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$11M project will involve community-based nurses, harm-reduction workers and others trained in de-escalation. It’s been just over a year since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, with the world erupting into protest and intense calls for police reform. It’s a push that’s happening here, too. In recent years, the Greater Toronto Area has seen its own share of highly publicized deaths following police encounters with people of colour, including Ejaz Choudry, D’Andre Campbell and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, all of whom were in the midst of a mental health crisis. That’s propelled the City of Toronto to look at its own policing, ultimately leading to the establishment of an $11-million pilot project that will soon become Canada’s largest non-police alternative response program since Floyd’s murder.

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