Cost of Essential Services

The Star – Ontario Municipalies Struggle with Cost of Essential Services


About warrenreports

CEO of the The Warren Group and a public policy commentator.Former Ontario deputy minister,chief general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission and CEO of Canada Post Corporation.Chair and board member of a wide range of private and public sector organizations.
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3 Responses to Cost of Essential Services

  1. billmosesos says:

    This problem (if it is one) goes well beyond the salaries that affect one’s property taxes. In an ideal situation everyone would receive pay that reflects the value of their contribution to society but therein lies the rub. If a welder makes say $38 per hour, then a policeman should be able to use that fact in negotiating his own pay. Perhaps job security, as a factor, should have more weight. In any event any union contract has to be signed by both sides. If management caves in then whose fault is that?
    Harris cut taxes as well as cut costs. No wonder the arbitrators balked.
    “Many of those on fixed incomes fear being taxed out of their homes.” However, most are just peed off because they don’t like paying taxes. Maybe some people should give up their homes and live in a rent geared to income apartment if they have to. Why should a municipal employee subsidize someone who insists on living beyond their means.
    That being said, things do get out of whack. What it takes is courage to deal with it. A good example is Reagan facing down the Air Traffic Controllers. If the essential worker law is not working then change it. (It’s kind of humorous that people thought that the essential service law would fix the situation.) Have trained people ready to step in if workers go on strike. That costs money too but may pay in the long run.
    In my view much could be done to cut costs by not having high paid workers doing unnecessary work. I have recently been assigned to a Nurse Practitioner rather than a Doctor. I am quite ready to accept that in order to keep healthcare costs down.
    Why not, if the garbage workers go out on strike, do people not then take their garbage to the transfer station themselves.
    Finally taxes go up and services have to be cut because we live in an increasingly complicated world and we keep demanding a higher levels of service, snow removal being one example.
    Forty years ago in Sydenham Township they did not plow the roads on the weekends unless to clear a road for an ambulance. During the week roads were cleared primarily for the school buses. The snow clearing equipment consisted of a gravel truck with a blade and a road grader. Sixty years ago it was acceptable for a man to knock his kid around on the main street. My father said it wasn’t right but you couldn’t do anything about it because it was the man’s son. Women and children were forced to stay in abusive situations because there was no place to go.
    We live in a far different world today.


  2. Vince says:

    Dear Mr. Warren,

    I would like to advise you that paramedics are not considered to be an essential service within the province of Ontario.

    Secondly, I have never, ever heard of a paramedic who has received a retention bonus to stay with his/her service.

    Thirdly, you state, “Police, firefighters and paramedics are valued employees who help to ensure the safety and health of our communities. They deserve our respect. But they don’t deserve to be compensated well beyond that of other comparable public and private sector employees by financially fatigued municipal taxpayers.”

    May I ask, what are the comparable public and private sector services that compare to emergency services? What other public or private employee risks their life and livelyhood to serve and protect the citizens of Ontario? A CEO? A deputy minister?

    I’m sure that when you were a deputy minister and the CEO of Canada Post you didn’t object to the generous salary, bonuses, pension and health benefits paid to you by the financially fatigued taxpayers.

    How can Ontario save money? Eliminate the overbloated executive branches of the government! How many deputy ministers do we need? How many assistants do our politicians need? Why do politicians receive a portion of their income, TAX FREE? And for all the public service CEO’s, I say reduce their salaries, bonuses, pensions and health benefits to reflect what the CEO of a small Ontario company earns.


  3. Jodi12 says:

    Dear Vince, Ditto ! “We live in a far different world today” The CEO’s could and should be part time employees given the paperless society in which we live in and their pays and pensions should reflect that!


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