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De-fund the police…really?


De-fund the police…really?

The purpose of protest is supposedly to change public opinion and by doing so, change public policy. So why would anyone claiming to be  seriously interested in influencing public policy start out by adopting a slogan (De-fund the Police) that is not supported by about 95 percent of the population? You are now left with a tiny minority of the community who probably already support you. So now you are caught in a closed feedback loop that is going absolutely nowhere. Such is public discourse in 2020. Add to that, the further erosion of support that will now occur as a result of the hyperbolic stunt of dragging a coffin in front of the Mayor’s residence to illustrate what? And by the way, coffins are expensive. Where did they get it, and who enabled it, since these homeless kids couldn’t like afford to buy or rent a coffin?

If this was really about somebody not having a place to shelter, it’s worth noting that the city’s Emergency Services Director said yesterday that right now there are spaces available in city-operated shelters and in the hotels and motels that have been commissioned to deal with the crisis. Nobody is arguing that we don’t have a homelessness crisis in the city. Nor is anyone disputing the fact that the police budget grows faster than any other departmental budget in the city, and probably needs closer scrutiny. In fact we have argued exactly that here.

The young people who engaged in the protests are not completely to blame. As a society the notion that each generation would have it better than the last has been shattered. Being able to afford a home of one’s own is becoming an impossible dream…and along with that rents keep pace with the real estate boom– making renting a decent place out of reach for many. We have to do a better job of providing employment, livable wages and hope for those who are disillusioned and not participating in Canada’s prosperity.

In all the discussion about de-funding the police, there has been no discussion about the impact a 50 percent reduction in the police budget would have on the safety and well-being of the community. The police board did go through a 20 percent budget reduction exercise, the results of which people can believe or not at their pleasure, but really? A 50 percent budget cut? And had anybody done the math on how much social housing you would get for $85 Million—maybe 200 units…maybe. Disillusioned young people can be forgiven for thinking such a solution could work. But based on social media chatter, apparently this goal is also supported by people who fancy themselves as community leaders, all comfortably housed by the way—a communication expert, a “critical thinker” and a former and probably future candidate for city council– to name but three. They should know better.

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  • Mr Best, I’m wondering if you have actually talked to people who were in the encampments?

    I did and the question was asked have outreach workers been coming to offer rooms in hotels? The answer was no not in a long time.

    Have you talked to individuals about being in the shelters? I have and it is not pretty at all. I talked to one female who said she was being threatened inside the shelter yet staff did nothing so she left. The covid policies have greatly impacted people’s ability to access services.

    You are correct, housing is becoming unaffordable for many in the working class and the homeless numbers will continue to grow as N12 evictions are growing due to out right greed. There are no social housing units only waiting lists which can take years.

    As far as I’m concerned, the mayor is the emperor with no clothes.

    The truth shall prevail, despite political rhetoric.

  • Why do they want a 50% reduction in the police budget? Where did this number come from? Why not 48% or 53%?
    There’s no thought to this, it’s pure nonsense. When politicians like Nann give these kind of protests any kind of validation 2 things happen: 1 more nonsense protests will happen. 2 the public gets tired of it so when a politician comes along who talks tough and is willing to act on the tough talk people will vote for them.
    I can’t wait for the next election.

  • So like the last municipal election where the mayor only got 20% of the vote once you factor in all eligible voters.

  • The 3 stooges you reference all lobbied loud and long on behalf of Mayor Fred’s re-election campaign, telling anyone who would listen that Eisenberger was our only hope…..then turned on him like trained vipers within days of getting what they wanted.
    And now they hate him. Thanks for your help.
    All 3 are intelligent and articulate-albeit goofy as all get out. They have “followers”……a sad collection of subversive misfits, and they pander to their base with skill and determination, inciting, antagonizing and demonizing.

    I do find them entertaining… circus performers.

    Hamilton is a hotbed for subversive misfits.

  • I guarantee that when one of these people are in trouble, they will be screaming for police help! I have witnessed this. Somehow I can’t see when you are getting the hell beaten out of you or robbed, the “hug” patrol will be right there and talk the perpetrator down and everything will be fine. Yes, there needs to be dialogue and changes made as in every facet of in society and the workplace, but to arbitrarily cut 50% of the funding with zero rhyme or reason is pure idiocy. If you strongly believe in this then come to the table with rational facts and figures to support your argument and be prepared not only to present the case, but for the rebuttal you will get back. The majority of people do not agree with you and for good reason. Your way leads to anarchy.

    • you mean like Mattie Green at the Pride festival? Mattie was scurrying for cover while his peeps were getting pummeled by “helmet guy” then complaining that the Police-who they didn’t want present-didn’t respond quick enough.
      Exactly as you say.

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