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Olivia Chow is part of council conversations aimed at giving police their requested budget hike, sources say – The Star

February 13, 2024

Mayor Olivia Chow is part of private city council discussions aimed at approving the full budget increase sought by Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw and the rank-and-file officers’ union, the Star has learned.

Chow’s openness to the increase, after earlier rejecting it, comes amid talks between city councillors and the mayor’s office ahead of Wednesday’s city council debate, sources said. Councillors are expected to propose amendments to Chow’s “strong mayor” budget unveiled Feb. 1 and could reveal them as early as Tuesday.

The mayor’s spending plan includes $1.174 billion for police — $12.6 million short of the $20-million boost for police earlier endorsed by the police services board. Chow was following the lead of city staff who, amid a historic budget crisis, recommended a smaller police hike, sparking an intense lobbying campaign by police officials who warned Torontonians that less money to hire additional officers would put their safety at risk.

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