Can Cornwall Cut Fire Budget? Councilor Mark MacDonald Thinks So – 23/12/14

mark & andre sept 2014CORNWALL Ontario – City Councilor Mark MacDonald has written to the CAO about getting  grip on rampant increases in Fire fighting that have led to higher taxes in Cornwall.

Mr. MacDonald refers to a story in the Globe and Mail about policing costs.

This just might be something that council might want to consider.   They may even wish to review the contract that former Mayor Kilger and his campaign manager (Chair of the Police Board) gave to police chief Dan Parkinson.

This past summer, Toronto’s civilian oversight board stunned residents when it decided not to renew Chief Bill Blair’s contract. Board insiders say that the chief’s reluctance to embrace major change was a significant factor. Now, the board is on the hunt for a reform-friendly replacement, someone willing to push unpopular restructuring, like what’s been happening in Britain.


Over the past four years, British forces already found nearly $4.5-billion (Canadian) in savings.

Mr. MacDonald’s letter to CAO Norm Levac:

Hi Norm:  

Further to our phone conversation regarding the new fire chief, I believe it is possible to cut the overall budget without cutting services and the new council should be taking this direction.  We don’t need to tell the new chief how to get it done, just get it done.

I realize that I am only one member of council however, I believe that our new chief needs to be instructed to reduce the fire budget by 20% (5% per for 4 years).  Also, this must be done by making sure we comply with the regulations of the Ontario Fire Marshal.  Safety to life and property must be #1.

If the new council is to make any significant progress with respect to tackling the ever increasing cost of emergency services (police, fire, paramedic), then it starts with the new fire chief.  We have to rely on the new chief to use all the tools at his disposal to make this happen.  We need to look at sharing services with the counties, especially in the areas where it would be most beneficial to both parties, such as fire prevention, training and staffing.

We have to tell people what they need to hear, we cannot keep the other programs going.  I have attached a link to a story from the Globe and Mail regarding police services in England slashing their budgets by 20%.  When I hear about us recruiting volunteers to flood our rinks, a job that was once done by city workers, it reminds me of this story in the Globe.

Thanks Norm, talk soon.

Mark A. MacDonald

What do you think Cornwall?   Can we hire the right people to get a grip on costs?  Is it an actual political mandate or did previous councils trade voter support from unionized service people for fatter contracts?

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  1. Even though I didn’t vote for Mark MacDonald I’m starting to warm up to him. If what he suggested can be achieved all the better.

    As for the police chief’s new contract it can be reviewed. But I’m willing to bet that there are clauses in it that would cost the city big bucks if the chief is released from his contract with or without cause. We all know how cozy the police chief and former mayor were. While they’re reviewing the police chief’s contract may I suggest that they also review the deputy chief’s contract as well?

  2. When BOB renewed the chief of the Barney Fife PD I knew that something was mighty rotten in Denmark but the only way to cut costs is to get rid of this contract even if it costs the town more to get rid of him and put in a new chief who has nothing to do with the mayor and get rid of the clique once and for all or else Cornwall will be completely finished. A new chief for the fire dept. good make everything new and sharpen those pencils for deep cuts. People are losing their jobs everywhere and these turkeys are earning six figure salaries and those who lose their jobs go on unemployment insurance or welfare. Nice isn’t it. I warned everyone for some year now about that cursed albatross of a Benson Centre and people closed a blind eye to what I said. I knew that all this would happen and much more to come yet. You haven’t seen anything yet.

  3. The peoblem with chiefs, etc. is that there are a not a lot of candidates. Reviewing the contracts(s) is an option. But it might be a costly option due tompossible payouts and new chief`s salary.

    And what is this nonsense of a cursed albatross of the Benson Centre? Jules, have you been there? It is far from a cursed albatross. It is used a lot and sits on remidiated land from Domtar.

  4. MacDonald says that Life and Property are #1 ? Then maybe they should follow National Standards such as NFPA 1710 which states that any career fire department with an Aerial device requires a minimum of 15 Firefighters on scene, and a minimum of 14 IF the aerial device is not in use. As a volunteer Fireman, I know first hand that you can not put a price on having that one extra firefighter on scene.

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