October 12, 2017 8:01 am
Updated: October 12, 2017 8:12 am

London city councillor’s motion to request costs of PEGIDA rallies for police denied

Christian D'Avino / AM980

A motion to find out the cost of policing two controversial rallies didn’t get any love at the Community and Protective Services Committee Wednesday.

The idea was put forward by Coun. Michael Van Holst, who isn’t on the committee.

Van Holst wanted to ask London police to disclose how much it cost to have their members on site for protests in August and September.

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Police provided security for the rallies where members of PEGIDA, also known as Patriots of Canada against the Islamization of the West, and counter-protesters faced off.

“We can say, ‘here’s the cost for this kind of behaviour,’ and then maybe people will think twice about how they approach people with a different opinion,” Van Holst said.

On the other hand, Coun. Maureen Cassidy said she wasn’t sure what purpose the information would serve.

“This is what the police do. This is why we have police, for these kinds of events where we require a security presence to keep everybody safe,” she said.

Some councillors were unsure if requesting the data was a good idea.

“This is a police matter, and if the police want to say [how much the rallies cost], I can understand they would just publicly say it, but if they want to come here [and talk about] the budget and say ‘it cost us so much more money so would you kindly reimburse us,’ that’s a different matter,” said Coun. Harold Usher.

READ MORE: London police investigating after two were arrested at PEGIDA rally

The motion failed in a 5-0 vote.

PEGIDA has another rally planned on Oct. 28.

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