Councillor calls for amalgamation of emergency services

Nick Seebruch
Councillor calls for amalgamation of emergency services

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall Councillor Mark MacDonald has called for the amalgamation of the City’s emergency services.

In an email to his fellow councillors and the media MacDonald said that he would vote in favour of the 2018 budget as long as his proposed motion was passed.

“Empirical data shows a disproportionate rate of growth in the budget for our emergency services.  The overall emergency services budgets will be reduced by 5% per year, for the next 4 Years (20% total),” MacDonald’s draft motion reads. “This will be accomplished by merging our police, fire, by-law and paramedic services into one division in accordance with provincial standards which will include a focus on education and enforcement.”

When asked what empirical data he was referencing, MacDonald said that he was basing his assertions on data taken from the Fire Master Plan, page 13 specifically.

The City of Cornwall has a shared service agreement with the United Counties of SD&G for ambulance services, but MacDonald said that this would not be affected by his proposal.

“Any existing agreements will be honoured and any new agreements will be dealt with accordingly,” he said in an email to Seaway.

When questioned as to how he settled on the number of 5 percent for his proposed annual cuts, he said that it was to bring Cornwall’s spending on emergency services back to where it had been in years past.

“The entire emergency services budgets are completely out of control,” he said, “There was a time when they only took 30% of the overall budget, and with this directive that’s exactly where they will end up.”

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