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Safer Communities through Defunding and Abolishing the Ottawa Police Services

by mar.khorkhordina, 30 June, 2020

The Ottawa police take up the most social spending out of all services, and yet cause the most harm to our communities. For decades, Black, brown, and Indigenous, people of colour have advocated for ways in which the police continue to actively harm, target, and over-police their communities. Countless stories of violence and trauma that could not fill the characters allowed in this story feature. The call here that I echo today is that of generations, that of my fellow community members, and that for the immediate investment in safer communities by defunding and abolishing the Ottawa Police Services.

In Ottawa, the stories of individuals who's lives were taken too soon, murdered by police are testimony alone. The names of Benoit Aube, Stacey Bonds, Terri Delay, Abdirahman Abdi, Greg Ritchie, Earl Edwards, Vince Garner, Wayne Johnson, Terry Norris, Troy Emmerson, and many others in Ottawa and in Canada deserve justice, deserve defunding, and deserve justice through change.

The calls are to defund, disarm, dismantle, and eventually abolish the Ottawa Police Services. I believe we can do this with an immediate 50% decrease to the OPS in the 2021 OPS operating budget. Better yet, we can follow in the footsteps of Minneapolis, and lead the way for Canada by disbanding the OPS altogether.

Stronger communities thrive through their investment, not their policing. Where would these funds go? Social services, education, harm reduction, public housing, healthcare workers. The list goes on.

The reality is that Ottawa is ready for this shift in the ways in which we support our communities. Anything less than the immediate defunding of the OPS would be a disservice to this community.

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