Opposition Amendments to Bill 148 Will Ease Burden on Municipalities

November 10, 2017

CORNWALL – The Official Opposition tabled amendments to Bill 148 that would ensure small and rural municipalities can continue providing volunteer firefighter services once the government’s sweeping labour reforms are implemented. As written, Bill 148 would require volunteer firefighters to be on call 24/7. Municipalities and municipal advocacy organizations such as the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus have warned of the negative impact this provision would have.

 

“In Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, Bill 148 would drive lower-tier municipal taxes up 36% on average, just to pay for volunteer firefighters, let alone other emergency and essential services,” MPP Jim McDonell stated. “For some townships, the impact could be even larger, up to 86% in one instance. Clearly, the government did not consider the impact their planned labour reforms would have on rural Ontario. It is time they listened.”

 

Under the proposed amendments, the status quo relating to volunteer firefighters would be preserved, ensuring municipalities can continue providing the service the residents need.

 

“The government may have good intentions with Bill 148, but this doesn’t mean they should implement it blindly when so many stakeholders and experts have warned of its very real negative consequences on municipalities and job creators,” MPP Jim McDonell concluded.