"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday 24 May 2020


A magnificent mansion ...under construction ...atop a hill ....in Aurora burned this week. Three fire departments attended, three pumpers filled with thousands of gallons of treated water, three crews of firefighters (21), various other fire department vehicles, including on from the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office, and 12 police cruisers. I’m not sure if that still means two men cruisers. The photo Anna Lozyk Romeo posted showed pumpers hooked up to hydrants, meaning pumpers needed re-filling to fight the fire or to return to the fire station full.

Anna's photo was not what reminded me of a proposal I made as a member of the joint fire committee. I suggested municipal fire departments should be sold, lock, stock and barrel to the insurance industry. The rest of the committee and fire officers looked at me as if I had horns on my head and quickly changed the subject. It may have been the reason I lost  in the next election.

No...the reminder came from the newspaper story Anna copied in her blog. The story was lengthy. At the end came a quote from the Fire Chief. “It’s a tear down” he said.

That stunned me. If the object had been to spend the greatest amount, they could not have done better. If the object was to save the building, they could not have done worse. If no department had responded to the call, the fire would have burned out and not needed to be torn down.

The response should have been...burn baby burn...exorbitant as it is, the cost of fighting that fires must be staggering. Three multi-million dollar pumpers. Twenty-one firefighters, hundreds of thousands of gallons of treated water at exorbitant regional rates. Fire halls equipped with sleeping, recreation and cooking facilities to save a residential unit five times bigger than an ordinary family might need.

Since I made that proposal, there’s even more reason to give it serious consideration. Is any building worth the cost of dousing the flames?

The Region has contracted out care for the elderly to the private sector where  costs by employees to less than twenty hours, so that, they have to work at two jobs to make a poor living. The Premier who changed welfare to workfare for single mothers to compel them to take minimum wage jobs is now Chairman of the Board of Chartwell , the for-profit company, who have had to be subsidized by the Ontario government to the amount of $4.00 an hour.

Municipalities contract out parks maintenance. Those employees work side-by-side with unionized workers and receive none of the benefits. While elected officials , who are not employees, work away quietly, reducing their numbers, so that they can h all the benefits of unionized employees.

NDP Premier sold the 407 into the private sector after a previous government spent  horrendously to construct it.

And Ontario toys endlessly with the idea of selling Liquor Control shops into the private sector so as not to have to deal with a most powerful organization......Ontario Public Services Union...and they mantain silence, in the face of it, to protect existing members.


Anonymous said...

Interesting proposal. I don't recall reading about it anywhere. It certainly would have been the reason you didn't get elected if that got out to certain people in the town. Fire and police departments are pretty powerful at election time. Great idea, certainly something to think about considering the finiancial state of all municipalities. Although that would mean we had some strong leaders for politicians in these council chambers, and I don't see that in this Town or the Region. The Region just turned down yet again the possibility of Fire amalgamation. Each individual town may consider to pair up and share services like Aurora and Newmarket has, but that's about it.

Anonymous said...


Check your facts.