The Province of British Columbia’s decision to restore $5.7 million to the Vancouver Police Department’s 2021 budget will ensure the VPD can better serve the residents and business owners of Vancouver, and improve public safety for everyone.

Approximately one year ago, the Vancouver Police Board submitted an appeal under Section 27 (3) of the British Columbia Police Act, after Vancouver city council voted in December 2020 to reduce the VPD’s net budget by $5.7 million. The shortfall had a direct impact on the number of police officers the VPD was able to hire to meet the city’s complex policing needs. I thank the Vancouver Police Board for making the decision to launch this appeal.

Since that time, Vancouver has been gripped by an abundance of public safety challenges, including the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict, a surge in violent street crime, nearly 1,000 protests, concerning levels of hate crime, and a growing number of people who tell us they just don’t feel as safe as they used to.

I am committed to ensuring everyone feels safe again, and I have every confidence that a fully funded Vancouver Police Department can continue to combat the public safety challenges we face.

I am tremendously proud of the sacrifices our sworn officers and civilian professionals make to serve the citizens of Vancouver. Every day, our officers do an incredible job in very challenging situations to protect others and to keep the city safe. I am very proud of the work the men and women of the Vancouver Police Department do.

I also want to thank the city’s many residents, business owners, and visitors for their patience and encouragement throughout this process. Our success is driven by their continued trust and support.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Province of British Columbia, specifically the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and the Director of Police Services, for their careful consideration in this matter.