money should be spent to help with this vs going directly to policing. This move is NOT my Toronto. https://t.co/Wx2w6h0GXz
— Lesley Sparks (@LesleyASparks) January 4, 2023
The idea here is that if they spend more trashing the tents that more & more people have to live in, persecute more racialized people, criminalize more people who use substances, those with mental health issues, sex workers, newcomers, then, it'll look like they are the problem. https://t.co/L5tdVEDPgV
— Ameil J. Joseph Ph.D. (he/him) (@ajesusjoseph) January 4, 2023
Imagine what 48.3 million would do for housing, employment counselling, community programming and support for substance users. https://t.co/K6DmzpSjRn
— Jase Cole 🏳️🌈🦄 (they/them) (@jasecolelab) January 3, 2023