County Council has supported a resolution calling on the Government of Ontario to place amendments into upcoming legislation that would protect unwilling municipalities from being forced by arbitrators to have a fire medic pilot or program.
Fire-Medic Pilots and Programs – Protection for Municipal Governments
“Whereas Bill 160, the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act amended the
Ambulance Act to permit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to enable two pilot projects
hosted by willing municipal governments to allow fire fighters, certified as paramedics, to treat
patients while on duty with a fire department; and
Whereas the Government of Ontario is committed to proceeding with the pilots and enabling the firemedic
model despite the absence of objective evidence to show that it would improve patient
outcomes or response times; and
Whereas the current interest arbitration model, particularly in the fire services sector, allows
arbitrators to impose awards on unwilling employers that directly impact the employer’s ability to
determine how it will deploy its workforce, as evidenced by the experience of many municipalities in
regards to the 24-hour shift; and
Whereas in the absence of legislative protection, unwilling municipalities may be forced to enter into
a pilot or adopt a fire-medic model as a result of interest arbitration; and
Whereas the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and its municipal members have called on the
Government of Ontario to introduce legislative amendments to the Fire Protection and Prevention
Act, 1997 and the Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act to preclude arbitrators from
expanding the scope of work for fire fighters and paramedics respectively through interest arbitration
Whereas there is precedent for a restriction on the scope of jurisdiction of arbitrators in section 126
of the Police Services Act which precludes arbitrators from amending the core duties of police
Whereas the Government of Ontario has committed that no unwilling municipal government will have
a fire-medic pilot or program imposed upon them.
Now Therefore Be It Resolved That:
1. The Corporation of the County of Northumberland calls on the Government of Ontario to act
immediately so that legislative amendments, that will protect unwilling municipalities from being
forced by arbitrators to have a fire medic pilot or program, are placed within the upcoming Budget
Bill before the Ontario Legislature rises for the provincial election.
2. A copy of this resolution be forwarded to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Office of the Premier; Hon. Dr. Eric
Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long Term Care; Hon. Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community
Safety and Correctional Services; Hon. Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, Hon. Bill Mauro, Minister of
Municipal Affairs; MPP Lou Rinaldi, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.