British Columbia Sun

Region restores $5.7M in the demanded budget to Vancouver police


Key takeaways: 

  • Force successfully demands city council vote to freeze police funding for 2021.
  • Palmer said the government’s decision enhanced public safety for citizens and business owners. 

Overriding city’s funding decision:

The Vancouver Police Department has won its request to the B.C. government to get $5.7 million in the budget rejected in the city’s 2021 budget.

In writing Monday, the board got an order from Wayne Rideout, assistant deputy minister and director of police services, demanding the money be restored.

The board had demanded a December 2020 vote by the Vancouver city council to freeze police grants in the 2021 city funding. 

At the time of the vote, the city cut the grant to many of its units’ budgets by one percent in reply to the economic challenges associated with the pandemic. The funding passed with six councilors for and five against. 

According to Vancouver Police Department Chief Adam Palmer, the economic impact to the force had a direct effect on the number of officers it was able to employ to meet the city’s policing requirements.

Also read: B.C.’s minimum salary, now linked to inflation, up 45-cents to $15.65 an hour

Region restores $5.7M in the demanded budget to Vancouver police

In a report, Palmer thanked the region for its decision, which enhanced public safety for citizens and business owners.

“I am committed to providing everyone feels safe again,” stated Palmer.

The City of Vancouver now pays almost a million dollars every day on policing, with funding that has grown from $317 million in 2019 to $367 million in 2022 — accounting for nearly 21 percent of total city spending.

In an email, city manager Paul Mochrie stated that the order is being reviewed but “will result in an extra $5.7 million in fees on top of the already supported 2022 budget.”

Vancouver is not permitted to run a deficit, and Mochrie says the budget process is done, so reserves will be used to compensate for the shortfall.

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