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Edmonton police budget taking $5M hit due to Alberta budget

Calgary and Edmonton police budgets strained by Alberta-wide cost cutting
WATCH ABOVE: Calgary and Edmonton police budgets strained by Alberta-wide cost cutting

The Edmonton Police Service is the latest in a long list of Alberta organizations that are facing large funding cuts in the fallout of the first UCP budget, tabled last week.

The police service said Friday its operating budget was reduced by $5 million to $9 million due to the province taking a larger portion of the money generated from traffic tickets, as well as having to foot the bill for DNA biological casework.

READ MORE: Calgary, Edmonton LRT projects could be cancelled with 90 days’ notice, changed by minister

“EPS is working with the city on managing the overall impacts of the provincial budget,” the EPS said Friday.

Alberta cities concerned after policing budget shortfall, Calgary mayor spars with UCP minister on Twitter on issue
Alberta cities concerned after policing budget shortfall, Calgary mayor spars with UCP minister on Twitter on issue

The police service didn’t give any details on how it would make up for the funding shortfall.

Immediately following the tabling of the budget, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson cancelled a planned trip to Holland so he could work with councillors and city staff to fully understand the impacts the budget’s “broken promises” would have on the city.

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Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson voices concerns with Alberta budget 2019
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson voices concerns with Alberta budget 2019

The Calgary Police Service also said this week it was taking a hit of about $10 million as a result of the government’s decision to take more ticket revenue from the city, as well as having to pay for casework and training officers on cannabis enforcement.

READ MORE: Calgary mayor, Alberta justice minister spar on Twitter over police budget impacts

At the time, Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said the government “made justice a priority and we will continue to fund policing and we’ve done so.”

“In the budget, the government made some difficult decisions but we found a way to increase police funding,” he said in an emailed statement.

“Edmonton received its full allotment of police grants, just like Calgary did, and the mayor and council should fund law enforcement instead of their own pet projects. It’s time municipalities stopped playing politics with police funding.”