Ontario's leaders can't seem to agree on the motion to defund the Toronto Police. After 6ix Mayor John Tory moved a motion proposing changes to the service in the city, Premier Doug Ford was asked about the plan on Thursday, June 25. There, he insisted that cutting police funding would be a "massive, massive error."
Tory announced on Thursday morning a motion aimed at overhauling several ways that Toronto Police Service operates.
The suggestion focuses largely on establishing targeted non-police units to respond to people in mental health crisis, but also calls for a review of the service's budget.
When asked about the calls to defund the police in Toronto, Ford called it "a massive, massive error."
"First of all, I just don't believe in defunding the police," the Premier said at his daily briefing on Thursday.
"I think it's a massive, massive error and we can call it whatever it is.
He added: "When you call 9-1-1 and we're short 100 police officers, you gotta be kidding me. Let's increase funding for areas of community outreach, building better relationships with communities.
"But just to cut them by what, $100 million, I'm hearing? I just don't understand it, I do not believe in cutting police budgets, simple as that."
Ford did, however, note that better police training could be implemented in certain areas. He also added he believes in additional funding for responding to mental health issues.
But he insisted that "you just don't cut frontline police officers."
Thursday's debate about defunding the police comes hot on the heels of a motion submitted by two Toronto councillors.
Kristyn Wong-Tam and Josh Matlow are urging that Toronto's police budget be cut by a minimum of 10%, among other demands.
On Thursday, before Ford had spoken, Wong-Tam tweeted to call out Mayor Tory for not doing enough with his motion.
"Today Mayor tabled his own policing report to sideline our #DefundThePolice motion," the Toronto Centre councillor wrote.
"He doesn’t cite a % or any budget reduction which is at the core of the movement to reform policing. Mayor now asks TPS board which he’s controlled for 6 years to reform policing. Not good enough."
Recent incidents involving responding police officers in and around Toronto, such as the still-unsolved death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, have intensified the spotlight on the city's law enforcement.