Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim said his party’s plan to hire 100 new police officers and 100 new mental health nurses will be partially funded by the province.
Coun. Lisa Dominato tabled a motion last week, would allocate “an initial block of funding” of $4.5 million for the Vancouver Police Department and $1.5 million for Vancouver Coastal Health starting on Jan. 1, 2023. That led to questions about the disparity between the two amounts.
On Sunday, Ken Sim said that could be explained with a contribution from the province, which will go to helping hire the mental health nurses.
“The initial block (of funding) would have been $4.5 million for the police and $4.5 million for the nurses, but the government has stepped up with $3 million, and so it’s getting better than the platform that we ran on,” Sim said.
He said that he was aware of the funding committment before Premier David Eby held a press conference announcing a province-wide public safety plan Sunday, but that the information couldn’t be made public before Eby spoke.
“They’re helping us out and they’re funding part of it so it’s a pleasant surprise,” he said.
The province’s announcement makes no mention of money allocated to the City of Vancouver. It announces the establishment of “a new $3-million fund for integrated mobile community crisis response by police and health-care workers” in communities throughout B.C., adding that there will be an application process for eligible programs.
The pkan to hire 100 police offciers and 100 mental health nurses was a key plank in Sim’s platform, a promise he pledged to keep on “day one.”
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