“Fair Wage” Bill Would Complicate Public Safety, Emergency Response

Oct 31, 2017 @ 15:11

Association of Municipalities of Ontario President Lynn Dollin was at Queen’s Park today advocating for changes that would ensure effective and affordable public safety/emergency response.


“We depend on on-call and stand-by workers to step in during major storms, disasters, and other emergencies,” said Lynn Dollin, AMO President. “Collective agreements are negotiated to reflect these unique roles, and ensure fair compensation and treatment for these important workers.”

Dollin is seeking amendments to fix the unintended consequences of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. For example, the bill would require matching pay for full-time and stand-by workers, and additional payments for on-call work, even volunteer firefighters. Volunteer firefighters are on a “call list” rather than being on-call. They choose to respond to a call and are only paid for the hours that they work.


“The Province agrees that municipal governments weren’t the intended target of this bill. In fact, municipal governments are employers of choice within their communities,” Dollin said.


Municipal governments have been tallying the costs of the Bill 148’s requirements. For some small and large urban municipalities, the costs are upwards of $1 to $2 million per year.


“Across Ontario municipal costs are already rising at about $1 billion per year, often driven by provincial laws and this is a textbook example,” Dollin added. “If they don’t amend the bill, municipalities will be forced to either greatly increase property taxes, reduce local services – or both.”


AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

This Media Release