Monday, July 20, 2020

On evident waste

There doesn't seem to be much dispute that the Saskatchewan Party is thumbing its nose at the movement to defund the police by making a point of announcing funding increases without any consideration as to how services could better be delivered through other organizations.

But one doesn't have to be part of the defunding movement to see how that allocation of money reflects an obvious misallocation of provincial resources.

After all, some of the obvious effects of the COVID-19 crisis have been to reduce the need for a police footprint in many areas.

Traffic tickets in particular fell by more than half in the wake of the coronavirus (and traffic generally dropped precipitously), as people have made the responsible choice to stay home rather than following normal traffic patterns.

And crime in general is down significantly, even as the dangers to health and life from drug overdoses (which police departments aren't equipped to address) have soared.

Even leaving aside any discussion of whether our police structures should be revisited on a systematic basis, then, all evidence is to the effect that our current operations have less need for financial resources than usual.

That makes funding bumps a matter of politically-motivated government waste, as well reflecting the Saskatchewan Party's obsession with the security state. And the voters who stand to see their social supports cut if Moe gets the opportunity after an election - or who want to see the province ensure that additional COVID-19 costs are funded in sectors including education and health care - have every reason to vote out a government devoted to spending on unneeded policing instead.

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