Vancouver Police Department seeks – and receives – budget increase after highlighting costs of policing climate protests
Photo: Vancouver police at a Wet’suwet’en solidarity action, December 2.
On December 6, CBC News reported: “Vancouver police say climate activists are costing the department millions of dollars in resources.”
“The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) said it spent more than $3 million on protests last year alone — in comparison to $2.5 million in 2019 and $1.5 million in 2018. And the department says climate protests, in particular, are expensive.”
“[VPD Sgt. Steve] Addison said the VPD has monitored more that 750 protests this year — an increase from 589 in 2019 and 563 in 2020.”
The article adds: “The police board is asking the city for a $325 million budget for next year, $4 million more than what city staff had recommended and one of the reasons, Addison said, is the need for more of a police presence at the increasing number of protests.”
Now, Global News reports: “Vancouver City Council has given the green light to its 2022 budget… The final documents will be shared early next year.”
Notably, the VPD’s 2021 operating budget was $316.38 million.
Now, it’s 2022 operating budget will be $341.48 million, which represents a $25.1 million increase over its 2021 budget.
(By way of comparison, the operating budget for the Ottawa Police Service in 2022 will be $346.5 million, an increase of $11.5 million over its 2020 budget.)
We express concern about the criminalization and policing of the Indigenous land defenders and climate justice activists and the prioritization of funding police interventions rather than upholding the United Nations-recognized human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and other human rights.