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Ontario announces new program for local fire services in the North

The new program will reimburse municipalities for fire services provided on Crown Land.

THUNDER BAY - The Solicitor General of Ontario, Sylvia Jones, was in Conmee Township on Saturday to announce new funding to reimburse municipalities whose emergency services attend calls in their unincorporated surrounding areas up to $50,000 per year.

“Northern Municipal fire departments, many made up of volunteer firefighters, step up in a big way when they are called to help Ontarians in unincorporated areas,” said Jones.

“This new program will make it easier for municipalities to recoup costs associated with responding to emergency calls for assistance and to ensure they are not paying out of pockets for their important efforts.”

Up until now the cost for attending these calls has fallen on the shoulders of the municipalities but with this new program, municipalities can apply for reimbursement for these sort of calls.

The types of calls that are eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Structure fires and carbon monoxide-related incidents
  • Search and rescue operations and emergency medical care
  • Motor vehicle collisions occurring on roads that are not provincial highways
  • Hazardous material requests

"As the long-serving mayor of a Township that borders an unincorporated municipality, I am pleased that the Ford government has responded to our concerns,” said Township of Conmee mayor Kevin Holland.

“This funding announcement will allow us to continue to offer emergency services support to the surrounding unincorporated areas, without placing an undue financial burden on our municipal taxpayers. We thank Premier Ford and Solicitor General Jones for their commitment to building partnerships at all levels of government."

Through this program, funding will be available at a per hour, per vehicle cost of $510 for the first hour and then to a per half hour cost afterward.

The program comes into effect Monday, and municipalities will be able to receive reimbursement for as far back as April 2021.

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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