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It took a while to come together, but a plan to create a "war chest" to fund Niagara Region fights against police budgets is moving forward. St. Catharines regional Coun. Bruce Timms put forth his plan for such a fund as an amendment to a staff report to the Region's corporate services committee Wednesday. That report — approved by committee in a 10-7 vote but still requiring full council approval — will see the streamlining of reserve funds. Continue reading
Wage increases of police, firefighters and paramedics are outstripping cost of living, rate of inflation and average of other public sector workers. Ontario municipalities are struggling with the escalating cost of essential emergency services — police, firefighters and paramedics. They are a prime driver of the debilitating cycle of higher property taxes, followed by service cuts, followed by higher taxes. Continue reading
Municipalities across Ontario need to create war chests to fund legal battles against police associations over budget requests, say Niagara Region politicians who worked the room at Tuesday's Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference. As politicians flocked to a seminar on police costs — so popular the conference ran two back-to-back — Selina Volpatti discreetly passed out flyers announcing a post-conference huddle to discuss the benefits of arming themselves with ready-to-use cash. Continue reading
NIAGARA — Bruce Timms thinks the time has come for the Region to begin assembling a war chest to prepare for future legal fights over the cost of policing in the region. The St. Catharines regional councillor, who has long been a critic of generous settlements awarded to public sector employees such as police officers by non-elected, provincial arbitrators, is pushing for the creation of a new reserve fund to prepare for legal battles before the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. Continue reading
The St. Catharines regional councillor is proposing Niagara Region set aside $200,000 yearly to create a war chest to stand its ground against rising Niagara Regional Police budgets — the bulk of which cover salaries and benefits. The money would be spent defending the Niagara Regional Police Services Board's budget position before the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services (OCCOPS) should the board and the police service reach an impasse. Continue reading

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