Racialized people, and those with low incomes are overpoliced in Toronto. The Ontario Human Rights Commission's 2021 report states “the current model of policing is not sustainable.” In 2022, Toronto’s Auditor General found that 40% of the calls for police service could be handled by an alternative response. This makes up 85,000 hours over five years, and created longer response times for officers in emergency situations like life in danger. Investing in alternative responses are investments in our public safety.
The Toronto Community Crisis Service has been successful in taking a community-based approach in responding to mental health crises without involving the police. This program must be expanded to every neighbourhood to create a safer Toronto.
As a City, we must treat investments in affordable housing, education and employment as investments in our safety and well-being, and we have an opportunity to prioritize these in the upcoming budget.