Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek was left speechless after The Counter Signal’s Keean Bexte asked her a question on Tuesday.
Gondek was accompanied by Premier Danielle Smith as well as Calgary’s and Edmonton’s Chief police officers. The group was speaking about Calgary’s surging crime rates that include random stabbings.
“Just a few months ago you were fighting tooth and nail against increasing the police budget and you were actively supporting ‘defund the police’ rhetoric,” Bexte said. “I’m just wondering when you realized the police forces were not optional?”
“Did it take random stabbings, wives getting stabbed, police officers getting killed to realize that it was important to fund police departments and how can Calgarians trust you when you flip flop on basic issues such as public safety?”
Gondek looked speechless, took a beat, then walked away from the podium without saying a word.
Bexte’s question followed Calgary’s most recent random stabbing that took place twenty-four hours earlier.
On Monday, a man was taken into custody in Calgary after stabbing multiple people, putting at least one victim in critical condition.
Last week, Mayor Gondek issued a plea for more resources after a different stabbing, despite voting to defund the police budget in 2020 by $20 million.
“I have made it clear to administration that I expect immediate action and additional resources to be deployed,” she said.
“We cannot wait for the next tragedy to occur before something more is done.”
On Tuesday, Premier Smith announced she would do “whatever it takes” to make Alberta safer.
Smith said over the past two years in Alberta, twenty-six homicides were committed by people on arrest or after arrest. Smith laid blame on the federal government’s “revolving door bail policy of catch and release.”
Smith added that the first thing she’ll do is put 100 more police officers on the ground in Calgary and Edmonton.
This is in addition to Smith deploying twelve sheriffs in downtown Calgary in a pilot project meant to reduce crime and help Calgarians feel safe walking the streets.