Motion to Council redirecting Police budget increase to Public Health

City Council, Standing Committee and Commission

Report / Agenda: City Council Agenda 41 – FEDCO Report 17

Item / Article: Proposed 2021 Budget Directions, Timeline and Consultation Process

Re: 2021 Budget Policing Reallocation

Moved by / Motion de: Councillor S. Menard

Seconded by / Appuyée par: Councillor C. McKenney

WHEREAS the City of Ottawa is grappling with a global pandemic that is seeing significant strain on the capacity of Ottawa Public Health and other public services; and

WHEREAS it remains unclear how long our city will be operating under these conditions, but these conditions could last for the length of the forthcoming fiscal year and beyond; and

WHEREAS the public has expressed a clear desire to see changes in the way policing is conducted; and

WHEREAS the service calls for policing have declined during COVID-19; and

WHEREAS public health and affordable housing investments can act as prevention measures for further harm and are required to a greater degree now than before the pandemic; and

WHEREAS the2020 base budget for Ottawa Police Services is $291 million, with a 3% tax increase estimated to be $8.8 million and the estimated 1.5% assessment increase estimated to be $4.3 million, for a combined potential total of up to $13.1 million dollars of additional budget expenditures; and

WHEREAS the 2020 base budget, from the municipal tax base, for Ottawa Public Health is only $22.59 million, with a 2.5% tax increase estimated to be only $580 thousand and the estimated 1.5% assessment increase estimated to be only $340 thousand, for a combined potential total of up to only $920 thousand dollars of additional budget expenditures; and

WHEREAS the Ottawa Police budget has been one of the fastest growing line items in the city, outpacing inflation, population growth, and municipal tax increases since 2001; and

WHEREAS City Council should not be financially prioritizing policing over public health during a global pandemic;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Recommendation 2(a)(ii) of the Proposed 2021 Budget Directions, Timeline and Consultation Process report be amended as follows:

2. (a) (ii) The Ottawa Police Services levy be increased by no more than 1.5 per cent and that Council request that the Police Services Board develop their draft budget based on this tax increase; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the corresponding savings be directed to Ottawa Public Health above the 2.5% cap.

Phone: 613-580-2484
Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1