|Posted by Darryl Wolk on June 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
I have nothing but respect for our first responders and military who put their lives on the line to keep us safe each and every day. We could never pay our police, fire, paramedics and soldiers enough to reflect their true value to society. If elected York Regional Councillor, I will always stand up for our emergency services personnel at York Regional Police, York EMS and Central York Fire Services. It is important to make sure they have all of the tools they need to do their job and that York Region Council and Newmarket Council do everything possible to support them. Police, fire and paramedics never miss an opportunity to support our community. It is important that we support them.
Currently York EMS and York Regional Police are under York Region jurisdiction. Transit also falls under regional authority with York Region Transit. I believe that fire services should also be managed by York Region. This idea has been discussed this past term in Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill and East Gwillimbury. I support this idea because it will improve fire coverage in York Region and has the potential to save costs and improve efficiency. Some communities in York Region rely on volunteer fire departments. We do not have volunteer police departments or paramedic teams. I believe everyone within York Region's borders should have adequate and professional fire coverage. Quick response times save lives. We saw tragedy in East Gwillimbury and the loss a historic church in Aurora in recent times. Fires do happen in York Region and it is important to make sure we have the proper fire services model and required resources in York Region to protect our citizens. The time is right for a York Regional fire department. I know the idea is supported by Central York Fire Services personnel that I have spoken with. I was also impressed that many of them have put forward their own ideas on how costs can be saved and contained during a transition period in the years following a merger. If elected in October, I will do my best to push this idea forward at York Regional Council.
On labour issues, I believe it is important to bargain in good faith and attempt to reach fair settlements through relationship building, partnerships and compromise. We must bargain fairly and equally among all of our emergency services personnel. Any increase for police services should be equal to fire services and EMS so that all emergency workers are treated fairly. Emergency services cannot strike. The arbitration system is broken and stacked against municipalities. The AMO has been lobbying the province for years to reform the system to reflect the ability to pay. Until this happens, a negotiated settlement is more likely to achieve better results for Newmarket than a confrontational approach that leads to an arbitration decision. Many members from York Regional Police and Central York Fire Services are currently on the sunshine list. Most Newmarket residents I speak with believe they are worth every dollar. I am looking forward to meeting with police, fire and EMS to establish a relationship early and to make sure I fully understand their issues. I want to make sure we have strong and sustainable emergency services in Newmarket and York Region.
Thank you for reading...
Newmarket Regional Councillor Candidate