Alberta’s new Justice Minister, Kaycee Madu, who was formerly the Minister of Municipal Affairs when Calgary’s police funding was decreased by $13 million in 2019, says his government did enough already and municipal governments should now focus on citizen safety, not costs.
“When our government defunded the police, it was because we wanted to ensure municipalities with lefty mayors know who is running the show. It wasn’t political – it was powerful,” Madu said.
“The left made it political by protesting and justifying reallocation of funds with research and data. If we have to choose between citizen safety and safer conditions for citizens who need social supports, we will.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city had more room to increase property tax before the Alberta government announced a potential $24 billion dollar deficit in August.
“Calgarians are Albertans too,” Nenshi said.
“So, if Alberta is facing a $24 billion dollar deficit, Calgary is as well, and we might need to make adjustments to our own budget with the knowledge that the province will need to keep more of Calgary’s money to cover their own mistakes.”
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson concurred, but replaced all Calgary references with Edmonton-appropriate ones.
“Our government will do everything in its power to avoid asking Albertans to pay for services,” Madu said.
“And if our decisions force municipalities to raise taxes, well that’s on them and voters with Liberal mayors should remember that at election time.”
Elected officials in rural Alberta continued to sputter furiously about the increased policing costs downloaded on them by the province last year, before the UCP government unilaterally contracted almost 400 additional R.C.M.P. positions.
Madu politely reminded them Doug Schweitzer was Justice Minister when that happened and he could not change the past, only spin it to suit his needs today.
This post is satirical.
Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a political commentator physically distancing in Southern Alberta. Connect: @Mitchell_AB for more, @thisweekinAB for posts