Call for City Budget re-evaluation

Paths for People joins the call for the City of Edmonton to re-evaluate how we approach funding support systems and safety for the community.

Budgets are a reflection of the City’s values. 

Currently, Edmonton spends more than nine times on police than what goes into homelessness and social programs combined. Policing is the second largest line item in the City of Edmonton budget, far above planning and housing (6.4%) as well as neighbourhood renewal (5.5%).

The discrepancy in how Edmonton’s dollars are spent is now in stark relief, due to COVID-19. In the last few months, City Council has been asked to start making very difficult decisions around where we put our increasingly limited attention and resources:

  • More cuts to public transit service are being considered.
  • Laying off more city staff is being considered.
  • Stopping major transit, road and community projects is also being considered.

This is occurring while City Council has not yet entertained discussions about how the City Budget funds the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). 

We join the call for the City of Edmonton to invest in our communities through initiatives and programs that nourish and support rather than police and surveil. 

P4P supports the exploration and use of all the system change levers which will keep Edmontonians safe and support the most marginalized members of our community. This includes ending the EPS practice of “carding”. P4P fully supports ending these street checks, which police use disproportionately against People of Colour on Edmonton’s streets, sidewalks and transit system.

If you also feel it is time to re-evaluate the City of Edmonton’s budget, please consider joining the call by Black Lives Matter Edmonton and Area Chapter and other local anti-racism activists for this much-needed change via a letter to the mayor and council. The City Council meets on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 9:30am to begin discussing this matter.

If you would like to learn more about this or share further information, use this anti-black racism toolkit (created by Edmonton-based writer Bashir Mohamed).

Finally, Paths for People is committed to continuing to listen to and learn from members of our community, especially those who face greater inequities as imposed by our current transportation system.