Mayor says VPD report on social spending isn’t useful, minister calls it ‘misleading’

A report commissioned by the Vancouver Police Service states that $5 billion a year is spent on the city’s “social safety net,” but the mayor and public safety minister criticized the report for being of little use, while the public safety minister called it a “social safety net”. “Sensational and misleading.”

A $142,000 report from Alberta-based HelpSeeker Technologies said the payout includes $1 million a day on the Downtown Eastside.

After including items like the Vancouver police and fire budget, federal support (such as pensions for all of the city’s residents), and budgets for some nonprofits and charities that serve the province, it adds up to $5 billion.

The report’s findings were released at a VPD press conference on Wednesday, a day after it was leaked to the media.

Sim called the media to discuss the report and said the city would not rely on its evidence or data.

“I don’t think it’s very useful. We’re having a hard time finding the numbers. … After we finished the report, it asked more questions than answers,” said Sim, who spoke on a crime-fighting platform last month. was elected, which included a promise to add 100 police officers.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in a statement that the government has been working directly with front-line service providers to rebuild support for people living in the Downtown Eastside, but more work needs to be done.

“Services are enhanced and coordinated through informed discussions with local community partners, rather than by spreading sensational and misleading numbers,” he said.

Police Chief Adam Palmer denied that the report’s figures were misleading or exaggerated, and suggested the spending was actually higher than $5 billion.

Palmer said police did not plan to release the report until more consultation was conducted, but they were speaking publicly after the report was leaked to the media.

He called for the creation of a centralized entity headed by a premier or deputy minister to oversee and coordinate services in the inner city east. He said there was a lack of coordination between services and a “piecemeal” approach, which was not going to work.

“We want to work with all the different partner agencies, but maybe from the government, maybe at the provincial level, that needs to be in charge of this place and say, ‘This is how we’re going to coordinate all these different silos and make a difference for the people on our streets. The best results for the people, and the best results for the community,” Palmer said.

The report recommends caution with community-specific data, including the Downtown Eastside, because projects located in one area may help people living elsewhere.

It said the amount spent on the Downtown Eastside is “unknown” without analysing other neighborhoods in Vancouver.

But Palmer said there is growing evidence that money is not being used in a way that best serves those who need it most.

“It’s bleaker than ever for more and more people in places like the Downtown Eastside, but it’s also really affecting other communities in Vancouver,” he said.

Vancouver County’s Pete Frye criticized the report’s methodology and said he was concerned it could be used to justify future service cuts, calling it “stigmatizing” the Downtown Eastside.

“Frankly, I think it’s reckless and irresponsible to frame it this way because we know the investments are across the board – everything from early childhood education to old age pensions to basic fire services ,” he said in an interview.

“And we also know that it is upstream investments in things like early childhood interventions to reduce poverty that can actually minimize the need for police intervention.”

Fry agreed that more cooperation was needed to get better results and value from taxpayers’ money, but he said the VPD report was not the way to do that.

“It’s a one-sided, weaponized way of talking that I think makes a mess of the conversation and unfortunately it erodes the public’s trust in the police. Of course it erodes my trust in the police. ,”He says.

— Document from Nono Shen in Vancouver

Ashley Joannou, Canadian Media

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