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Saskatchewan Coalition against Racism Statement On Regina Police Takeover Of STC Station

Regina Groups Say Police Takeover of STC Station Reveals “backward priorities”

by Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism Media Statement


Regina Groups Say Police Takeover of STC Station Reveals “backward priorities”

The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR) and the group Colonialism No More are questioning the takeover of the downtown STC bus station that is part of a massive expansion of police headquarters expected to be passed by city council this evening.

The groups say the RPS takes up the largest share of the city budget and is handed budget increases year after year while other social needs and priorities go unmet.

“In the recent past the City has categorically refused to dip into its reserves to fund social housing but it is quick to deplete its reserves for the RPS, who are one of the least accountable police services in the country and do not address the root causes of violence or crime,” says Florence Stratton.

“We know from community experience and also the investigative reporting of people like Nancy MacDonald at Maclean’s and UofR School of Journalism professor Patricia Elliott that the RPS is one of the most opaque police forces in Canada. And yet every year the City hands them a blank cheque while thousands of people go hungry, lack proper housing, lack mental health and addiction supports, and other vital social programs such as a wet shelter go unfunded,” says Chris Kortright.

SCAR and Colonialism No More also stress that the provincial opposition is calling for STC to be restored amid a widespread outcry over the elimination of the public bus service. “Safe, affordable rural transportation can be a life-or-death issue for Indigenous women,” says Stratton. “Replacing a public bus station with an expanded police headquarters shows how backwards our priorities are.”

The groups say that putting resources into housing, community programming, and social supports has been shown to have a greater impact on reducing crime than increased police budgets.

“Every year the police budget goes up, but violent crime has still increased in Regina in recent years. That’s because the police don’t address root causes like economic inequality – they actually preserve the status quo,” says Kortright.

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