Citizens could help reduce costs by

"Fatal was

helping police resolve crime, Berthiaume

Town keeps

continued. “You can help by reducing the

number of long investigations,” he said.

The mayor related that the town’s


pressing for


number of hours of police work that will be

billed to the municipality. “Overtime is not

fair police


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

René Berthiaume


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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