Calgary’s Mayor Gondek issued a plea for more resources after the city’s most recent stabbing, despite voting to defund the police budget in 2020 by $20 million.
Gondek issued her statement on Wednesday just hours after the most recent stabbing that took place at a Calgary LRT station on Tuesday night.
Gondek acknowledged the increase in transit violence has been substantial over the past year.
“I have made it clear to Administration that I expect immediate action and additional resources to be deployed,” she said on Wednesday.
“We cannot wait for the next tragedy to occur before something more is done.”
In November 2020, Gondek voted to defund the police and “reallocate” $20 million towards community-based programming. At the time, she was a Calgary city councillor.
On Wednesday, Gondek blamed COVID for the increase in random stabbings.
“With ridership numbers being down due to people being at home, the system became a target for illegal activity” she said.
Gondek said to expect an announcement about an action plan in the coming days.
Random stabbings have been increasing across not just Calgary but Canada.
Last week a man at a Starbucks in Vancouver was stabbed to death after asking a stranger not to vape near his daughter.
In November, ThinkHQ reported that Gondek has just a 35% approval rating compared to a 55% disapproval rating.
“These ratings of City Council are not good,” ThinkHQ’s president Marc Henry said.
“In fact, we’ve never seen public sentiment towards mayor and councillors at these levels in Calgary before.”
Last year, Gondek’s city council succeeded in making Calgary police stop wearing the thin blue line patch, becoming the first police service in Canada to do so.
The next mayoral election in Calgary is scheduled to take place on October 16, 2023.