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John Tory - SuperMayor wants more cops

John Bell

January 2, 2023
Toronto mayor John Tory is calling for an as-yet unspecified increase to the Police. He cites inflation as reason for a substantial raise to the cops’ $1.1 billion annual budget.
Tory was recently conferred with “strong mayor” powers by his ally, Doug Ford. Among other things, this will allow the mayor to singlehandedly: set the city budget; have veto power over city council in matters of “provincial priority”; appoint his political allies to head all committees and boards; hire political friends to head all levels of city bureaucracy including Chief Administrative Officer; and override bylaws that are not in sync with “provincial priority”.
In short it is the death of municipal democracy, and the endgame of Ford’s obsession with destroying Toronto’s progressive political leanings, that began with arbitrarily cutting city council by half in 2021.
No wonder Tory thinks he needs more cops to back his autocratic rule.
Meanwhile, the TPS’s own datahas proved that Toronto cops are twice as likely to use force against racialized communities than against whites. Cops were 1.5 more likely to pull their guns when dealing with non-white suspects. 
The rise in police violenceis a national trend. In 2022, police shootings increased almost 25% over the previous year. 87 people were shot by cops, 46 of them were killed. These numbers include high, disproportionate numbers of Indigenous people and racialized suspects.  
Increasing police budgets at a time when the city is already running a deficit, due to cut in support from the provincial and federal governments, can only result in further destruction of public services, health (including mental health), housing and transportation.
The disgraceful collusion between police and the rising far-right in this country, exposed by the “Convoy”occupation of Ottawa in February 2021, is a real threat to everyone. 
Instead of automatically giving the cops more power and money, it is time to recognize that they are beyond tinkering and constantly promised “reform”. It is time to defund the police.

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