Two mayoral candidates waged a sparring match Thursday over the police budget — with the police chief wedging himself precariously in between.
Naheed Nenshi accused Ric McIver of flip-flopping his stance on the police budget, saying McIver admitted he was prepared to cut the police budget, despite voting on July 5 to pre-approve the budget.
Nenshi had prepared questions that he said should have been asked of city police forces.
“Back in July (McIver) didn’t ask ... questions. He didn’t ask the chief to go through the budget, because council does not ask the right questions,” said Nenshi.
Nenshi said Statistics Canada information was used to create the prepared questions on officer cost, and an increase in the budget versus number of officers on the streets.
Police Chief Rick Hanson issued a statement saying Nenshi’s police budget information was inaccurate.
The chief later stated in the release that he didn't want to get drawn into "political debate amongst candidates."
McIver said that Nenshi got it wrong this time, showing a copy of the minutes of when he voted to review the police budget — without officer cuts — on July 19.
“Mr. Nenshi embarrassed himself severely today. He’s wrong about everything. Unfortunately, he’s been wrong about everything for a long time,” said McIver.