ACTUALITÉ / NEWS
Citizens could help reduce costs by
helping police resolve crime, Berthiaume
continued. “You can help by reducing the
number of long investigations,” he said.
The mayor related that the town’s
number of hours of police work that will be
billed to the municipality. “Overtime is not
charged to us. The O.P.P. has worked more
than 4,000 hours that have not been billed
to us,” said Berthiaume.
An improperly discarded cigarette
Seven of the eight municipalities have
caused the August 12, 2011 fire that
backed a plan by the united counties of
claimed the lives of an Alexandria
Prescott-Russell to ask the O.P.P. for an
woman and her three children, the
estimate on a regional service contract. The
Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has
lone dissenter is Champlain Township,
which is convinced any new deal would be
Sarah Cholette, 22, her two other
more expensive for its taxpayers.
children, Chloe, 3 and Jacob, 10 months,
All eight municipalities pay a total of
bill in Prescott-Russell, the town of
were killed in the earlymorning fire at 248
$13.5 million now for police services.
Hawkesbury will continue lobbying the
East Boundary Road.
County officials believe that the O.P.P. can
province to reduce its Ontario Provincial
Her partner, Martin Desjardins,
offer a better price if the municipalities ask
Police costs, vows Mayor René
escaped as did Maxime Cholette, 22
for a region-based contract.
months. Desjardins survived but Maxime
Hawkesbury is among the Ontario
This year, the town will pay about $4
later died in hospital. The investigation
municipalities that have been protesting
million for O.P.P. services. The per-capita
revealed that the fire originated on the
the province’s cost-sharing formula, which
cost of about $400 is much higher than the
exterior porch at the front of the home and
forces towns like Hawkesbury to foot the
average of $160 per capita other
that it blocked the only exit. Investigators
entire bill for Ontario Provincial Police
municipalities in the counties pay, notes
also determined that while there was a
services. Under Section 10 of the Ontario
working smoke alarm on the main storey
Police Services Act, Hawkesbury is
Plus, Hawkesbury is the only
of the home, there was no battery in the
smoke alarm outside the sleeping areas
for police services.
on the second storey.
served by the same detachment, receive
anomaly here,” Berthiaume commented.
“Everyone agrees that there is a problem
“This fire was preventable. It is a tragic
provincial grants under the Ontario
As an entry point from Québec,
with the financing,” Berthiaume said at
Municipal Partnership Fund to help offset
Hawkesbury has an unusually high crime
Monday’s council meeting. “We have no
responsibility. Working smoke alarms
their policing expenses because they fall
rate. “We are protecting Ontario,” he
control over the criteria nor the provincial
provide that early warning to escape in a
under a different section of the Act.
increases,” he allowed, noting that O.P.P.
fire. Practice your home fire escape plan
Traditionally, 60 per cent of the calls
Laurels for officers
officers’ salary increases are negotiated at
tonight so that you know where to go
At the same time, the mayor lauded the
the provincial level.
when the smoke alarmsounds. Determine
Hawkesbury, while the balance originates
local detachment officers “who have their
“It is obvious that this situation cannot
in advance who will be responsible for
from Alfred-Plantagenet, Champlain, East
community at heart” and are providing
continue,” the mayor said, observing that
young children or anyone else who may
Hawkesbury and a part of The Nation.
excellent service. He urged citizens to not
police protection accounts for 40 per cent of
need assistance. If you smoke, make sure
Since 1999, when the town’s police
direct their frustration with policing costs
the municipal tax bill.
towards local officers. “Please be patient.
Since 2000, the O.P.P. bill has increased
said Ontario Fire Marshal Tadeusz
force, Hawkesbury has had a service
Your council is not idle.”
by 11 per cent every year. “There is an
contract with the O.P.P.
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