Billings council rejects new Ontario policing billing model

KAGAWONG—Billings Township council has said ‘no’ to supporting the proposed new Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) billing model for 2015.

“We have received letters and resolutions from three township council, (Limerick, Seguin and Archipelago) with identical comments: that the billing model would not be fair to small municipalities and that they are not in favour of the new billing model,” stated Billings Mayor Austin Hunt at a council meeting last week. He said the issue of the OPP billing model is on the agenda for the next Manitoulin Municipal Association (MMA) meeting and the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and was raised at a recent Northern leaders meeting in Timmins. “This issue took up a lot of time (at the latter meeting),” he told council.

“One of the concerns raised at our CPAC (Community Police Advisory Committee) meeting last week is that with the increases most of our municipalities will see, there are certain programs the police provide,” said Councillor Brian Parker. “If these programs prove to be too costly municipalities will say they don’t want that program anymore. So we might lose an important service program provided by the OPP, or have to cut down on other costs in our municipalities.”

Mr. Parker pointed out, “at the CPAC meeting we got into a good discussion on policing costs for Manitoulin. Staff Sergeant Detachment Commander Kevin Webb said he and the local OPP have had very little input on the issue. He recommended that we, as municipalities, should go the political route, through our provincial representatives.”

Council passed a motion that it does not approve the proposed new 2015 OPP billing model.

Tom Sasvari