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  #1  
Old 04-21-2012, 06:58 PM
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Default York Region Fire Regionalization/Amalgamation

There been alot of rumors flying around the breakfast table in the fire hall about York region trying to regionalize ( east gwilliambury, georgina, king township, central york, witchurch/stouville, markham, richmond hill and vaughan). anyone else hearing anything? cops and medics have already been regionalized in york.
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2012, 07:53 PM
WolfmanHarris WolfmanHarris is offline
 
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If is has been (and certainly I've heard idle chatter about the idea in the past) the issue has not been brought to Regional Council; I read the minutes regularly. Last year the council was presented with a report on the idea (if you search the minutes it comes up) but this was a deputization from a private citizen and counts for very little in Council business.

I feel like total regionalization would be problematic. Even with the downturn in the economy the tax coffers for the municipalities have remained pretty good and parts of York continue to prosper. Would a rich independent city like Vaughan or Markham want to hand over control of their FD to a larger body and have their money go to start funding Georgina or East Gwillembury? I find it hard to see these cities finding a net benefit to them of a merger. I can see East Gwillembury and Georgina benefiting from a merger given the simliar densities like Newmarket and Aurora did though.

Then again, I've been off on paternal/medical leave for over three months so maybe I missed something.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2012, 02:45 PM
Habsfan Habsfan is offline
 
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From what I've been hearing around the coffee table is that most of the associations are on board and have been having regular meetings together and with Bill Fisch. Seems the CAO and most of the regional councillors are on board. This may be Fisch's swan song if his position becomes an elected one which it probably will. The associations are hammering out details and working on one collective contract. Looks like it may actually happen this time around. But hey I've been wrong before.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsfan View Post
From what I've been hearing around the coffee table is that most of the associations are on board and have been having regular meetings together and with Bill Fisch. Seems the CAO and most of the regional councillors are on board. This may be Fisch's swan song if his position becomes an elected one which it probably will. The associations are hammering out details and working on one collective contract. Looks like it may actually happen this time around. But hey I've been wrong before.
Ya , I would say so with a name like Habs Fan. LOL LOL
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2012, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsfan View Post
From what I've been hearing around the coffee table is that most of the associations are on board and have been having regular meetings together and with Bill Fisch. Seems the CAO and most of the regional councillors are on board. This may be Fisch's swan song if his position becomes an elected one which it probably will. The associations are hammering out details and working on one collective contract. Looks like it may actually happen this time around. But hey I've been wrong before.
which coffee table are you sitting around?
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfmanHarris View Post
If is has been (and certainly I've heard idle chatter about the idea in the past) the issue has not been brought to Regional Council; I read the minutes regularly. Last year the council was presented with a report on the idea (if you search the minutes it comes up) but this was a deputization from a private citizen and counts for very little in Council business.

I feel like total regionalization would be problematic. Even with the downturn in the economy the tax coffers for the municipalities have remained pretty good and parts of York continue to prosper. Would a rich independent city like Vaughan or Markham want to hand over control of their FD to a larger body and have their money go to start funding Georgina or East Gwillembury? I find it hard to see these cities finding a net benefit to them of a merger. I can see East Gwillembury and Georgina benefiting from a merger given the simliar densities like Newmarket and Aurora did though.

Then again, I've been off on paternal/medical leave for over three months so maybe I missed something.
http://www.newspapers-online.com/aur...l-fire-merger/
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2013, 04:37 AM
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FLASHOVER05 FLASHOVER05 is offline
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It's not too hard to Fathom. I believe there are many good examples of department's around the province that have proven that an amalgamated service is the best solution for several neighbouring communities.

Take these examples below
Ottawa Fire Services
Toronto
Quite West
Greater Sudbury Fire Services
West Nipissing Fire Services

All three have grown to accomodate the surrounding community based departments and strengthened their fire services.

It may be a tough pill to swallow for some but in the long run it's feasable.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2013, 08:59 AM
braidjansen braidjansen is offline
 
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Default York Region Fire

My sense is that momentum is starting to build towards regionalization: both on the union side as well as at the regional level of government. The trick will be to convince the individual councils that it is a good idea. I it will take years to make the decision and then several years more to implement...unless of course the province decrees that it is going to happen...then all bets are off.

At this point I could see it being difficult convincing a town with a low call volume and an all volunteer department that it needs to spend its tax dollars on full time firefighters in the larger centers. I would also be very interested to know how they would handle "efficiencies" (ie surplus staff). Would excess firefighers, comm operators, mechanics and fire prevention staff be kept on anticipating retirements/growth, or would they simply be laid off.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2013, 10:16 AM
AxeInHand AxeInHand is offline
 
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It should be very interesting. It seems this entire campaign is union driven this time around, although it isn't 100% clear why. Maybe someone can clear it up? I can think of several possible reasons, but don't have anything solid. I'm thinking it could be:

-- An attempt build membership by increasing the number of unionized managers required by the larger beaurocracy and to increase the number of full-time firefighters by limiting/reducing/eliminating part-time staff in Vaughan and the northen municipalities through wording in the collective agreement

and/or

-- An attempt to gain position for a future takeover attempt of EMS by putting a regionalized fire service at the same funding source as EMS.


In either case, especially the former, the taxpayers in the larger municipalities better be careful they aren't just being used to foot quite a bill for service improvements in the north.

After reading that article, I think I know who has their eye on the Regional Chief's job! Wasn't sure if that interview was for the newspaper or for York Region HR!

Too much politics... Whatever happened to tones going off and doors going up???
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:37 PM
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This isnt the first time there has been a push for regionalization. I think the first attempt goes back to around the 70s? someone correct me if you know for sure. i heard a big road block before was that some depts retirement age was 60, and others were 65. so pensions were a big issue. police ems and public transportation are all regional, so maybe its time for fire to follow. the obvious bonus from a union perspective is a bigger membership and bargining power. but in my mind it makes sense for the community as a whole to have a regional department. and lets face it, we are all covering each other anyway when theres a fire somewhere. i have spent a few nights in down in the hill when they are busy and vice versa. and i havnt heard any talk about taking over ems... i dont think there is many fire guys who would want that.
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