To the more than 900 people who signed our riding associations’ petition to defund police, thank you.
We know that in order to make all communities safe — especially Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities — a significant portion of police services’ large budgets must be invested instead in programs and services that will truly make all of our communities healthy and safe.
Together, our voices have helped give the provincial and federal NDP the strength they need to begin confronting this difficult but urgent issue head-on.
“We cannot and should not simply dismiss the call to defund police. This is a conversation that is long overdue,” says the Ontario NDP in its Commitment to End Police Violence and Invest in Black, Indigenous and Racialized People’s Lives.
“Tens of thousands of people in communities across Canada have marched in the streets demanding justice, an end to systemic racism and fundamental change to policing – including the defunding of police and reinvestment of this money into social services that will allow our communities to thrive.”
The Ontario NDP’s plan includes:
- Overhaul police oversight, including compelling police to participate in investigations into police actions, and allowing unpaid suspensions
- Demilitarize police forces by diverting spending on military-grade hardware, including tear gas and assault rifles, into community services. Tear gas has been banned in war zones by the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1997.
- End carding and destroy data collected through this unconstitutional practice
- Transfer responsibility to, and investing in, alternative first responders to respond to mental health, addictions, homelessness and school discipline issues
- Give elected representatives the support and power to determine how policing budgets are spent
- Invest heavily in programs and supports that address the social and economic factors that influence people’s health
Our voices are also being heard and amplified by the federal NDP.
Last week, Jagmeet Singh made headlines when he was kicked out of Parliament after bringing forward a motion to take concrete action on systemic racism in the RCMP – with real solutions.
To pass, the motion required unanimous consent. But when another politician refused to support the motion, Singh called it out for what it was: racism.
Fundamentally changing policing is not going to be easy. Many still don’t understand the need. And many are frightened by the idea.
But by continuing to demand change, and by continuing to talk about what we stand to gain — safer and healthier communities for all — we can make this change happen.