Connect with us


Report says unions causing racism within Edmonton police; calls for ending $260 million in funding

The report said EPS budgets should be frozen at current levels until policing service costs are brought into line with the rest of Canada.




Unions within the Edmonton Police Service are one of the causes of some in the force to become racist, says a sweeping new report going to council on Tuesday.

And the report recommends holding back $260 million in future police funding, instead diverting it to mental health and social services organizations.

The report by the Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force said EPS budgets should be frozen at current levels until policing service costs are brought into line with the rest of Canada.

“(We need to) identify how collective agreements are contributing to systemic bias and work to address these challenges,” reads the 68-page report.

“The terms of employment of police, peace and bylaw officers are influenced by collective agreements that the City of Edmonton negotiates with organizations representing these officers. However, some of these provisions may not be entirely consistent with modern practices when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

“A particular concern relates to seniority provisions. These can serve as a barrier to embedding diversity, inclusion and anti-racism in a lasting way.”

The report said new, ethnic recruits will be the first to be laid off in any budget cuts because union contracts protect seniority.

“Effectively, the collective agreement handcuffs our city’s flexibility while perpetuating systemic bias. If any kind of hiccup were to hit city budgets, the encouraging progress made by EPS would be lost – not because the most recent hires are the weakest performers, but because antiquated collective agreement provisions would shove them out the door. In 2021, we can do better,” the report said.

The report said $260 million would have been provided to EPS over the next five years.

“This money should be refunded and invested in the community to make certain health and social services available on a 24/7 basis,” said the report.

“The majority of police, peace and bylaw officers in our city are dedicated people who deeply care about the safety of Edmontonians. It is important not to judge them all based on a few “bad apples. But based on how things work right now, it is too easy for a bad apple to enter and grow in these systems.”

The report said 32 per cent of all police calls are for people in need – something mental health or social workers should be able to handle.

“Our city is forcing police to step into the shoes of social workers and mental health professionals. This is unfair, ineffective and expensive,” they said.

“Training is insufficient. Inclusivity, anti-racism and other interpersonal training for police, peace and bylaw officers is ad hoc or too optional in nature. Dramatic and robust change is urgently required.

“Virtually all of these problems have been inherited. Like weeds, they have grown into our systems
over many decades due to systemic racism and systemic discrimination. We have the power to root them out,” the report said,

The task force recommends:

● An independent, integrated call evaluation and dispatch centre, that sends the most appropriate service providers to the right calls.
● Comprehensive, systematic training programs for police, peace and bylaw officers that will drive fundamental culture changes that embrace and live inclusivity and anti-racism.
● Substantive changes for the Edmonton Police Commission that will result in stronger guidance to EPS and civilian oversight that more fully reflects the community.
● A new civilian oversight body for peace and bylaw officers that provides strong guidance and reflects the community.
● The professionalization of policing, with the creation of a new regulatory college covering police and peace officers.
● Changes to city bylaws and policies to stop the criminalization of poverty.
● The development of emergency shelter standards that set expectations for low-barrier shelter spaces that allow pets, partners and property.
● A freeze on funding for EPS, with increases that would have gone to EPS – estimated at $260 million over the next five years – refunded back into the community to support 24/7 expansion of key social services and other community safety ecosystem needs.
● Reporting to the community every six months on the progress made in implementing our Task Force’s recommendations, to maintain forward momentum in achieving lasting community safety that is inclusive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist.

The task force noted policing is an expensive proposition in Edmonton.

“In 2019, our city’s per capita expenditures on police were $372 – higher than those of Ottawa ($306), Winnipeg ($357) and Hamilton ($216). This trend is forecast to continue in 2021, when Edmonton’s per capita spending on police will be $376 – still higher than the per capita costs of Ottawa ($332), Winnipeg ($363), and Hamilton ($229). The exception to this is Calgary, where per capita spending on policing was $401 in 2019 and will be $411 in 2011,” it said.

“Freeze the current level of funding to EPS until alignment with comparable cities is achieved. The level of funding provided to EPS for the 2021 budget year should remain unchanged until the average per capita spending on policing by peer cities (i.e., Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Hamilton) catches up to Edmonton’s.

“It won’t be easy. It will require courage to make changes and the right leadership to see them through. But over time, our recommendations will result in an Edmonton that is safer for all.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com


War room launches American offensive

The approximately $240,000 initiative is “a reminder to Americans that their friends and allies in Canada hold solutions to cleaner energy and lower gas prices – and the key to a strong post-pandemic economic recovery.”




Alberta’s energy war room kicked of a quarter-million-dollar campaign to sell Americans on Canada’s oil.

As first reported in the Western Standard, the campaign kicked off with billboards in Times Square in New York City and Washinton, DC.

The campaign by the Canadian Energy Centre asks Americans to choose Canadian oil imports first for solutions to cleaner energy production and a break from rising prices at the pumps.

The US uses approximately nine million barrels of oil per day beyond what is produced domestically. 

The approximately $240,000 initiative is “a reminder to Americans that their friends and allies in Canada hold solutions to cleaner energy and lower gas prices — and the key to a strong post-pandemic economic recovery.”

The outdoor and online campaign will direct people to information about Canada’s responsible energy development at www.friendlyenergy.com

The campaign will also feature a grassroots component that calls on Canadians and Americans to respectfully advocate to the president and U.S. lawmakers about the benefits of Canadian energy.

“We want to give our American friends the information they need to urge their leaders to look to safe, responsible and increasingly less intensive crude from Canada that U.S. refiners need and that will help keep gas prices down,” said Canadian Energy Centre CEO Tom Olsen.

“We are speaking out for the many Canadians and Americans dismayed that the U.S. government asked OPEC+ countries for more oil to curb rising gas prices, rather than working with Canada.”

Olsen pointed out the U.S. government closed the door on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have been the first pipeline operated at net-zero emissions and eventually powered by renewable energy resources.

“While Keystone XL’s fate has been decided for now, there remains urgency in letting Americans know any further threatened sanctions in the U.S. on pipelines by state governments and activist-led court challenges will be detrimental to American families, struggling to get back on their feet from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

Of the top 10 countries from which the U.S. imported oil in June 2021, three were designated Not Free (Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq) and three were designated as Partly Free (Mexico, Nigeria and Colombia).

Specifics for the billboard advertising include:

  • Two digital billboards in Times Square for a four-week period and online display campaign promoting Canada as the responsible and reliable energy provider for the U.S.
  • A static digital billboard, located in Astor on New York’s Grand Central Parkway, for a two-week period targeting traffic heading to LaGuardia Airport, the Mets Citi Field Stadium and a “chokepoint” for traffic to Queens.
  • Three full-motion digital billboards for a two-week period on the exterior of the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas.
Continue Reading


Farkas pledges to freeze taxes for four years

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.




Calgary mayoral candidate Jeromy Farkas released the first plank of his platform Monday, pledging to freeze taxes for four years.

“Over the past 10 years, Calgarians have struggled with lack of opportunity. We’ve witnessed the economy crumble, the tax burden increase, and the city hall establishment become increasingly out of touch. It’s time for that to change,” said Farkas in a release.

“If elected as mayor, I will champion a four-year property tax freeze for homes and businesses. Now more than ever, Calgarians need a strong and growing economy. This four-year tax freeze will throw a lifeline to struggling families, seniors, and small business owners, and give them the certainty that they need to get back on their feet.”

Farkas said economist Jack Mintz reviewed the promise and found it to be an achievable goal, with the millions the city has stashed aside in various reserve funds.

“Implementing a four-year residential and non-residential tax freeze is undoubtedly achievable,” said Mintz,

“The best part is this plan can be implemented without reductions to city services given the excess reserves available and reasonable growth forecasts.”

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

“It’s time to put this false choice to rest with common-sense financial management,” said the Farkas campaign, adding the tax bill for the typical home has doubled over the last decade while basic city services have remained stagnant or even declined.

“This election is about change versus more of the same. As councillor, I’ve consistently opposed needless budget increases. I have a record of following through on my promises. Change starts now, with a four-year tax freeze,” Farkas said.

Calgarians go to the polls October 18.

Continue Reading


Poll shows Canadians trust the Internet and know what’s fake news

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the internet.




Despite Liberal attempts to censor the Internet, the vast majority of Canadians think online information is reliable and people can tell when its not, says the feds own internal polling.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the Internet.

“A majority, 80%, believe the online content they consume is factual and truthful,” said a pollsters’ report.

“Two-thirds of Canadians, 66%, feel confident in their ability to tell if online content is fair and balanced.”

The Heritage department paid Ipsos Public Affairs $164,621 to conduct online focus groups and questionnaires with 5,207 people.

“Almost all Canadians are frequently consuming some form of information online,” wrote researchers.

“Canadians largely believe having access to different sources of information with different points of view is important for people to participate in a democracy.

“Most participants were confident in their abilities to consider various sources and ensure they are being presented with ‘the full picture.’”

Guilbeault last July 2 issued a report to instruct the media on how to report the news.

“We can no longer ignore the challenges and opportunities that come with an increasingly digital world,” said Guilbeault.

“We have to act now to ensure a healthy ecosystem online for all citizens.”

Reporters, editors and commentators must “foster greater exposure to diverse cultural content, information and news” and “contribute to a healthier public discourse, greater social inclusion within society, bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation and increase our citizens’ ability to participate in democratic processes,” said the report.

The guide defined misinformation as “false or misleading content shared without harmful intent though the effects can still be harmful, e.g. when people share false information with friends and family in good faith.”

The document doesn’t say who within the Heritage department would monitor news deemed to be harmful.

“Ethical journalistic standards should be upheld and encouraged,” said the guide, adding: “Information about media ownership and funding sources should be made accessible to the public and transparent to safeguard a diverse and pluralistic media ecosystem.”

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

387 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**

The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

Share this with your friends:


Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.