The Halifax Regional Police office in Dartmouth in July 2020. — Photo: Zane Woodford Credit: Zane Woodford

A majority of council candidates who responded to a survey from a local advocacy group are in favour of some broad reforms of policing in Halifax, and the results indicate widespread dissatisfaction with the municipality’s unique relationship with the RCMP.

The Nova Scotia Policing Policy Working Group sent an online survey to all candidates in this month’s election in early September. The survey asked candidates 13 questions, including context around each question and opportunities for open-ended responses.

Of the 82 council candidates, 61 started the survey, and 49 completed it. None of the mayoral candidates responded at all. The only district with no respondents was District 2 — Preston–Chezzetcook–Eastern Shore.

“Candidates in Halifax are taking this issue seriously,” Tari Ajadi, a member of the working group and a doctoral candidate at Dalhousie University studying racism, Black social movements, and public policy, said in an interview.

“They’re thinking through these issues. Whether or not they agree with the Policing Policy Working Group … that’s actually immaterial compared to the fact that they’re willing to try to think through a meaningful response to these core issues. To that extent, I was fairly pleased with the turnout.”

Of those who actually filled out the survey, 100% support “holding the HRP and the RCMP accountable to implement the recommendations of the Wortley Report and the [Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls] Final Report.”

“I don’t think that that’s empty,” Ajadi said. “I think that it matters because the candidates are saying that it matters in such overwhelming quantities.”

Asked whether they supported a more detailed line-by-line breakdown of the police budget being presented to council, 96% were in favour.

Presented with information that police budgeted $258,900 for polygraph tests in 2019-2020 and $264,700 for the mounted unit, exceeding $232,800 for the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team, 72% strongly agreed that money would be better spent elsewhere.

The survey results show strong support for moving victims’ services, crossing guards and other items out of the police budget, with 96% of candidates agreeing those items should be budgeted under the city’s public safety office.

Following a presentation to the board of police commissioners by Women’s Wellness Within chair Martha Paynter, the working group asked candidates whether they supported adding a gender lens to arrest. That would mean, for example, not arresting women with their children present, like Santina Rao.

Of the candidates who responded to that question, 96% said yes.

Candidates were also asked about the municipality’s arrangement with the RCMP. Unlike any other city in Canada, Halifax splits its policing duties between a municipal force for urban areas, Halifax Regional Police, and the federal force for suburban and rural areas, the RCMP.

Asked whether they believe the arrangement is effective, 79% of the candidates who responded said no.

“They have different solutions of how to amend that,” Ajadi said, “but fundamentally, the fact that so many people believe this is an issue, that matters.

The same percentage of candidates, 79%, expressed support for allowing prisoners to vote in municipal elections. Nova Scotia’s Municipal Elections Act disenfranchises prisoners, even though they’re allowed to vote in federal and provincial elections after the federal courts ruled it was unconstitutional to bar them from casting ballots.

Candidates were also asked whether they’re in favour of the board of police commissioners’ original plan for a committee to define defunding the police (the survey was sent before the board voted for a new plan, appointing Examiner contributor and member of the working group, El Jones, to lead the committee).

Seventy per cent of candidates agreed or strongly agreed with the motion appointing a committee to define defunding.

Asked whether they agreed with the working group’s definition, 51% agreed, 34% neither agreed nor disagreed, 15% disagreed, and 0% strongly disagreed.

Ajadi pointed out the conflict between overwhelming support for pulling things like victim services and crossing guards from the police budget, and lesser support for the concept of defunding the police.

“As with most things, once we start to develop a form of sloganeering, we stop looking at the actual content of the arguments being levied,” Ajadi said. “And the content of the arguments being levied, is that when you subsume all of these other services under policing, what you do is you restrict the capacity of those services to be effective and you allow the police an undue level of force and influence over the way our municipality is governed.”

“There’s a lot of support for that perspective, but then when you frame it as defunding the police, what you start to get is a little more skepticism.”

Below are the full answers from every candidate that filled out the survey (also found here in Google Sheets). Scroll to the side to see all the answers, and type a candidate’s name into the search bar to isolate their responses. If you don’t see a particular candidate’s name, they either didn’t respond to the survey at all, or started filling in their name and district then didn’t finish the survey.

NameDistrictIf you were elected city councillor would you support holding the HRP and the RCMP accountable to implement the recommendations of the Wortley Report and the MMIWG Final Report?If yes, what steps would you take to ensure the HRP and RCMP are held accountable?If you were elected as a city councillor, would you support a more detailed line-by-line accounting of the HRP annual budget request?Do you agree that the funds mentioned above (for polygraph tests and for the Mounted Unit among others) could be better utilized by the city?If so, where would you like to see those investments being made?If you were elected as a city councillor, how would you use your role on the HRM Budget Committee to push for greater police accountability and progressive policy reform?If you were elected as a city councillor, would you support moving Victim Services, the Youth Advocate Program, and other non-core policing units such as school crossing guards from out of the HRP and into the HRM’s Public Safety Office?If you were elected city councillor, would you support the implementation of a publicly available, gender-based lens in arrest, policing services, and policing policy?Do you think that the present policing arrangement [integrated HRP-RCMP] is an effective way to provide policing services in the HRM?If not, what would you change?Would you support working with the province to repeal this provision of the Municipal Elections Act [disenfranchising prisoners]?Do you agree with the provisions that the Board has outlined for their community advisory committee?Do you agree with the definition created by the NS PPWG?Where do you stand on the concept of defunding the police?
Stephen Kamperman1YesI would talk to the police commission and the counsoller that’s on the police board and make sure they have a plan of implementing the report and get updates on the progress of where it is and set a deadline of when it should be implementedYesAgreeMental health communityI would also put a freeze on the budget until we concluded that racial profiling isn’t happeningYesYesNoI would make it all HRP as it seems like we need to have one set of rules and plus to have better response as the RCMP seem to have districts that don’t make senseNoAgreeAgreeI would like to see a reallocation for the police budget. The reason for this is I think they are already stretched thin in so many areas, on the campaign trail the major issue in every small community is speeding and not a presence of police. Residents have made it very clear they want more policing in our communities.ESPECIALLY IN THE LIGHT OF THE TRAGIC SHOOTINGS THAT WE EXPERIENCED RECENTLY. We need to support our first responders as this topic has been at the forefront of the news . If WE could do more education on mental health within their department or even had 1 or 2 officers per shift per department which are specialized in dealing with these situations hopefully the residents CAN FEEL AND BE SAFE and police can go home every night safely TO THEIR FAMILIES.
Cathy Deagle Gammon1YesStanding agenda item within the HRP Report to council. Public ongoing updates Support for an Office of Diversity & InclusionYesAgreeSocial supports, mental health outreach and programs to reduce racism Community consultations and town halls to ensure that we are listening to community and are solution focused. Expand my Education and awareness By staying in step with the information to make good decisions Review the Worley Recommendations and keep them top of mindYesYesNoThis question demands a yes or no response and i am by default saying no however - My answer here would be an uneducated response. I truly would need to research this and have a better understanding to give a qualified responseYesAgreeAgreeIt needs a complete review as suggested and a public education campaign so that all understand what this means
Arthur Wamback1YesWith mandatory scheduled progress updates to the Halifax Board of Police CommissionersYesAgreeProfessional training for Police OfficersBy holding the police more accountable going forward by making approval of future budgets contingent on the HRP demonstrating progress on implementing the Wortley Report recommendations.YesYesNoHRP to be resourced to permit policing throughout HRMYesAgreeDisagreeMore research required
Clinton Desveaux3YesI would use my social media channels to encourage society to create community consensus. I would also work with various committees on the city level to move the needleYesAgreeI would need better access to line by line items in the budget to see where it should be directedI would like to follow the lead of Lisa Blackburn and work with city communities to bring as many voices to the table as possibleYesYesNoWe need more communication with the RCMP, Province and Federal GovermentYesAgreeAgreeI don’t support defunding police, I support better allocation and oversight
Becky Kent3YesI am in support of reviewing Police Service Delivery in HRM. I will be engaging fully on this subject.YesAgreerelated to intimate partner violence and sexual violence.I support Councillor Blackburns position and would do the same. I also support the decision on the armoured vehicle as stated above. I would also ask for a more further review of policing service delivery with an entirely new Council, not just those councillor serving on the Police Commission. This subject is too important to limit our discussion, consideration and decision making authority on Council YesYesYesNoAgreeDisagreeI consider the concept of "defunding the police" to be a broad and complicated issue that appears to have many meanings to many people. I am committed to a review and careful consideration of new service delivery model, funding and policy development to ensure that discriminatory practices no longer exist. I also believe strongly that there are partnerships with service delivery agencies in our communities that should be better funded and treated as legitimate partners in justice and crime prevention.
George Mbamalu3YesI will ensure that HRP chief brief the council regularly on how the police department is implementing the report recommendations, so also the RCMP chief or his designateYesStrongly agreeMental health and victim servicesTying approval of their budget to policy reform and accountabilityYesYesNoI will like to see changes that will bring both police acts together, and also policy change that makes it mandatory for both police to be held accountable NoStrongly agreeAgreeI supporting defunding that takes away non policing budget to other departments. Police should only do policing work, not traffic control or speed ticketing, or mental health issues, dispute between neighbors
Kevin Foran4YesThis would require a motion from council or the BOPC to make this a priority and compel them to act.YesNeither agree nor disagreeInvestments need to be made in public safety initiatives, some of which fall outside of the police budget. I would propose that the current motion in front of council which looks at how we deliver policing and the services provided and considers where public safety investments are needed is comprehensive but a timeline is needed. The work BOPC is doing with El Jones to define defunding and recommend investments will help. We cannot limit investments to just the police budget. We need to be clear on what is needed and whether provincial Or other funding is involved. The items in #1 above were part of discussions and not approved as motions or actions. Increasing accountability means understanding the current processes and then deciding where increased transparency is required. Policies can then be developed so this can be supported and monitored. We need to move away from ad hoc decisions.YesYesYesI think there needs to be a review of the agreement for services and the option of Moving to one force should be examined in details, including costing implications. This is fully within the responsibilities of council and the time is right to revisit this. YesAgreeAgreeDefunding to me means allowing for alternate resources to perform certain functions and investment in public safety initiatives and community supports. I don’t feel that we should limit it to taking money from one place to allocate to another. We need to define our view of policing and prioritize community investments and ensure both are backed by policy and appropriately funded.
Marisa DeMarco4YesIn the Calls for Justice document section 9.1 to 9.11 are recommendations specific to police services. Each of these recommendations should be thoroughly studied for implementation and supported by all levels of government, relative to the police service they support. When we speak of funding reallocation, especially lately-the report’s findings and the importance of dedicating the supports necessary for the implementation of the recommendations should be at the top of HRM’s Policing mandate. Supporting these measures address the inequality being faced-have we not learned anything? In my district 4 campaign, I have created ‘Action Sectors’ one being Diversity & Inclusion-and I will dedicate my work as councillor to the grass roots effort of creating our district’s own working group to address concerns this committee identifies-and work positively to implement ideas, while ensuring that Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, among others in diversity, are represented on this team of community leaders. This inquiry has brought into alarming light, why we have lost these ‘sacred women and girls’. It’s up to all of us-especially those held to accountability in providing Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people exactly what is needed to combat the violence they are unfairly subjected to. But in order for the recommendations to be successful in creating the generational changes that are so desperately needed-all departmental obligations must be considered - from health and wellness, to justice, to policing, to human and Indigenous rights, to human security, social media influencers, social work and child welfare, corrections, and each of us as Canadians; all of these pillars and service providers must work together to instil value in the adoption and the implementation of the recommendations. Our three levels of government need to stop working in silos-and work together more effectively to implement change. YesStrongly agreeI have spoken to several police officers over the past 5 years in my work as a constituency assistant, and time and again the answers to my question, “What do police need right now to be most effective?” -are the same: they need government to fund mental health in a capacity that not only allows them to respond to situations more efficiently and safely, for all those involved, but that in doing so, we allocate funding in a multi-tiered strategy at all levels of government. If the system provided the right mental health supports for our police services, we would spend less long term. I’m not going to pretend to know exactly what is needed by our police service women and men-but as a mental health advocate and survivor of domestic violence that was perpetrated by systemic barriers in our mental health system’s service provisions - I will be absolutely dedicated to this effort. I believe strongly in having proactive roles that engage those most directly affected by such decision making. I am not sure if such a role exists but perhaps it would be prudent for the budget committee to have a police services liaison, who would help the committee push for accountability and progressive police reform-with the input of police officers. This position would be implemented to garner a balance between what taxpayers expect to see through accountable governance, while continuing to demonstrate our respect for those who will daily, put themselves in the line of danger for others. I would be honoured to have such a role-because of how important this balance is. YesYesYesI would need to learn more but from what I have learned this remains a cost effective measure for urban/rural service areas that are currently being policed. As has been stated, “policing in HRM falls in line with or is less costly than other Canadian cities”. YesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeThe concept of defunding the police is being emotionally propelled and while we must be sensitive and action oriented because of the damage that has been done by those who are hateful, we must also be mindful of where WE are, as a city. Ifdefunding means (re)allocating funds more effectively in creating more effective policing- I’m in. If it means our police services will lose necessary supports required to combat organized crime, domestic violence, child endangerment/exploitation, or human trafficking- which can happen if we don’t adopt a universally accepted definition of this termthen, no-I’m not in agreement.
Jessica Quillan4YesBeing a minority myself I sympthoize with the injustice that the Indigenous women and girls endour. Accounability is about delivering a commitment and taking action with a strategic follow through. I as counsillor would collaborate with senior leaders within HRP and RCMP to set clear expectations that are not negotiable. Provide a realistic timeframe for completion and follow up to ensure both action and results. If someone consistantly fails termination may be considered.YesAgreeI would like to see more money allocated to the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team and in Youth Advocate Programs.I agree with tying approval of the police budget to policy reforms.   A suggestion to look into would be, not approving an increase to the budget until issues such as street checks and racial profiling is stopped. Also, ensures recommendations of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are implemented. YesNoNoIf not working jointly is working well in all of the other major cities in Canada I think it is something to consider. RCMP and HRP if separate can create their own budget, policies and processes pertaining to their own jurisdiction.YesAgreeDisagreeI support the reallocation of some police funds to create programs or initiatives to help community members in the areas of: safety awareness, mental health and addiction services.  This can be provided by an outside agency in the form of community work with individuals to keep them out of non-emergency situations that would require police assistance. 
Jamie MacNeil4YesWe need to ensure public accountability in actions to address systemic issues within our government institutions. Regularly scheduled updates to council in public should be required for the appropriate staff to report to council as well as the public on the progress being made.YesNeither agree nor disagreeI would like to hear from HRP to better understand their perspective on this line itemWe need to hold all of our departments accountable in their spending. It is the hob of council to ensure that money is budget around all of the priorities set by council. If the budgets of the departments are not aligned with the priorities of the municipality, they should not be passedYesYesYesThe arrangement is effective, is there always room for improvement and change, yesYesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeI believe that a balance sheet moving one direction or another is not the solution to the problem. Education, training, resources for those entrusted with our protection and most importantly an open and honest dialogue with communities on how best to meet their needs is the key. If that causes the budget to go up or down as a result to me is simply a side affect of the solution
Ryan Burris4YesYesNeither agree nor disagreeYesYesYesNoAccountability for RCMP in our districts and possibly expanding HRP.NoNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeNO
Trish Purdy4YesI believe all levels of government and positions of authority should be held accountable to ethical standards agreed upon by a democratic process. Reviews, such as the Wortley Report and the MMIWG Final Report can be used to measure adherence to the standards agreed upon. The only hesitation I have is not knowing how the HRP and RCMP weigh in on this...what is their understanding, view, and position on these reports? Why have they not released a public statement? Their opinion would matter greatly to me in how I would proceed. YesAgreeRedirected back to our HRP and RCMP. Training and support.I believe in wise spending and the ability to be able to review and reform the HRM Policing Budget based on need and common sense. However, I do not support defunding our police in any way, or in withholding funds based on compliance or demand. YesNoYesI feel like I do not have enough evidence to make a qualified opinion.YesNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI am against defunding the police.
John Stewart4Yeshave the current study of policing already started expanded to include determining which of the recommendations are not already being addressed in HRM and which should remain within the duties of police officers when which policing duties are determined to remain within the police and which are to be handled by outside agencies. Have the policing contracts amended to include the dutiesYesNeither agree nor disagreeI would need to complete the line by line analysis firstby exercising councils ability to control the budget through negotiating the overall police service contract but not the day to day operation of meeting the contractYesYesYesI feel we benefit in many ways from our unique approach to policingYesStrongly agreeAgreeI believe the overall level of funding is appropriate but funds should be directed to police and civilian branches that are determined to be the appropriate way to deliver the services identified during the study
Darryl Johnson4YesCommittees from the communities To establish a working relationship and rapport. Diversity sensitivity and education training specifically for officers to better understand the issues faced. More recruiting of officers from the communities to better reflect and understand And meet the communities needs.YesStrongly agreeI’d like to see the funds used for more diversity training for officers.History has shown there is systemic race problem and racial profiling when dealing with the BIPOC. More money needs to go towards mental health issues. More funding for more community police officers so they can be proactive not reactive and To help build positive community relationshipsDefinitely support the deputy majors decision and stance on the budget and implementing the Wortley report suggestions.YesYesNoI would lobby to have policing done by one or the other not both.YesStrongly agreeAgreeI believe in allocating funds to other resources to improve policing in the BIPOC communities.
Mitch McIntyre5YesThe Chief of Police and the RCMP have to be accountable for their members of the force and have to make available any reports involving these types of files. As a Municipality Concillor and understanding how information is released to the public. I would make sure that something is available unless it important to the investigation not to be released. There is a fine line on how these files and on how information is releasedYesNeither agree nor disagreePolygraph is a tool police use for investigations and I'm sure it's needed and I believe it most likely the cost of the officers doing working in that office. The mounted division could be side lined for a couple of years to save money. The mental health unit could be given more money for training .I would have to look at management, I believe there isn't enough Police on the street and too many managers sitting in their offices. Police have to be on the street and get better trained to communicate first and reaction second. To many officers spending their time in the office doesn't work. I would have all officers wearing body cameras that someone else can type up. They spend to much time in front of a computer and not enough time doing enforcement. YesYesNoThe RCMP in most cases across Canada deal with the public in rural areas in Canada. When you have two management bodies HRP and one that is run by Ottawa it's hard to get information sometimes. We have to look at this and the accountability of both and make a commitment to one. You know HRP will be accountable because we hire our own where the RCMP officers are coming and going. I'm not sure if the municipality can name every RCMP officer who works here.NoDisagreeDisagreeNOT!! I feel better training for Police officers to deal with mental health issues.
Sam Austin5YesWhat any councillor can do is influenced significantly by whether they end up as one of Council's three representatives on the police commission. The rest of Council is kept at arms length. I don't know if I will end up as a Commissioner over the next four years. If I end up on the Police Commission I commit to directly demanding it. If I'm not one of the Commission reps, I will raise it with my colleagues who are, and with police leadership as opportunities present themselves, such as during budget discussions.YesNeither agree nor disagreeI don't know enough about how polygraph tests are actually being used to be able to say. It does sounds like an area that could be reduced or eliminated as they have dubious value. I don't support eliminating the mounted unit.I expect to see action on the Wortley Report. It will be something I raise during budget deliberations.YesYesNoThis is a difficult question to boil down to a simple yes or no. The question of creating an HRM wide force came up before I was elected and was a deeply divisive discussion. At the time, many rural areas in HRM didn't want to see the RCMP replaced with HRP. That said, the value of local control has been made very evident by the RCMP's refusal to apologize for street checks. I'm not afraid of taking another look at the joint model if that's where HRM's review of policing leads. I have selected no since the survey doesn't have a maybe and I do think there does need to be change here.YesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeArmed police officers aren’t necessarily the best use of resources for every task that they have now. Other complex social issues such as poverty, addiction, mental health that often fall on police to respond to could benefit from a more community-based preventative approach. It’s worth remembering that policing has always changed and adapted to fit the times. As a recent 99% Invisible Podcast pointed out, paramedics were once part of police forces in many cities, but as healthcare delivery evolved, paramedics became a separate civilian profession. I believe there are areas of policing that could be civilianized and dealt with in a more proactive community-based way than we do now. I don't see abolition as realistic as society, for the forseeable future, will require a police force for law and order. Not everything can be solved through a community based response. Change is needed and I'm fully in support of the process that HRM has begun with Councillor Mason's motion to look at policing in HRM.
Tony Mancini6YesIt was my motion at BoPC that instructed HRP and RCMP to post their progress on the action items from the Wortley ReportYesNeither agree nor disagreeYesYesNoReduce the RCMP territory . i.e. communities such as Cole Harbour should be policed by HRP
Douglas Day6YesYesYesAgreeYesYesYesYesYesYesYesAgreeStrongly agreeOk
Craig Roy7YesReviewing the Working Together to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls National Scan of RCMP Initiatives from May 2017. It would appear as though there have been a lot of initiatives started, however, in my opinion like everything else, people tend to forget unless it's at the forefront. If elected in October, I will continuously bring items like these to the forefront to get answers as to how things are progressing. Have people involved to make our council accountable for their actions into these matters. YesStrongly agreeI personally think that these funds would be better allocated to training, professional development of how to handle situations, such as Black Lives Matters, the countless deaths of innocent people. There could have been lives saved if the person sworn to protect you, did just that.Reviewing May 26, 2020's budget committee recommendations based on the direction provided by Budget Committee May 20, 2020, to provide additional HRP budget reduction scenarios by $4.5 million or $3.5 million from the previous $5.5 million budget reduction. I believe that pushing for greater police accountability will be difficult if the budget keeps decreasing, as this puts extra strain and stress on the already overworked police officers, this may be one of the reasons why policing is so difficult, and the lack of care shown throughout different incidents. I read recently about a program wherein police members should carry personal insurance and when they go outside of their scope and do things that they should not be they need to pay a higher premium, then 3 strikes and your out. I like this idea to hold police officers accountable for their actions while calling for police accountability and progressive policy reform.YesYesNoI would want to have a review of the Nova Scotia’s Police Act and see why it does not apply to the RCMP, since the policing services are provided jointly by a municipal police force and the RCMP. Then I would make recommendations to either include RCMP or to have the RCMP removed altogether from the policing services even though policing services are provided jointly by the two. RCMP have to be held accountable for the same actions under the NS Police Act. NoDisagreeDisagreeI don't think defunding the police is the answer. I believe that they need to held accountable for their actions like everyone else. They are not above the law, because they enforce it. There have been a lot of police officers in the news lately committing a series of crimes, for which they are still receiving a pay check, and on leave. When they go through the court process, some are let go. Non civilians would not have this opportunity, why should police? There needs to be an amendment to the Police Act, there needs to be more accountability to the officer and there needs to be consequences for their actions.
Jen Powley7YesI would try to get one of the three seats reserved for councillors on the Police Commission. I would also try to arrange a public presentation, with mandatory attendance for the Police Commission, on what is being done in Chicago with the Civilian Police Accountability Council ordinance. I want to open the HRM council to community-led discussion on what the role of police in our communities should be, and how to give the community the power to make those decisions. YesStrongly agreeI would like to see that money go towards affordable housing.If people wanted it, decisions about the police budget could come more directly from the communities most affected in the form of an Accountability Council. In the meantime, or if people don't want such a council, I will consult the status of the Wortley report recommendations when that information becomes available, and seek the advice of an advisory council made up of community leaders in order to make the best-prioritized decision I can about the items that would determine my potential approval of the following year's police budget. I would approach my fellow councilors to make the same commitment for conditions that would need to be met in order that the next year's budget not be automatically denied. This way, the police could be given tasks for the upcoming year. If those tasks are met, approval of the budget would still be conditional, but if they are not met, then I (and any other councilors that had signed on with me) would not approve the budget. YesYesNoI need to learn more about how the present arrangement came about, and why it exists today. I think we should gradually phase out the RCMP and have only one police force throughout HRM (I was the coordinator of Our HRM Alliance, and I know that referring to areas outside Halifax as "Halifax" doesn't always go over well).YesDisagreeStrongly agreeIf it comes from the affected communities and is well-researched, I support it.
Waye Mason7YesI would ask the BOPC to direct the Chiefs to do so, and bring it up in meetings with both forces as something they need to act on. It is the BOPC that sets the community values piece so really this is about trying to push that board to actively take more responsibility as the Police Act empowers them to.NoNeither agree nor disagreeCouncil cannot does not should not go through this budget line by line.Yes, though through the mechanism of empowering and supporting the BOPC. I think the Marshall inquiry was right, politicians should not be directing the police, you need an effective and empowered arms length board.YesYesNoThe RCMP as the provincial police force needs to have a written contract with HRM with performance standards and conformation that it must take direction such as is outlined in the Police Act. It is possible that a two force approach might work, but changes have to be made or the arrangement will have to be reconsidered. YesNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI don't support budget cuts for the sake of cuts, we need a delibrate review toward reform and as much civilianization as possible, per my motion.
Lindell Smith8YesIf re-elected I will continue to hold HRP accountable in addressing the recommendations of the Wortley report. It was a Motion from me at the Board of Police Commissioners that requested the apology from the Chief of Police and began the process of accountability related to the recommendations in the report (Motion below). Related to the MMIWG final report, I would have to take some time to familiarize myself again with the recommendations, but I believe that many of the recommendations were related to the Federal government and provincial bodies. I am not sure what role HRP would play in addressing the recommendations. Since joining the commission in 2018 there hasn't been any board discussions on this subject, so maybe this is something the Board should be looking into in the future. THAT the Board of Police Commissioners: 1. Recommend that the Chief of the Halifax Regional Police and the Chief Superintendent of the RCMP, Halifax District, suspend street checks pending the receipt and adoption of policy from the report requested September 18, 2017, to establish a street checks policy after receipt of the Halifax Street Checks Report; 2. Formally recognize that the practices of police checks has disproportionately affected the African Nova Scotian community and prepare a joint statement with the Chief of Police and Chief Superintendent to formally apologize to the African Nova Scotian community; and 3. Direct the Chair of the Board of Police Commissioners to prepare and send a letter to the Nova Scotia Minister of Justice outlining the Board’s position on street checks, as well at its recommendation to the Halifax Regional Police, and the RCMP, Halifax District. Accountability is key if we want to make sure that the recommendations in the Wortley report are addressed. It is important to understand that even though we are the advisory board to the RCMP, it is the Minister of Justice and Department of Justice who would hold the RCMP accountable, and both the Minister and DoJ would need to be fully on board and ready to make decisions that would create systemic change. One way of ensuring this is by the Board to continue to get updates from the Chief, RCMP, and DOJ related to the Wortley recommendations, also by making sure that when recommendations are deemed complete, that we receive comprehensive details on what steps were taken to complete it. YesNeither agree nor disagreeI am always supportive of more accountability within government and this includes our Policing services. I would need to get a better understanding of what further details should be considered. Our last operational budget proposal was fairly detailed but does have some room for improvement. This is why I asked for all budgetary items - including capital - to be presented to the Board of Police Commissioners (Motion Below) THAT the Board of Police Commissioners: request that the Chief of Police when submitting future budgets bring both operating and capital budgets for consideration and approval by the Board; including any items within Halifax Regional Municipality’s budget that impact Police operations, projects, and purchases. I can’t speak specifically to the items mentioned, but in general believe that we should be taking a deeper dive in how policing budgets are allocated. I support relocating more resources within HRP’s budget specifically for Victim services and any initiatives that would focus on how to better address our current model of community policing. Outside of the HRP budget I would like to see further resources put into programs like the Street navigator program or the Mobile outreach street health program, and more specifically how these programs could support HRP when dealing with calls related to mental health and wellness. This is a difficult question because Council only approves the Budget that is presented to the Board of Police Commissioners by the Chief. Council only has final approval on the overall amount that is being asked for by the Chief, and not individual line items. We have seen at the board level that when discussing the budget we run into the issue of what's operational and what we have oversight over. If re-elected I will continue to push for greater police accountability and progressive policy reform as a Police commissioner. YesYesNoI believe that our current Policing arrangement should be reviewed. This is why I supported the Motion for an HRM wide service review. Understanding that HRM and the Board of Police commissioners are bound to the 2001 Policing MOU between HRM, the Board of Police Commissioners, and the Provincial Police Service, this is an area that should be further reviewed. The recommendation from the most recent service review to rescind our current MOU and be replaced with two separate (MOUs Strategic and Operational) should have been accepted, and I believe this is something that should be on the table again.YesDisagreeAgreeI believe that as governments we need to reallocate funds and resources used to support policing into initiatives that support mental health, community safety, and social impact.
Dylan Kennedy8YesI am calling for implicit bias testing, body cameras, as well as stronger oversight which has legal authority to reprimand officersYesStrongly agreeThere are multiple ways this 258 000$ could be used. This would pay for body cameras, and potentially the facilitation of implicit bias testing. I would also be interested in using that money to futureproof our shoreline using recurve walls/slope revetments. Additional funding for Radstorm, the Mi'kmaq Friendship Centre, and the Africville Museum is crucial as well. Head to to see more of my platform! Defunding the police is integral to realizing this visionI believe transparency is the first step. This is why my proposal is so focused on data collection. Oversight and enforcement of that committees decisions is where the rubber meets the road. We cannot totally freeze the HRP budget because police are paid for/ answerable to the taxpayer. I am noticing a push towards privatized policing which scares me. My opponent claims to have tackled the carding issue in Halifax. This is still a massive problem for our city. I am not trying to make empty promises. We need to work with the federal government, and the Supreme Court to fix many of the issues plaguing our city, race, and policing. The first step however is data collection so we know, and can argue, the full situation.YesYesNoIt is crucial that all branches of government work together towards common goal. The RCMP exists to uphold our laws, and if they openly ignore the laws of this city they frankly have no place here. I would lobby the Justice Minister to adopt reforms in this area, failing that I would look at options regarding the removal of federal police within this city. Legitimacy is so important in government. If an arm of the government does not respect local legitimacy they need to be put in their place. That sounds bad, however council failing to show a stern approach is exactly why our HRP is funded 100 million a year and still carding marginalized folks. YesAgreeAgreeI call for a reduction in the police budget between 40-55%. 100 million per year is the average we spend on policing in this city. We frankly cannot afford it.
Gerry Lonergan9YesThe Halifax Board of police Commissioners have voted to require HRP and RCMP to publicly document their implementation of the Wortley recommendations. I would motion that a timetable be presented so that we can closely monitor their progress.YesAgreeI would like to see more police involvement with youth groups to assist in crime prevention through education and community participation.Every police officer should be equipped with a body camera.YesYesNoBody cameras would enforce accountabilityYesNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI agree with many of the provisions defined by the NSPPWG, such as decriminalization of unnecessary laws, and redirection of funds towards mental health. Full disarmament is not practical.
Stephen Foster9YesWe face real issues with the police culture here in HRM, and we need to work to reform that culture. I'd like to see changes to our recruitment process, as well as our training (increased focus on de-escalation techniques and handling mental health crises in particular). In terms of accountability I think we need stronger civilian oversight than what we currently have. I'm also open to reallocating certain duties that is doesn't make sense for the police to be performing. Whatever we do, we need to remember that police reform has to come first, and only after that has been achieved can you really start rebuilding trust with communities that have been mistreated in the past.YesAgreeI'd want to do further research before committing to anything. But my initial thoughts are that yes, this money could be better spent elsewhere. The Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team seems like it would be an excellent place for the money to go.This is something I'd need to do more research into before I'd feel comfortable answering. I intend to push for police reform no matter what, but whether I'd do that through my role on the Budget Committee or not is a question I'd have to look into. Certainly it's an idea that deserves very serious consideration.YesNoYesIt's clear to me that we face significant issues with policing in Halifax. However, it's less clear that the joint nature of our police force lies at the heart of these issues. Given the unique geographical extent of HRM, extending well into rural areas, it makes sense to me that the RCMP might be better equipped to police certain regions of the municipality. However, this is again an issue I'd need to do further research on before I arrived at a definite opinion. Certainly open to having my mind changed on this one.YesAgreeDisagreeI very much support the idea of moving various duties that the police are currently responsible for to other organizations that are better equipped to handle them. However, many of the items listed here seem to have little to do with defunding the police in any meaningful sense. I'd support many of them, under the right circumstances, but I think they should be argued for separately, on their own merits.
Bill Carr9YesI would put forward a motion in Council formally requesting the Board of Police Commissioners develop a report card on the the recommendations and publicly release progress reports. If necessary a separate committee of Councillors and citizens could be appointed specifically to monitor and report on progress being made and to make recommendations to the board when progress isn’t sufficient.YesStrongly agreeIn mental health supports and social services augmentation to the police services either as a formal adjunct With the police or replacement for such services.The Budget Committee is about the stewardship of taxpayer dollars. It pays for service. If that service is not being adequately provided the payments stop. The policing is a service. The duty is clear.YesYesNoThe RCMP and the municipal police force must be jointly administered. Either this or the relationship with the RCMP should be severed. The idea that the RCMP are not accountable to the City threatens the ability of the City council to secure equity and safety for all of its citizens. It is deeply concerning that the RCMP would not be accountable to all of the communities in our city.YesStrongly agreeStrongly agreeI believe that defunding the police is truly about proper funding of social services and the proper administration and allocation of funding for the co-ordination of services that currently fall solely to the police. This is therefore a matter of proper funding and a safer and more effective division of services.
Shaun Clark9YesWe need to look at the rules regarding police governance from a Halifax City Council standpoint, as currently it runs through the Board of Police Commissionaires, and the city may make suggestions but do not have an active role. We need to change this so the people have a full understanding of the current policies of our police force and create change for when they ware not being enforced to societies standards, a higher standard. When they have been told to stop, they haven't, such as the stop and frisk policies that were supposed to have ended, but I continue to hear people from marginalized communities say they have still been stopped. Despite saying they will stop, it continues, even at a reduced rate.YesStrongly agreeAs a child who has parents with mental health issues, obviously mental health is forefront in my mind. The creator of the polygraph has said the system is flawed. Why do they need to pay people do do polygraphs to that amount if they are not given actual responses to use in court, and are lying about the results anyways? I would also like to see more traffic patrols until we get the cities traffic problems better under control, such as more speeding tickets.I would tie everything to the police act, because I have faith that we need better oversight of the police. The police act itself needs to be looked at in the current light as the Board of Police Commissionaires should not be the ones to solely dictate the direction on policing matters. Council should have a stronger say as the voice of the people and what happens in our city, on our citizens behalf.YesNoNoI think our current police force could be extended to cover the Halifax area, and I would love to see that the RCMP be under better control by the province as a provincial police force, but this is not a municipal matter and would not be up to me. They could still have their headquarters in the area, but should not be policing the area as they are not a municipal police force as evidence by your own examples. YesAgreeAgreeI believe that we do need to see many changes, especially in the policing act, for how police services are handled in HRM. I grew up in "the wrong side of the tracks" in a low income family, and have seen many things that say we need to have reform to police services.
Shawn Cleary9YesWork with the provincial government to change the Police Act to address the accountability gaps between the Board of Police Commissioners and the Chief of Police. To work with the Board of Police Commissioners to ensure implementation of Wortley's recommendations, especially collection of data related to traffic stops for which there is currently no data.YesAgreeFirst, it needs to be stated that Council does have line-by-line control of the HRP operational budget. That is within the purview of the Board of Police Commissioners. Council can either approve or not the overall budget. Having said this, more scrutiny of the operational budget at Council would provide for greater transparency. The Councillors on the Board of Police Commissioners can also have influence on these items before the Police budget is presented to Council. I would like to see a re-allocation of funds to non-police professionals in the areas of addictions and mental health, traffic enforcement, community development, crossing guards, etc. I am the Councillor that brought forward the motion to remove the armoured vehicle and put that money into anti-Black racism initiatives, which was only possible because the ARV was in the HRM fleet Capital budget, which Council has direct control over. Under current provincial legislation, Council does not have direct control of Operational budget items. Having said that, we have to the authority to approve or not the overall Police budget. If there are items within the police budget that are serving all of our communities, we can vote down the police budget and send it back to the Board of Police Commissioners to prepare a new version for Council's approval.YesYesNoI would like to see HRP be responsible for all HRM. This would provide more direct oversight and control of policing within Halifax. Previous reports also initiate that it would provide efficiencies and savings, that could be invested in non-police activities.YesStrongly agreeAgreeI supported the reduction of $3.5 million in the 2020-2021 budget. I brought the motion forward to defund the armoured vehicle and put that money into anti-Black racism. I will support re-allocation to non-police professionals who have expertise.
Sherry Hassanali10YesI would require an accountability framework to track present and future commitments. I would want to see dates and commitments fulfilled. I believe in citizenship engagement, therefore I would want to see the community as part of the process.YesStrongly agreeTrauma-informed trainingI would push for more public engagement about police accountability and progressive policy reform. What do these pieces look like? The police need to work in conjunction with the community. Why do we need the police? What is the role of the police? Why do we rely on the police for some services and not others? How could we involve community partners more in policing? Lots of questions to be asked...YesYesNoI believe there needs to be a better process of engagement between the police and the community. I believe police need to be better educated on trauma-informed equity-seeking communities. There needs to be better allocation of funds. There needs to be better community partnerships. And finally, we need to ask the question is the current model of policing meeting needs of the community in which it serves? If not, why? YesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeI believe that there needs to be a process of community engagement around this question. Questions must be asked for example why do we rely on police in certain ways and not others. I believe we need to engage with police board regarding their mandate, as well as other policing institutions. There needs to be transparency regarding policies. We need to have public community conversations as to how monies are being used within the police force. I think we need a highly skilled and educated police force who works with and for the community.
Curran Andrew10YesI would advocate for reports to be made to the HRM Police Commission on regular basis, and made public.YesAgreeI would like to see the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team better supported. Invest in bodycams, retrain the police with betetr sensitivity and diversity training, and more focus on de-escalationThe approval of future budgets for HRP should be contingent on the HRP demonstrating progress on implementing the Wortley Report recommendations.YesYesNoI will advocate for the RCMP to respect and abide by the Nova Scotia Police Act. HRP and RCMP need to be on the same page, including the the cessation of street checks.NoAgreeAgreeWork to improve policing strategies - bodycams, retrain with better sensitivity and diversity training, more focus on de-escalation, more funding for the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team
Mohammad Ehsan10YesAs a current member of the Halifax Regional Police Diversity Working Group, I will raise the issue in our next meeting. As elected official, I will continue to raise awareness of this important report and our obligation to implement the recommendations. YesStrongly agreeAs an active member of local community organization(s), I know there are many areas including the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit and Victim Services where funds can be reallocated. If elected District 10 councillor, I will ensure that the Budget Committee ensures, through different avenues and options, and maintains police accountability and progressive policy reforms. As a society, we value transparency and accountability in our institutions and doing so for our law enforcement agency is only going to raise public trustworthiness of the institution. YesYesNoOnce elected, I will work with my colleagues to explore how the policing arrangement can be reinvented to serve the needs of the people more efficiently. I am a firm believer of multilevel collaborative governance and this is one area where we need to work collaboratively with other levels of government. YesStrongly agreeStrongly agreeI would certainly like to see our regional police performing better keeping in mind the areas mentioned by NS PPWG. I am in favor of reallocating budgets in areas such as Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team and Victim Services. I am in favor of prioritizing mental health services provided by the right people with right training.
Kathryn Morse10YesI would ask council to request annual progress reports from HRP and the RCMP, along with supporting funding in their budgetsYesAgreeVictim services, MOSH (Mobile Outreach Street Health), anti-bias and cultural competency training for policeI agree that HRM police should be required to show progress on the Wortley report as part of the budget approval process. I would also support an independent evaluation of whether progress had actually been made.YesYesNoHRM is an unusually-large municipality with a local urban police force and RCMP coverage in suburban and rural areas. The 2 police forces have different cultures, management, budgets, training methods, equipment and infrastructure. To be more effective, the two police forces should be encouraged to align the way they deliver services to the highest standards. I support HRM council requiring HRP to meet high standards for accountability and protection of human rights. HRM council is in a postion to influence but doesn't control the RCMP. YesNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI support appropriate levels of funding for important public services like policing. I agree with the general principle that the culture of policing needs to change to better reflect diversity in the community and support human rights, while safeguarding police officers and the public. I am generally in favour of reallocating funds in the police budget to improve services, for example to enhance anti-bias and cultural competency training for police, to expand community-based policing and to strengthen victims' services and mental health services.
Kyle Morton10YesI want to establish more independent and fair oversight with teeth to ensure that the HRP are held accountable without more politicization than necessary. Since the RCMP are not a municipal police force, I would like to work with the Federal government where possible to accomplish the same thing.YesAgreeThe polygraph tests in particular serve little good. More investment in police training or oversight would be one area where additional investment would be welcome.As stated earlier, I would like to establish greater independent oversight for the HRP to achieve better results. I am not interested in using threats of general defunding except as an absolute last resort as such blanket measures make needless hostility and threatens the ability of the police to address crime. Noting violent crime tends to affect the most vulnerable in society, I think defunding puts the very people it's supposed to help at risk for the sake of political goals. I will act only with careful, targeted measures in the budget and will try to build better institutions using accountability. I'm not willing to risk hurting people in the name of helping people.YesYesNoI would be open to having the HRP take complete control of policing in Halifax. Since this would require spending more on police, I would only support this after the recession when we're on stronger financial footing.YesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeAs stated earlier, I am only in favour of highly targeted measures. I support moving responsibilities and funding for tasks outside of the core functions of the police. I'm not in favour of using it as a cudgel for all our policing problems though.
Pete Rose11YesI commit to personally learning more about the reports and looking for ways that I can personally integrate the recommendations. Recognizing the MMIWG has over 230 steps to be taken by the governments of Canada and Canadians, we all have a role to play. There are legal pieces that need to change and structural pieces of how we treat and respond to each other in society that need to change. It is going to take all of us to shift systematic and societal values that create barriers for people to continue to experience violence. I am committed to learning more about the accountability frameworks for the HRP and RCMP. YesAgreeEnsuring police are community orientated and proactive is key. I will need to further understand the accountabilities between the police commission and the linkages with HRP as a councilor. Ensuring comprehensive training that is aligned with mental health, community demographics and responsive to the social determinants of health is important. We need to ensure the continued development and implementation of programs to help at risk youth. Bringing together municipal partners and community responses will help bridge the gaps. Reviewing policies and looking for changes targeting groups that are more susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking, such as women in low-income groups, Indigenous and immigrant women, and at-risk youth needs to be examined. I would need to understand fully the role and scope of the HRM budget committee. It is important that reform is not a one step process and has fundamental changes in the approach, accountability and outcomes. I need to understand the key performance indicators and the budgets attached to determine where shifts need to be made. Reform can’t happen with simply picking and choosing individual strategies. It needs to be a thoughtful, action orientated approach to bring about change. YesYesNoDeeper understanding and knowledge would be required. I would want to ensure that the policing arrangement for HRM best supports the citizens from a rural, suburban, urban and inner city perspective. YesNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI am continuing to grow and develop my understanding of defunding the police and police reform. I am committed to continuing to learn from all sides to be able to more meaningfully contribute. I support community groups, organizations and upstream changes to better support all of our citizens, especially those most impacted by discrimination and racism.
Bruce Holland11YesRegular reporting on progress.YesNeither agree nor disagreeBy scrutinizing the budget and reforms closely.YesYesNoI have long held the belief that HRM would be better served by one police force, HRP.YesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeI believe a review of the police budget is order to make sure it is being used effectively and efficiently. I also believe we need to take a deeper look at how we fund our social programs and increase those budgets to ensure we have the programs and personnel in place to deal with the issues that present themselves in todays society.
Hannah Munday11YesThe Halifax Board of Police Commissioners has been requiring regular updates on implementing the recommendations of the Wortley report. From the minutes of recent meetings, this work seems to be progressing. The same approach needs to be taken with regard to the MMIWG Final Report, with clearly articulated actions and regular follow-up for both. YesAgreeWe need to build services that provide support and safety to the wider community; affordable housing, youth programs, inclusion programming, anti-racism initiatives, addiction services, mental health crisis intervention... the list goes on. I support Lisa Blackburn's commitment to withholding approval of police budgets pending demonstrable forward progress on the actions defined by the Wortley report.YesYesNoI would prefer to see HRP handle all policing for the municipality. The accountability RCMP has to council is just not the same as that with HRP, and that's an issue as Halifax moves forward with reviewing the role of policing in our city. Additionally, the RCMP nationally are dealing with staffing and resource issues - something difficult if not impossible for Halifax council to address.YesAgreeAgreeI stand in support of the recent council motion to conduct a review of the role of policing in our city. I believe that the police force should be focused on core policing and funds be reallocated to building robust community supports, thus focusing on citizen health & safety and crime prevention first.
Lisa Mullin11YesThe MMIWG Final Report contains 231 "imperative changes" in its call for justice. Halifax Council, through its representative on the Police Commission, MUST ask HRP and RCMP H Div for a detailed and measurable strategy (including timelines) for addressing these imperative changes. This strategy must also then be included in monthly reporting and consideration given at the time of the annual budgeting cycle. This mechanism will monitor outcomes and shortfalls addressed.YesStrongly agreeFirstly, I believe that there should be a strong collaboration between the police, Council, advisors, and community in doing a full review of the policing services so that a better understanding of what we are asking the police to do is gained. I would allocate some of the funds to that process. Secondly, while I do not advocate that police become social workers, or that their focus should be on mental health completely, I truly believe that a better understanding of social work practices could lead to a better interfacing with the public. Therefore, I would allocate more funds to training in areas such as: Mental Health, Trauma Informed Practices, and Gender/police intersectionality. The police budget indicates that funding has been allocated to developing strategies. As Councillor, I would want to see those strategies as well as the outcome indicator measurements that form its framework. It is by following the outcome indicators and measurable results that we will be able to track changes or see where additional support may be needed.YesYesNoOnce a full review of our policing needs and the current delivery is complete, I would explore the division of services along the lines of regional vs federal issues. Rather than having integrated units, we could look at the value of moving complete segments of delivery to one body or the other. For example - RCMP could manage items that may have federal implications such as Fraud/Commercial Crime while HRP could take on more regional items like Traffic, Warrant Executions, Investigations, etc.NoStrongly agreeStrongly agreeI think that the term "defunding police" is unfortunate as it has been used most recently in the context of "disbanding police". I strongly support a review of current policing practices. Knowing what we do now about mental health and its intersection with police, how gender and race play a role in perceived criminality, and an overall evolved view of how we as a society interact, it is time to look at the practices that were developed long before now. Just because we have always done something in a certain way does not mean that we should always continue to do so. I embrace the concept that police are there to help, that their intentions are good, and that they should be viewed as "helpers" and not the antagonists. I will fully support any initiative that aids our policing services evolve and become more pro-active in establishing safer, healthier communities rather than a reactionary force utilized to punitively enforce antiquated methods.c
Jim Hoskins11YesBy calling for an independent review of the Halifax Board of Police Commissoners and upgrading the members on the Board with additional skill sets.YesAgreeThis question has to many variables at this time but I would certainly need a more comprehensive data base to make any decision on this matter.I must be satisfied that the Board of Police Commissioners is the best representative of oversight which at present I believe it needs a re building with no Councillors on the Board and more citizens at large as one measure.No
YesNoI would certainly entertain the HRM Police be the sole Police Service responsible for the areas of Halifax Dartmouth Bedford and the RCMP look after the former County jurisdictions.NoNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI believe in rebuilding the Police and a lot more information than what I see so far
Iona Stoddard12YesRCMP is under federal jurisdiction but with HRP the steps we can take would include holding meetings at city council with the Halifax Police board of commissioners. At these meetings we can bring motions and reports to their attention, such as the Wortley report and the MMIWG final report and can push to have these recommendations implemented.YesStrongly agreeMy campaign strongly believes in the allocation of funds towards mental health units within the force and improved training for constables so they are better equipped to help citizens suffering in the field.I would like to see a significant re-work of how the Halifax Regional Police use their budget. As a woman of colour, I have experienced many forms of racism. There must be education for the police to understand systemic racism and intergenerational effects of slavery and racism on Black Nova Scotians. They must receive education regarding racism against First Nations Peoples and the effects of colonialism and residential schools on their communities. This may mean partnering with the Black and First Nations Communities. This is beyond the scope of municipal council, but I would also like to see education for the entire justice system. YesYesNoIf the RCMP refuses to play ball with the City, alternative avenues for policing in their jurisdictions may need to be investigated. It is important for our communities that members of these forces cooperate and be held accountable for their actionsYesAgreeStrongly agreeI would like to see a significant re-work of how the Halifax Regional Police use their budget and support wholeheartedly the ideas presented above
John Bignell12YesI would fallow the advice and recommendations of the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners.YesAgreeAs a paramedic, I would support investing in our mental health systems.I am determined to be a strong voice in Halifax, believing it’s time for a change and new directions in this great city of Halifax. I understand the need for strong leadership in Halifax and I vow to work every day to ensure the area I represent has a say in our city’s future. No
YesNoI would like to see a provincial police service and let the RCMP take on federal policing issues in Nova Scotia.YesNeither agree nor disagreeNeither agree nor disagreeI don't like the term "defunding the police" it doesn't clearly address the issues facing protecting and serving the public.
Eric Jury12YesI would work with police agencies to discuss issues that can be address in these communities to build trust that these communities will be policed in a fair and just manner that allows these communities to feel police look after them the same as everyone else.NoNeither agree nor disagree
Derek Bellemore13YesImproving community-police connections is one of my top priorities. I want to ensure that the government commits more resources to community policing efforts so there is more of a connection with the people who are policed.YesAgreeI would prefer to see investments in, as noted above, mental health supports and addressing the social determinants of crime such as inequality and the need for community improvement.I would ensure budgeting would go towards community initiatives in which the police are more engaged with citizens.YesYesNoMaking the distinction between the roles more clear and that the RCMP are held to the same standards as HRP is essential. This would help in ensuring accountability for greater accountability and more balanced relationship between both agencies.YesAgreeStrongly agreeI feel the concept is a shift to proper crime prevention other than the police being the end-all-be-all for crime prevention.
Pamela Lovelace13YesTransparency in evaluation & reporting is required. It should be a standing agenda item at all Police Commission meetings with reporting on milestones. I would like to see greater accountability written into HRM’s contract with RCMP. The RCMP in NS must be held responsible to report to the public annually. The RCMP & HRP YACs should also be engaged.YesAgreeI would like to see budget diverted to mental health services to work alongside policing.I want greater line item details and want to see fiscal projections with planned Wortley outcomes.YesYesNoThe lease agreement with RCMP does adequately reflect or administer acceptable service standards. From drunk drivers to hit and runs, RCMP have been seen as neglectful in upholding their duties to citizens. RCMP do not have the means to effectively patrol former rural Halifax county communities. I have suggested speeding & minor traffic Violations be removed from their jurisdiction so the RCMP can focus on more Dangerous criminal activity such as trafficking. YesDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeWe need to adjust how polIcing is delivered, monitored and evaluated. Having two service providers with two sets of service standards is inefficient. Halifax needs to consider training and employing a Citizens Corp in the rural areas and redirect budget from police to social and community health.
Iain Taylor13YesEstablish reports from the HRP and RCMP outlining the steps they have taken to implement the recommendations of the Wortley Report and the MMIWG. Failure to do so could result in reallocating of partial funds to establish an independent body to oversee the HRP and RCMPYesStrongly agreeIdeally they could be reallocated towards the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team, and Victim Services which have been underfunded. Alternatively the investments could be invested outside the HRP for programs to promote more affordable and accessible housing, food insecurity, and poverty which are often the root causes of crimeI would support motions similar to Deputy Mayor Blackburn, in committing that future budgets would be contingent on HRP reports demonstrating how they have implemented the recommendations in the Wortley ReportYesYesNoThe current budget allows some financial flexibility through the additional funds from the federal government. However with two different bodies trying to administer the same set of laws with different interpretations, it will often result in confusion and often issues of discrimination and misconduct against communities they are supposed to protect. I would work with Councillors already familiar with the subject and experts to help form a comprehensive plan to move forward.YesNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeI firmly support the partial defunding of the police, it seems inappropriate that the HRP continue to account for such a large share of the municipal budget, given the lack of current oversight
Tim Elms13YesI am open to the continued discussion of the implementation of the 12 calls for justice in the report Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We need to establish an intermediary task force that acknowledges/discusses the challenges facing all our communities, including Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA in both in a transparent and accountable manner. We need on-going training for the HRP and the RCMP to help reduce biases and improve cultural competency, as well as promote internal diversity. We also need to review the current situation where the HRP and the RCMP are performing homeless services, working with children in schools, responding to calls for mental health crises, performing social work and welfare checks, mediating domestic disputes and responding to drug overdoses. There also should be another number to call, rather than 911, so that mental health care workers can intervene in cases involving Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA in crisis.YesNeither agree nor disagreeI support the council, who has already unanimously approved a $3.5 budget reduction for police. That said, Halifax is the only major Canadian city where police services are split between a municipal police force and the RCMP (it’s a provincial contract). Some of the existing funds could go to creating a new front-line emergency service where health experts, social workers and those trained to deal with mental-health crises would be called. Police are currently performing homeless services, working with children in schools, responding to calls for mental health crises, performing social work and welfare checks, mediating domestic disputes and responding to drug overdoses. There should be another number to call, rather than 911, so mental health care workers can intervene in cases involving people in crisis. Not knowing the full scope or reasoning of the aforementioned allocated budget items, I can’t answer yes or no to the questions as more research is needed. That said, we also need to invest in Police GPS tracking and body cameras, as well as establish an intermediary task force that acknowledges/discusses the challenges facing all our communities, both in transparent and accountable manner. We need on-going training for police to help reduce bias and improve cultural competency, as well as promote internal diversity. I'd like to see new front-line emergency service where health experts, social workers and those trained to deal with mental-health crises would be called. There should be another number to call, rather than 911, so mental health care workers can intervene in cases involving people in crisis. We need on-going training for police to help reduce bias and improve cultural competency, as well as promote internal diversity. we also need to invest in Police GPS tracking and body cameras, as well as establish an intermediary task force that acknowledges/discusses the challenges facing all our communities, both in transparent and accountable manner. YesYesNoThere should be another number to call, rather than 911, so mental health care workers can intervene in cases involving people in crisis. we could create a new front-line emergency service where health experts, social workers and those trained to deal with mental-health crises would be called. Police are currently performing homeless services, working with children in schools, responding to calls for mental health crises, performing social work and welfare checks, mediating domestic disputes and responding to drug overdoses. in addition to investing in Police GPS tracking and body cameras, we need to establish an intermediary task force that acknowledges/discusses the challenges facing all our communities, both in transparent and accountable manner. We need on-going training for police to help reduce bias and improve cultural competency.YesAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeThis needs to be an ongoing topic of discussion so that it remains 'top of mind' for all decision makers in our province. More discussion is needed to understand the scope of the question before I can answer definitively. As mentioned before, some of the existing funds could go to creating a new front-line emergency service where health experts, social workers and those trained to deal with mental-health crises would be called. Police are currently performing homeless services, working with children in schools, responding to calls for mental health crises, performing social work and welfare checks, mediating domestic disputes and responding to drug overdoses. There should be another number to call, rather than 911, so mental health care workers can intervene in cases involving people in crisis.
Lisa Blackburn14YesI am already starting that work as a member of the Board of Police Commissioners. I've moved a motion asking for HRP policies be made available and public to all citizens via their website. The work of the new Women's Advisory Committee will also be a voice for Indigenous Women as we establish our mandate.YesNeither agree nor disagreeAlthough not admissible in court, police administered polygraph tests are used internally when hiring new officers and for other purposes. I'd like to see a further break down of how polygraph is being used.I stand by my statement that for me any further increases to police budgets will be tied directly to progress on the Wortley Report action items.YesYesYesYesStrongly agreeAgreeI agree with the concept of defunding, reallocating funds and removing non-police services from HRP and RCMP. An armed officer should not be doing wellness checks or be the only one to attend mental health calls.
Anthony Mrkonjic15YesI would push for more civilian oversight within the RCMP and HRP. I would look into ways of holding policing organizations liable for failing to implement the recommendations as layed out in the Wortly Report and the MMIWG. I would also work to ensure that the HRP and RCMP are provided with the resources necessary to implement these recommendations.YesNeither agree nor disagreeI would push to make police funding contingent on implementing recommended police reform and good policing practices. I would push to have some police funding specifically set aside for implementing reforms.YesYesYesNoAgreeDisagreeI do not believe in arbitrarily defunding the police as this sentiment is not based on actual facts or statistics regarding crime, policing, and public safety. I believe in increasing funding for crime prevention such as mental health and addiction services, affordable housing, youth programs, education, and skills training. I believe that we should move non core policing roles, such as responding to mental health crisis, over to civilian departments and organizations.
Jay Roy15YesI would advocate for funding to be redirected from the HRP to the communities impactedYesStrongly agreeDirectly in reconciliation and healing initiativesBy talking consistently with working groups and community leaders about what accountability looks like, and voting in accordance with that knowledge.YesYesNoCertain services, such as mental health and wellness for example, would be better provided by other community groupsYesAgreeStrongly agreeI support it
Mary Lou LeRoy15YesAny steps I would take would be in cooperation with other members of Council. It is Council's responsibility to ensure the accountability of HRP.YesStrongly agreeI would need to familiarize myself with the budget before making any suggestions.I would call for an itemized budget review, with emphasis placed on results of all programs.YesYesNoAll programs need to be reviewed on a regular basis. Reviews, recommendations, and implementation of recommendations must be overseen by an independent body.YesAgreeAgreeDefunding is not the issue. Determining where present programs provided by police could be done by other groups more effectively and efficiently is the issue.

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Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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