Emergency and Protective Services Committee
Comité des services de protection et d’urgence
Minutes 29 / Procès-verbal 29
Monday, 09 December 2002, 9:30 a.m.
le lundi 9 décembre 2002, 9 h 30
Andrew S. Haydon Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Salle Andrew S. Haydon, 110, avenue Laurier ouest
Present / Présent : Councillors / Conseillers D. Deans (Chair / Présidente),
J. Harder (Vice-Chair / Vice-présidente), R. Bloess, R. Chiarelli,
H. Kreling, J. Legendre, D. Thompson
Absent: Councillor / Conseiller S. Little
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were filed.
Ratification dEs procÈs-verbaux
Minutes 28, the Emergency and Protective Services Committee meeting of 25 November 2002 were confirmed.
EMERGENCY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES DEPARTMENT
SERVICES DE PROTECTION ET D’URGENCE
1. fallen FIREfighters memorial
Dr. W. Brooks indicated that although there are many excellent municipal and provincial firefighters memorials across the country, there is no national memorial. He explained this has been a topic of discussion for many years and the events of September 11th, coupled with the history of fire services in Canada, have led to increased efforts to make the project a reality. After reading an excerpt from a book on Ontario’s fallen firefighters, Dr. Brooks asked that the Committee write a letter of support for the project and provide $1,000 in funding.
Chair Deans wondered who would fund the memorial, who would design it, and where it would be located. Dr. Brooks explained that funding has yet to be determined because, until a design competition has been completed and a business plan finalized with the NCC, the group cannot ascertain the need. He indicated the group has been in contact with the NCC, which supports the project, and is hopeful that a place of honour will be provided as part of the Lebreton Flats development.
Councillor Harder proposed that the Chair of the Emergency and Protective Services Committee write a letter of support for the project and that the Committee approve the funding request.
Moved by J. Harder
That the Chair of the Emergency
and Protective Services Committee write a letter of support for the
establishment of a Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa; and
2. That the Emergency and Protective Services Committee recommend that Council approve a contribution of $1,000 by the Emergency and Protective Services Department to assist in the establishment of a Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa.
CARRIED as amended
Mr. S. Kanellakos, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services Committee, provided a detailed presentation in which he listed the Service’s accomplishments since amalgamation, highlighted the key results areas targeted for 2003, and outlined the expenditures, pressures and savings found in the Service’s budget. A copy of Mr. Kanellakos’ presentation is on file with the Committee Coordinator.
Chair Deans thanked Mr. Kanellakos for providing such a detailed presentation and invited overview questions from Committee.
Councillor Thompson referenced the complement of volunteer firefighters and expressed concerns over the level of fire services being provided to rural communities during the daytime. He wondered if full-time firefighters can be called in to rural areas to supplement volunteer forces during these times. Mr. Kanellakos explained that the firefighters’ collective agreement does not allow it.
Councillor Thompson indicated he would submit a written inquiry to request information on the availability of volunteer firefighters during daytime hours. He acknowledged the Service’s effort in recruiting volunteers but maintained that daytime availability remains a concern. He suggested the issue has to be addressed and it may have budget implications. He expressed an interest in finding out the costs associated with bringing in back-up resources to enhance deployment of volunteers during daytime hours in the rural areas.
Councillor Legendre spoke to the recommended reduction of four FTEs in By-law Services and the reference to it representing summer students. He wondered what the summer students typically do. Ms. Jones, Director, By-law Services, explained the volume of calls normally increases in the summer months and students are hired to provide enforcement services to offset the workload increase, mainly in the areas of animal control and noise.
In speaking to the recommendation of eliminating grants for the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre, Councillor Legendre referenced a letter from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre in which they complained about a lack of cooperation from the City’s Emergency and Protective Services. In particular, he noted the letter makes reference to the fact that the Centre was not able to get space in the City’s ads to publish timely advisories to citizens. He asked Mr. Kanellakos to comment.
Mr. Kanellakos stated that on Friday, 6 December 2002, he circulated a memo to all members of Council which provided background information on this and a number of other issues, and which stated the Service’s position with respect to the letter received from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre. With respect to City ads, he explained that it is the City’s policy to not provide advertising for community associations (through the Communications and Marketing Branch, Corporate Services) therefore advertising was not provided for the Centre. Mr. Kanellakos believed the memo circulated on Friday accurately portrayed the Service’s understanding of the issues. In particular, he noted that the Centre’s letter falsely alleged that staff knew about the Ministry of Natural Resource’s imposition of the rabies zone well in advance of anyone else and actively participated in it. To clarify, he outlined the timeline of events.
Councillor Legendre spoke to the Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program and noted that during his presentation, Mr. Kanellakos indicated that by the end of 2003, the City will have 400 defibrillators, having started with none. He believed the City had had some and he asked for clarification. Mr. A. Di Monte, Director, Emergency Medical Services, explained that although there was some defibrillation equipment within Fire Services, none were publicly accessible.
Councillor Legendre recalled that pie charts were used to illustrate what portion of each branch’s budget is devoted to compensation. He referenced the EMS pie chart, at the bottom of which there is a note indicating that the Ministry provides $12.2M for the partial funding of land ambulance service. He asked how that compared to the level of funding received from the Province prior to amalgamation. Mr. Di Monte explained that the previous Ministry-run system was costing approximately $14M per year, half of which was funded by the former regional government, therefore the province was contributing approximately $7M. Through successful negotiations, and to recognize the significant increases the City of Ottawa has made in this area, the provincial funding portion has been increased to $12.2M.
Councillor Legendre referenced a pie chart which broke down the Service’s total 2003 Capital budget and recalled that during his presentation, the general manager indicated the bulk of it represented life cycle maintenance. He asked for clarification as to the portion of the capital budget dedicated to life cycle maintenance. Mr. Kanellakos replied that $9.9M of the $14.5M capital budget represents life cycle maintenance.
In response to questions from Councillor Legendre with respect to the “secondary costs” portions of the operating budgets, Mr. Kanellakos explained these relate to charges from other services within the municipality (RPAM, printing, Fleet, etc.). He noted the most significant ones are from Fleet Services because EPS has a large fleet and heavy equipment. He indicated the Service has a variety of charge back agreements with other departments, some collected from and some paid to EPS.
Councillor Legendre referred to plans for the relocation of the EMS headquarters and questioned the opportunities for a P3 partnership. Mr. Kanellakos indicated the P3 initiatives report approved by Council outlined four targeted projects, one of which was the EMS headquarters. He explained that in this case, the P3 initiative relates to trying to find a private partner to design and build a facility and lease it to the City over a long term, perhaps 25 years.
In response to questions from Councillor Legendre with respect to the Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program, Mr. Di Monte explained the program is approximately 2/3 of the way to full implementation. He spoke to the success of the program and assured Committee that training will be conducted within existing staff resources. Therefore the requested budget allocation relates to the purchase of new equipment and to training time.
Councillor Chiarelli congratulated staff on a presentation which captured the Service’s operation very well. He inquired as to buildings under the Services’ purview and wondered how many will be up for sale. Mr. S. Finnamore, Director, Real Property and Asset Management, indicated none of the EPS facilities will be up for sale however, he explained some of the ambulance stations are being rationalized.
In response to further questions from Councillor Chiarelli, Mr. Kanellakos stated the current value of works in progress under EPS is approximately $15M and very few projects date back more than two years. He indicated the only project which dates back prior to amalgamation is the regional radio system. Otherwise, there are some EMS facility projects and the South Urban Fire Station which date back to 2001.
Councillor Chiarelli noted, and Mr. Kanellakos confirmed, that the Service’s projects are being funded by pay-as-you-go.
Councillor Bloess referenced the recommendation to reduce the By-law Services staff by four FTEs and inquired as to the Service’s full complement and their respective functions. Mr. Kanellakos indicated the branch has a total complement of 66 staff: 38 by-law officers, 15.5 by-law assistants, 5 coordinators, 2.5 animal technicians, 1 administrative assistant, and 4 project officers.
In response to further questions from Councillor Bloess, Ms. Jones confirmed that the aforementioned complement does not include enforcement of the smoking by-law. That component is captured in the People Services’ capital budget.
Councillor Bloess wondered about the impact of reducing the staff complement in light of the increase in hours of service and calls for services, and the fact that, when calls are placed during certain evening and weekend hours, officers are coming from other districts to respond. Ms. Jones explained some of the challenges the Service faced upon amalgamation with respect to the various collective agreements and hours of service. After amalgamation, the Service continued to allow officers to work their former hours. When Council approved the implementation of the smoke-free by-law and an additional 8 by-law officers to provide enforcement, the Service was able to expand its hours of operation to 2 a.m. The expanded hours of service and the size of the territory mean that officers sometimes have to go from one area to another. She confirmed that the reduction of 4 FTEs is likely to exacerbate these issues, however the Service will have to prioritize calls and may not always respond right away.
In response to a further question from Councillor Bloess, Ms. Jones indicated that pre-amalgamation there were 40 by-law enforcement officers and there are currently 38.
Councillor Bloess referred to correspondence from the Hotels Association and the fact that they are upset with the way licensing has been introduced. They claim they were not consulted and are now being fined in relation to licenses they previously did not require. Ms. Jones clarified that the City does not license hotels. However, it does license food preparation establishments and public halls in order to ensure public safety. With respect to the public consultation process, she explained that staff were not aware of the existence of the Hotels Association. Many different groups were consulted in relation with the by-law and notification was sent out to the Ontario Restaurant, Food and Hotel Association. Only upon receiving the aforementioned correspondence did staff become aware of the existence of the Hotels Association. She noted that because of the confusion over the implementation of these new regulations, fines have been withdrawn and staff will be meeting with representatives from the Association to discuss the new requirements.
In response to a question from Councillor Bloess with respect to the impact on revenue, Ms. Jones clarified that the Service will be collecting licensing revenues next year. Only the fines are being withdrawn, which go to a Corporate account and not to EPS.
Councillor Bloess referenced the recommended solutions under the Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) with respect to overtime related to community fairs and the car seat program and wondered why these are not done as part of the normal shift. Mr. Kanellakos explained that, where resources need to be dedicated because of safety issues (i.e. staff must stay at an event and are not available to respond to regular calls), the Service must fill those firefighters’ regular posts and incurs costs to do so. Staff are proposing that, in such cases, a fee be charged to recover costs.
In response to comments from Councillor Bloess with respect to the elimination of dispatch positions, Mr. Kanellakos indicated the reductions are possible due to centralization and technology.
With respect to the elimination of funding to the Wild Bird Care Centre (WBCC), Councillor Bloess believed the Committee would be recommending some funding and wondered how the Service would address that impact. Mr. Kanellakos stated that for every element added, reductions must be found elsewhere. He suggested that ultimately, such issues will have to be addressed at Council.
Chair Deans asked the City Manager to clarify issues with respect to the bottom line and the impact of adding items into the budget. With respect to the bottom line, Mr. B. Thom, City Manager, indicated the budget books portray the current situation and suggested the year-end situation will become clearer as that date approaches. He maintained that a 1% variance in the City’s operating budget represents $18M. However, whether financial pressures shrink or grow somewhat will be clarified down the road. With respect to the impact of adding items to the budget, Mr. Thom believed each Committee would be compiling a list of issues that cannot be resolved and forwarding them to Council. Council will ultimately have to sort through all those lists. He asked that Committee try to resolve issues within the Service’s current envelope and not send staff back with a direction to “find it somewhere”. He maintained that senior staff went through a long list of issues and did exactly as requested by Council; brought back the budget with targets set and suggestions with respect to changes to service levels.
Councillor Kreling requested a clear overview of the staff complement (FTEs) upon amalgamation versus the current complement. Mr. Thom explained this has been a constantly shifting target. The City of Ottawa started with the equivalent of 12,458 FTEs. Amalgamation savings to date have taken away approximately 764 FTEs and the City currently has the equivalent of 12,601 FTEs. He explained the issues which, despite amalgamation savings, have led to a re-growth can be broken down into four categories; downloading, growth, new programs, and existing programs. Downloading of such services as EMS, EMS dispatch, social housing, mandatory public health, employment and financial assistance, provincial offences act, and ministry requirements in drinking water has accounted for 466 FTEs. Growth in such areas as transit, fire, police, water, wastewater, and library services accounts for 280 FTEs. New programs such as the Peter D. Clark Long Term Care Centre, the rural transit program, the federal homelessness program, Advisory Committee support, and the Committee of Adjustment account for 120 FTEs. In addition, 41 FTEs have been added to existing programs for a variety of reasons. Mr. Thom noted this information will be further clarified when the City Auditor releases her report in the new year.
Chair Deans asked that the information pertaining to FTEs be provided in writing.
In response to a further question from Councillor Kreling, Mr. Thom indicated the City Auditor’s report will be coming to Council in late January or early February.
Responding to questions from Councillor Kreling with respect to the OFS complement of volunteer and career-based firefighters, Mr. Kanellakos indicated the Service is doing well in terms of recruiting volunteer firefighters. However, achieving the right balance is always a challenge. He acknowledged there are challenges in terms of daytime resources in rural areas and the Service has tried to mitigate this through its volunteer management policy. Furthermore, under the new collective agreement, the Service has the ability to allow a day shift (4 full-time firefighters) in stations that are normally served by volunteers. He explained this was done to allow the Service to start converting some stations to composite stations in the event of growth.
Councillor Harder referenced the significant increase in Emergency Medical Services in rural areas. She wondered if the Service was accomplishing these increases by shifting stations in the urban areas. Mr. Di Monte indicated the Service has invested in dedicated resources to the rural areas.
Councillor Harder wondered if the costs associated with communications staff are captured in the EPS budget. Mr. Kanellakos explained that communications staff are employees of Corporate Services but are dedicated to EPS. He noted the Communications and Marketing Branch of Corporate Services has the same arrangement with each department.
In response to questions from Councillor Stavinga with respect to operating surpluses, Ms. K. Tippett, Manager, Financial Planning, Corporate Services, explained that any deficits or surpluses are reviewed corporately. Any surplus from the year will go into a tax stabilization reserve, although currently staff are predicting a small deficit.
Councillor Stavinga referenced the secondary costs and wondered, in terms of the fleet, whether this referred specifically to operational costs such as gas and oil. Mr. Kanellakos explained it includes all costs associated with maintaining and servicing the Service’s fleet. Mr. B. McCuan, Manager, Financial Services, Corporate Services, added that it also includes a component for depreciation.
Councillor Stavinga suggested there seems to be a correlation between reductions in FTEs and an increase in purchased services. Mr. Kanellakos indicated the Service’s purchased services have not increased year over year. What has increased is the inter-municipal billing under the Ambulance Act.
In response to questions from Councillor Stavinga with respect to works in progress, Mr. Kanellakos indicated unspent money can be found, particularly in fleet and facilities programs. With respect to fleet, he explained the unspent funds can be attributed to the time it takes to get vehicles into service. With respect to facilities, he maintained that although funds are unspent, they are committee. He explained that until now, there has been a lot of preparatory work done. However, the Service is on the verge of getting started on a number of facilities.
Chair Deans referenced the presentation slide on the EMS Operating Budget Highlights and the footnote indicating the deferral of 14 FTEs to 2004. She wondered if staff would be reporting back on the impact of meeting response time targets without those additional FTEs. Mr. Di Monte referred to the Fitch Report which specifically stated that success would not be attained without dispatch. He noted the Service did not take over the dispatch system until December 1st of this year and there is a lot of work to be done to improve its operation. He stated the recommendation to defer relates to value for the investment. He indicated that he needs time to manage the dispatch centre in order to get a sense of where efficiencies can be found. Because of the uncertainties surrounding the dispatch operations, he suggested that it would not be wise to invest more money in the system at this time without assurances of a return.
In response to further questions from Chair Deans with respect to response time targets, Mr. Di Monte felt it was too early to assess whether the Service would achieve its 2003 targets, however he believed they would likely be delayed because of the delay in obtaining control of the dispatch system and the time it would take to get it running efficiently. With respect to rural response targets, he indicated the Service has met and exceeded this year’s targets and is more likely to meet its 2003 targets because of the significant investment that has been made in terms of increased resources.
Chair Deans wondered why the By-law Services’ call volume has increased so significantly since amalgamation. Ms. Jones indicated staff have been trying to assess that. She noted service levels varied in the former municipalities and stated By-law Services have taken over responsibilities from the Police Service with respect to noise complaints.
In light of the increase in call volumes and the fact that the number of calls per officer has doubled, Chair Deans suggested it does not make sense to reduce the staff complement. Mr. Kanellakos explained that although the workload has increased, the Service is achieving efficiencies. He acknowledged that with the recommended staff reduction, it will take longer to respond to calls at times, however the alternatives are reductions in fire or ambulance staff complements.
Chair Deans believed there is a direct correlation between the number of by-law officers and revenues collected therefore, a reduction of 4 FTEs would impact on revenues and only save the corporation a somewhat small portion of costs. Mr. Kanellakos acknowledged that at some point, a reduction in by-law officers may affect revenue, however he did not believe there was a direct correlation. He explained that the Service is moving more and more towards conflict resolution as an alternative to charges and fines. Therefore, he suggested that maintaining by-law officers does not ensure revenues.
In response to further questions from Chair Deans with respect to the proposed reduction in By-law Services staff, Ms. Jones explained that the 4 FTEs recommended for elimination represent 1 vacant position and 9 summer students positions, which are equivalent to 3 FTEs. She indicated that the summer students assist with by-law enforcement to offset the increased volume of complaints related mainly to animals and noise during the summer months. She acknowledged that the reduction would result in a reduction in hours of enforcement.
With respect to the proposed elimination of funding to the Wild Bird Care Centre, Chair Deans realized that staff are making the recommendation because they believe it is not a core service, however she wondered who would pick up the slack in terms of the services currently being provided by the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre. Ms. Jones acknowledged that staff cannot assume responsibility for the services being provided by the Wildlife Centre. She suggested callers would be referred to other agencies as appropriate. In addition, the City could provide prevention information, perhaps through its website. However, she maintained that such services do not form part of Service’s core function.
The Committee heard from the following public delegations.
Ms. K. Nihei, Wild Bird Care Centre, indicated the Centre is currently receiving $40,000 per annum and is hereby requesting $100,000 in funding from the City. She wondered why staff were recommending eliminating funding to the Wild Bird Care Centre and the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and suggested this would in fact result in additional costs to the City. She noted that none of the councillors had expressed support for the staff recommendation. Ms. Nihei’s listed some of the budget pressures experienced by the Wild Bird Care Centre, which includes such issues as the 20,000 phone calls the Centre currently receives per year, the need for repairs to its buildings, and the fact that staff have waived their salaries in order to allow the Centre to make ends meet. She explained that the Centre’s overall budget for 2003 is $290,350 and it has a volunteer component valued at $400,000. Ms. Nihei suggested we now have an active outbreak of West Nile Virus and stated birds and mosquitoes play a factor in transmission. She stated the Wild Bird Care Centre has fielded thousands of calls with respect to West Nile Virus and has provided information to the public. She indicated the Ottawa area has, in the past year, experienced an outbreak of botulism along the Ottawa River and this is also drawing on the resources of the Wild Bird Care Centre. As a result of the announced closure of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, the Wild Bird Care Centre is expecting to receive 2,000 to 4,000 additional calls in the coming year. Ms. Nihei suggested Ottawa cannot loose 100% of its wildlife services and urged Council to not only maintain the Wild Bird Care Centre’s current level of funding, but to increase it as requested.
Councillor Legendre referenced Ms. Nihei’s comments with respect to West Nile Virus. He noted this represents a public health issue and suggested such calls should be referred to the City’s public health department. Ms. Nihei explained the Centre is part of the Health department’s intermediary team in dealing with West Nile. Sick birds that may carry the virus are brought in to the Centre, reported and treated. In addition, the Centre has been fielding calls and providing information to the public with respect to appropriate action.
Ms. Jones maintained that it is not within the Wild Bird Care Centre’s jurisdiction to be dealing with calls pertaining to West Nile Virus. Such calls should be directed to public health.
In response to questions from Chair Deans, Ms. Nihei stated that if the Wild Bird Care Centre is allowed to remain open, it will continue to take calls, including those that may result directly from the closure of the Wildlife Centre. With respect to the requested increase in funding, she explained the Centre has submitted a budgeted figure of $115,000 to deal with wildlife conflict services and public education. The increase in funding would include management and resources for that service.
Councillor Bloess made reference to the initial grant the Wild Bird Care Centre received from the former Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton for $1,726 and compared it to the $40,000 the Centre currently receives and the $100,000 it is requesting for 2003. He wondered where it would end and what happened prior to the Centre’s existence. Ms. Nihei stated that the initial funding from the RMOC represented a waiver of development fees and explained that, prior to the Centre’s existence, people either left injured birds alone or tried to deal with situations on their own.
Councillor Bloess noted this does not relate to the City’s core mandate and stressed the need to balance what Council wants to do with what it can afford to do. Ms. Nihei explained that the Centre is not requesting funding for its rehabilitation work. The funds requested will be used to field calls from the public with respect to wildlife conflicts and to assist in this area.
Councillor Bloess felt the issue of West Nile Virus is a red herring because, based on the number of cases to date, its risk is minimal compared to other common risks. Ms. Nihei suggested that argument would have some merit if it was simply a mosquito/bird related situation, however scientists are now looking at blood transfer of the virus therefore it may have more alarming capacities.
Mr. J. Puruczki showed a video and spoke in support of the Wild Bird Care Centre. He showed images of and talked about instances of injury and death to birds along the Ottawa River. He suggested that sick or dead birds can cause other animals to become sick and, if the Wild Bird Care Centre closes, the situation will worsen.
In response to questions from Councillor Harder, Mr. Puruczki indicated he does not volunteer at the Wild Bird Care Centre, however he has brought more than 150 birds to them for treatment.
Ms. Nathalie Paquin spoke in support of the Wild Bird Care Centre and submitted that the City of Ottawa is blessed to have such a facility. She suggested the City’s expansion generates moral and ethical responsibilities as birds struggle to adapt to their ever-changing habitat. She indicated she has rescued hundreds of birds over the past five years and properly disposed of over 50 decaying bird carcasses last year in a clean-up and mitigation operation supervised by the Centre. She discussed the quality and quantity of the services provided by the Wild Bird Care Centre, the ever-present issues surrounding West Nile Virus and the data gathered by the Centre.
Mr. L. Goldberg indicated the Wild Bird Care Centre has provided essential services to himself as well as his friends and colleagues on scores of occasions. He suggested the Centre is a municipal treasure, which Council should cherish and support. He suggested the City should be giving the Centre more instead of less. He talked about the many dangers faced by birds in urban areas, where birds represent 80% of the wildlife. He submitted that the closure of the Wild Bird Care Centre would generate a political, administrative, financial and logistical mess.
In response to questions from Councillor Bloess with respect to the possible closure of the Wild Bird Care Centre and the impact that would have on the City, Ms. Jones maintained the City would not incur additional costs. Increased call volumes would be absorbed within existing resources and callers would be referred to other agencies as appropriate.
Councillor Legendre noted the previous speaker had made reference to the City of Gatineau. He wondered if there was a Wild Bird Care Centre in Gatineau and whether any other major municipalities either provide such services or fund such centres. Ms. Jones was not aware of any such services being provided in Gatineau. She indicated there are a number of similar agencies in existence but staff are not aware of their funding sources.
Mr. B. Thompson spoke in support of the Wild Bird Care Centre’s funding request. He expressed his interest in the environment and wildlife and talked about the state of the art admission data base system used at the Centre. He explained that the database contains information about each bird admitted as well as details on the rescue and the rescuer. He suggested the database is a significant asset to the community and the City of Ottawa. He provided examples of situations where its data could be of value and indicated that such information can easily be shared with other communities and agencies. In closing, Mr. Thompson maintained that continued support for the Wild Bird Care Centre demonstrates that Ottawa is a caring and compassionate community.
In response to a question from Councillor Stavinga, Mr. Thompson indicated data from the Centre’s database is provided at no cost.
Mr. P. Mitchell referenced an earlier consultation process with respect to animal care and control. He suggested the data collected by the Wild Bird Care Centre could be a valuable resource to the City as feedback on the effectiveness of that by-law. He talked about the impact cats have on the wild bird population and suggested that, as part of its conflict resolution services, the Centre provides information to the public on minimizing their impact. He maintained the benefits to the City, to the public and to birds are worthwhile and he urged Committee to support the Centre’s funding request.
Ms. R. Jain indicated she felt strongly about the Wild Bird Care Centre because of her child, who is growing up to be an animal lover and an activist. She talked about the services provided by the Centre, the opportunities created through the Centre, the wild bird sanctuary where humans can safely interact with birds, and the fact that these facilities have become tourist attractions. Ms. Jain spoke of the impact the Centre has had on her daughter and urged Committee to support funding.
Ms. S. Jain expressed her love for animals, especially birds and suggested that, if the Wild Bird Care Centre closes, birds will die. She asked Committee to make sure the Centre stays open.
Councillor Thompson noted presenters are passionate about this cause and wondered about the City’s policy with respect to injured, sick or dead birds along beaches. Ms. Jones explained that public works staff remove dead animals along the City’s roadways. If an animal is located on private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to dispose of it. Although she could not confirm it, she assumed that the City would be responsible for clean up on city-operated beaches. She could not provide information as to what would happen to an injured bird on City property.
Ms. R. Visser talked about the annual “Feather in Your Cap” auction run by the Wild Bird Care Centre. She explained how the auction is run and suggested it is a great opportunity for the community to benefit itself, the environment and wildlife. She believed the auction’s success demonstrates the community’s commitment to the Centre and asked Committee to support the requested funding.
Dr. R. Roscoe provided background information on the Wild Bird Care Centre and noted it is an internationally recognized facility. She suggested the need for the Centre’s services is unquestionable and its public support is overwhelming. She indicated that the Centre fields calls from across North American and she has always been impressed by the care it provides. She believed the City of Ottawa is fortunate to have such a facility and that $100,000 is a small price to pay to maintain it.
In response to questions from Councillor Thompson, Dr. Roscoe suggested that, should the Wild Bird Care Centre close, animals would likely suffer needlessly and calls would be directed to the City and/or the Humane Society.
Councillor Chiarelli wondered about the implications to human health of handling sick or injured animals. Dr. Roscoe confirmed that diseases can be transmitted through contact with wildlife and maintained staff at the Wild Bird Care Centre are trained in the proper handling of sick or injured animals.
Councillor Legendre noted that approximately 90% of the City of Ottawa is unpopulated therefore, he wondered whether the presenter had any sense of the number of sick or injured birds that may be irretrievable. Although Dr. Roscoe had no sense of numbers, she suggested that most injuries to birds are a direct result of human contact and/or urban development.
Mr. I. Huggett suggested a lot of wildlife habitat has been destroyed through urban, industrial and/or commercial development. He submitted that because Council invariably approves such developments, it has an obligation to try and mitigate the impact by supporting a venture such as the Wild Bird Care Centre. He did not believe any government agency or department could do the work of the Centre for the same amount of money. He wondered what would happen to endangered species should the Centre close. He asked that Committee give serious thought to the funding request from the Centre and submitted that, a society is often judged by the way it deals with such issues.
Ms. R. Plotkin felt it astonishing that the City would eliminate funding to an agency that is working, without having a structure in place to replace it. She submitted that life is richer when humans extend compassion to wildlife. She suggested a community is more than just people and she advocated funding to the Wild Bird Care Centre.
Mr. B. Roney, Ottawa Humane Society, spoke to the shortfall between what the City is paying the OHS for stray animal sheltering, and what it costs the Society to provide the service. He stated the Society’s 2000 shortfall was $142,000 and it 2001 shortfall was over $200,000. He suggested this has contributed to a major deficit at the OHS. He indicated the OHS Board of Directors recently voted not to renew the agreement with the City of Ottawa in the absence of an agreement to address the shortfall. The Board has concluded that it is unethical to continue to use donor gifts to support a service that is a municipal responsibility. He suggested the OHS operates the shelter at a fraction of what it would cost the City to do it, however the Society cannot continue to sustain a loss. Mr. Roney indicated he has been instructed to negotiate a new agreement to address the shortfall, or to plan for an orderly transfer of municipal animal sheltering services to the City of Ottawa.
In a meeting with Mr. Kanellakos and his staff, Mr. Roney indicated that he presented a proposal for a renewed agreement to address the shortfall in a two-year period; the first year increase would be $83,969. Unfortunately, contract discussions were not initiated in time to affect the printed budget documents therefore, Mr. Roney requested that the budget be revised at Committee. He believed staff would support his proposal, subject to a third party review of the Society’s costs and operations. Mr. Roney stated that the OHS welcomes such a review.
Councillor Bloess confirmed that the current contract with the OHS ends on 31 January 2003 and wondered what would happen on that date should the City and the Society not reach an agreement. Mr. Roney maintained that the OHS cannot continue to provide the service at a loss and should the two organizations not reach an agreement, he would sit down with staff to negotiate a hand-over of services.
Councillor Bloess noted that last year, Council approved a 10% increase in funding to the OHS and based on Mr. Roney’s proposal, the Society is asking for an additional $83,000 this year and $76,000 next year. He hoped the OHS understood the City’s financial dilemma. Mr. Roney confirmed the Society understands the City’s dilemma but maintained it cannot be resolved on the backs of its donors.
Councillor Bloess asked staff, from the City’s perspective, what would happen on January 31st should the City and the OHS not reach an agreement. Ms. Kanellakos stated the City is mandated to provide pound services and staff feel that an agreement with the OHS is the most cost effective way to provide that service. He indicated the Society’s case for additional funding is based on the fact that, for a number of years there was a freeze on funding to the OHS for pound services. He explained that the contract was based on an apportioning of costs between pound services and the Society (other) activities. Unfortunately, in the absence of a financial and service audit, no one can determine the City’s exact portion of those costs and services. Mr. Kanellakos hoped that the OHS Board of Directors would agree to allow enough time to conduct a review and enter into negotiations so that the two organizations might reach an agreement to resolve this issue.
Chair Deans read a proposed motion which, if approved, would effectively add $83,969 in funding to the OHS 2003 allocation, conditional upon the results of a third party financial and services audit, and would require that staff report back to the Emergency and Protective Services Committee as soon as possible. Mr. Kanellakos expressed staff’s support for the motion. Mr. Roney indicated he would bring the suggestion to the OHS Board of Directors, however he stated this could have been resolved last year.
Councillor Chiarelli noted the City is in the midst of negotiating a number of contracts with a number of outside parties and it is unorthodox for that to play out at Committee during budget deliberations. He suggested the normal way to proceed is to keep to what is before Committee and, if an event affects that amount, staff report the change. He wondered why this was not happening in this instance. Mr. Kanellakos acknowledged staff have not met with the OHS to discuss their agreement. He explained that because of the budget guidelines and the Service’s 7% options target, such negotiations would have been fruitless because staff were not in a position to offer more money. However, he wished that there had been discussions with respect to the financial and service review so that those results could have been presented to Committee as part of the budget deliberations.
Councillor Chiarelli wondered if there has been a significant increase in the percentage that the organization spends on advocacy programs. Mr. Roney confirmed there has been, however he maintained that is not relative to these discussions because the City pays only for the sheltering services. He explained the problem arises from the fact that the OHS has one shelter that serves as the OHS adoption centre and the City of Ottawa stray animal shelter.
Councillor Legendre referenced a letter from Ms. Jones with respect to the Ottawa Humane Society, the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre. He noted the letter contained historical data and indicated that prior to 1998, funding was provided in the form of a grant and that since 1998, funding has been provided through a purchase of service agreement for pound services. Councillor Legendre noted that $400,000 was provided to the OHS in 1998 therefore this year’s allocation represents a more than 33% increase since then. He suggested that rate of increase surpasses inflation. Mr. Roney questioned the figures, stating his understanding was that there had not been an increase in the services in three years and in 2000 the funding level was $485,000. He indicated he would have to go back and look at the specific numbers. However, he reminded Committee that there has been considerable subsidy on this purchase of service agreement from the Humane Society all along. There is a gap between what the City pays and what it costs to run the service and the OHS is very clearly trying to close that gap.
Councillor Legendre noted the OHS seems to be agreeable to the financial and service audit, however he indicated he would prefer the motion not make reference to an amount. He suggested the inclusion of an amount pre-judges the audit.
With respect to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre, Councillor Legendre suggested their mandates fit in with the kind of mission the OHS espouses and he wondered if, as part of the service review, some consideration might be given to taking on some of the functions of the Wildlife Centre, and possibly of the Bird Care Centre. Mr. Roney concurred that there is nothing within the OHS mission to preclude them from doing so, however he suggested the closure of any such facility results in a downloading to the Society, which does not have the resources, the facilities or the expertise to fill the gap at this time. Furthermore, he believed any agency attempting to fill the shoes of the Wildlife Centre would face the same issues that have led to the closure of that facility.
In response to a question from Councillor Chiarelli, Mr. Roney confirmed that, once an understanding has been reached, the OHS will indicate to its donors that none of their donations fund City services.
Ms. E. Johnston indicated she volunteered at the Wild Bird Care Centre for three years. She contributed despite being legally blind and was not the only person with a disability to serve at the Centre. She suggested that in addition to caring for birds, the Centre serves the community and provides opportunities for inclusion, for education, and for high school students to fulfill their community service requirements.
Mr. V. Bennett indicated he has been working at the Wild Bird Care Centre for over five years and suggested it would be a shame if the Centre had to close due to a lack of funds.
Ms. J. Tidman indicated she sits on the Board of the Animal Defense League. She talked about the importance of having compassion and reverence for life. She suggested it is a mistake to tamper with something that works well, such as the Wild Bird Care Centre, and she hoped the City would support their request for funding.
In response to a question from Councillor Thompson, Chair Deans indicated that Cognos Corporation pays for the Royal Swan Program therefore there is no cost to the City.
Ms. K. Elmsley stated people around the world care about the fate of injured and orphaned birds and in Ottawa, their fate is in the hands of the City. She talked about the services provided by the Wild Bird Care Centre and the data it collects. She expressed shock over the staff recommendation to eliminate funding for the Centre and suggested that because of the closure of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, the services of the Wild Bird Care Centre are more essential than ever. She believed that if both centres close, the public will call the City. She urged Committee to reject the staff recommendation to eliminate funding to the Wild Bird Care Centre.
Mr. C. Matthews began by expressing support for Ms. Nihei and the Wild Bird Care. He indicated he represented the disabled community. He acknowledged what the City has done for the disabled community but maintained there is still a lot to be done. He noted that most major cities have accessible cabs and he hoped the City’s plans to introduce them to Ottawa would materialize. However, he indicated he would like to see measures put in place in case things don’t unfold as expected. He outlined a potential scenario where a person needing transportation to the hospital during the night might be left stranded upon being released from hospital because ambulances do not allow patients to take wheelchairs or scooters with them. He expressed a desire to see provisions put in place to accommodate disabled persons in such emergencies.
2003 BUSINESS PLAN AND DRAFT OPERATING ESTIMATES
Recommended Solutions (Page III – Mini Book; IX and X– Budget Book)
The Committee addressed each recommended solution in turn.
Recommended Solution: Reduction of 9 Non-firefighter support positions in the Fire Services Branch
Responding to a question from Councillor Stavinga, Chief Larabie assured Committee that the recommended reduction will not affect front-line services. He explained that the reduction is possible as a result of amalgamation.
The Committee approved the recommended solution.
Recommended Solution: Eliminate overtime related to community fairs and Car Seat program
In response to questions from Councillor Legendre with respect to the Car Seat program, Mr. Kanellakos explained the costs associated with the program relate primarily to the cost of keeping firefighters certified and managing the program. He explained that Emergency and Protective Services staff have been discussing this program with People Services staff and Dr. Cushman, the City’s Medical Officer of Health, is currently exploring options to evolve the program to eliminate the aforementioned costs, possibly through private partnerships. He stated that, in future the service may not be delivered by firefighters.
Councillor Legendre hoped the current expertise would remain in place and continue until an alternative is implemented. Ms. J. St Jean, General Manager, People Services, indicated the program will continue through public health, however inspections will likely be conducted on an appointment basis.
Councillor Thompson made reference to car seat program clinics in Metcalfe, which are staffed by volunteer firefighters who use a bay at the fire hall to conduct inspections. He wondered whether or not there are costs related to such clinics and whether, following approval of the recommendation, such clinics would be allowed to continue. Chief Larabie explained there is no charge for the use of the fire hall bays however, the hours put in by volunteer firefighters may be charged back to the department. With respect to whether or not such clinics would be allowed to continue, he suggested the Fire Service would have to look at it in consultation with public health, based on what is implemented to replace the current program.
Councillor Stavinga noted volunteer firefighters currently participate in community events at no charge to organizers. She wondered whether this would be allowed to continue, or whether the Service would be applying charges. She referenced the Police Service as an example and explained that, prior to amalgamating police services, officers attended community events at no charge to organizers but after amalgamation, the Police Service started charging for officer participation. She indicated she has had to provide financial support to community events in her ward to offset such costs. She wondered if the same would happen with respect to the participation of volunteer firefighters. Chief Larabie indicated he would need to get clarification on that particular issue.
The Committee approved the recommended solution.
Recommended Solution: Implementation of new Special Event chargeback program for Special Event coverage (eg. Dragon Boat Race, Kayaking, etc.)
Councillor Bloess wondered if this represents an additional charge incurred by the Fire Service and suggested that, if firefighters are able to leave the event to respond to emergencies, there is no reason to charge organizers. Chief Larabie explained the events intended to be addressed by the recommendation are those where firefighters are required to stay to respond to emergency situations on-site and are therefore not available to respond to calls.
Councillor Legendre referenced the examples given (eg. Dragon Boat Race and Kayaking) and suggested they seemed peculiar. Chief Larabie explained the particular events listed as examples require OFS rescue services on site.
Chair Deans wondered if the City provides grants to the organizers of these events. She suggested it would defeat the purpose if the City is providing funding on the one hand while charging for service on the other. Ms. St Jean indicated she would look into it and get back to Committee with that information.
The Committee approved the recommended solution.
Recommended Solution: Reduction of 4 By-law Officers
Councillor Bloess talked about there being a lack of by-law officers despite the staff recommendation. He believed the two officers dedicated to the smoke-free by-law enforcement no longer need to be dedicated solely to that function. He indicated he would not support the recommendation but that he would support a recommendation to the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee proposing the re-assignment of the 2 full-time officers dedicated to enforcing the smoke free by-law.
Councillor Harder concurred with Councillor Bloess’ comments. She suggested that, if anything, the complement of by-law officers should be increased therefore the recommendation is going in the wrong direction.
In response to a request for clarification from Councillor Legendre, Ms. Jones clarified this recommendation represents a service level reduction rather than an efficiency issue. She re-iterated it represents the elimination of 1 vacant position and 9 summer students who assist primarily with noise and animal control enforcement during the summer months.
Councillor Chiarelli maintained the need to make cuts, suggested this appears to be a reasonable one, and urged Committee to support the recommendation.
Councillor Stavinga was delighted with the direction of the Committee discussions. She stressed it was not intended for amalgamation to result in service cuts. She noted Emergency and Protective Services have had savings in 2002 and suggested it is unfortunate that those cannot be used to off-set these pressures. She called on Committee to look at that as an option.
Councillor Bloess noted By-law Services have already had a cut in the number of FTEs dedicated to enforcement at the same time as they have increased their hours of service. He commended staff for stretching the line a little thinner but suggested there is a breaking point. He acknowledged the need to find savings but submitted that it would be much more expensive to resort to calling police to resolve noise and park issues.
Chair Deans opposed the recommendation to cut by-law enforcement officers. She stressed this is a front-line service which is well used. She referenced the increase in workload and wondered why the City would even contemplate reducing a service that is in such demand.
Moved by R. Chiarelli
That the Emergency and Protective Services Committee approve the recommended solution of reducing the By-law Services’ staff complement by 4 By-law Officers.
YEAS (1): R. Chiarelli
NAYS (6): R. Bloess, D. Deans, J. Harder, H. Kreling, J. Legendre, D. Thompson
Recommended Solution – Elimination of grants to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre
Chair Deans suggested dividing the recommendation and dealing with funding to the two organizations separately.
Councillor Legendre believed there is no request from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre for funding. He expressed regret over that and indicated he would support the recommendation because it is what they have asked. He suggested issues that have led to the agency announcing its closure are related to actions the province has taken with respect to rabies. He expected those circumstances will go away in time. He maintained the need for the kinds of services the Centre provided and indicated a motion will be coming forward to propose the assumption of some aspect of those services.
The Committee approved the recommended solution of eliminating the grant to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.
Councillor Chiarelli proposed a motion recommending that Council match the Wild Bird Care Centre’s fundraising on a basis of $2 for every $1 raised to a maximum grant of $50,000. He provided historical perspective on the Centre, which used to operate out of a house in his ward. He explained that the former City of Nepean worked to help relocate the agency to a more appropriate site and as a result, it became an important tourist attraction in addition to providing important services. He spoke to the need and demand for the agency’s services and suggested that, should it disappear, the resulting costs to the City will be greater.
Chair Deans wondered why the motion linked City funding to the Centre’s fundraising activities. Councillor Chiarelli maintained it would demonstrate the community’s support for the Centre.
Following comments from Councillor Bloess, Councillor Chiarelli indicated he would accept a friendly amendment to remove the condition.
Notwithstanding Councillor Chiarelli’s comments with respect to the need and demand for such services, Councillor Legendre spoke against the motion. He submitted it makes sense to have one primary organization to take care of problems related to animals. He believed the Humane Society should be that key organization. He did not agree that the Centre would necessarily disappear should the City discontinue its funding and suggested some aspects of services (conflict resolution and education) could easily be rolled in to OHS. He believed that, as part of the OHS service audit, the City could strategically plan so that in future, there would be one number to address those various concerns.
Moved by R. Chiarelli
That the City of Ottawa provide $50,000 in grants to the Wild Bird Care Centre.
CARRIED as amended
YEAS (5) : R. Bloess, R. Chiarelli, D. Deans, J. Harder, D. Thompson
NAYS (2) : H. Kreling, J. Legendre
Chair Deans then directed members’ attention to those pages within the Operating Budget which required Committee approval.
General Manager’s Office, p. 218
Councillor Stavinga referenced the predicted revenues shown on the overview page for By-law Services (p. 226) and wondered how realistic it is. Ms. Jones suggested it is realistic because the services have been further harmonized therefore staff are not spending their time managing the different processes.
By-law Services, Director’s Office, p. 228
By-law Services, Operations, p. 230
Chair Deans referred to page 232 of the Draft Operating Budget and stated the Committee has already voted on the issues of funding to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre. The outstanding item on page 232 relates to funding for pound services through the Ottawa Humane Society. She read two motions before Committee on that matter. The first motion, submitted by Councillor Bloess recommended that $83,969 be added to the 2003 Humane Society allocation conditional upon the results of a third party financial and services audit, and that City staff bring back a report to the Emergency and Protective Services Committee as soon as possible. The second motion, submitted by Councillor Legendre, recommended that consideration be given, as part of the financial and service delivery audit of the Ottawa Humane Society, of expanding the service delivery envelope to incorporate the aspects of the Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre which received public funds in the past.
Councillor Legendre spoke to Councillor Bloess’ motion and indicated he would like to move a further amendment to remove any reference to an amount of money. Mr. Kanellakos suggested receiving a financial comment on the amendment to remove the reference to funds. Ms. Tippett indicated that if the amount is not included in the motion, there is nothing to include in the budget and it will not have been provided for.
Councillor Bloess clarified that because the motion makes the funding “conditional” upon the audit, it does not preclude it. He maintained that by identifying an amount, Committee and Council can move ahead with the budget. He referenced Councillor Legendre’s amendment with respect to the OHS assuming some of the functions of the Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre and suggested it is not part of the City’s core business or mandate. He argued the Committee is supporting the $50,000 in funding to the Wild Bird Care Centre because members feel it has merit.
Chair Deans agreed with the need to include an amount, even if only to protect some funds pending the audit.
Moved by Councillor Legendre
That Councillor Bloess’ motion be amended to remove any reference to amount.
YEAS (2): R. Chiarelli, J. Legendre
NAYS (5): R. Bloess, D. Deans, J. Harder, H. Kreling, D. Thompson
Councillor Kreling wondered if, the way Councillor Bloess’ motion is worded, the audit would be done in advance of any additional funds being allocated to the OHS. Mr. Kanellakos confirmed the base amount for the OHS service agreement will remain in the budget and that the increase would be subject to the results of the audit.
Councillor Kreling indicated he was tempted to vote against the whole thing because of the unfortunate way in which this issue has evolved. He maintained that such issues should have been resolved in advance of the Committee’s budget deliberations.
Moved by Councillor Bloess
That $83,969 be added to the 2003 Humane Society Allocation conditional upon the results of a third party financial and services audit and that City staff bring back a report to the Emergency and Protective Services Committee as soon as possible.
CARRIED as amended
Councillor Legendre referenced staff’s comments with respect to the impact of not having money in the motion. He spoke to his motion about exploring the option of additional services being delivered by the OHS. He wondered if such discussions would be halted because of the absence of a funding provision. If that was the case, he suggested he might as well withdraw his motion. Mr. Kanellakos stated that, unless funding is provided in the budget, the only way money can be found is to draw it from other programs. He suggested that, if funding is not provided, it may be something to consider for 2004 if Council wishes.
Councillor Legendre urged Committee to support his motion because there are no dollars attached to it and it represents a strategic direction. If it amounts to a good idea, he suggested Committee might see it next year.
Moved by Councillor Legendre
That consideration be given, as part of the financial and service delivery audit of the Ottawa Humane Society, of expanding the service delivery envelope to incorporate the aspects of the Wildlife Centre and the Wild Bird Care Centre which received public funds in the past.
YEAS (3): R. Chiarelli, D. Deans, J. Legendre
NAYS (4): R. Bloess, J. Harder, H. Kreling, D. Thompson
By-law Services, Grants and Purchase of Service, p. 232
CARRIED as amended
By-law Services, Other By-law Programs, p. 234
Councillor Kreling referred to Emergency Medical Services overview (p. 242). He indicated his understanding is that given what is in the budget and wanting additional time to get a handle on what’s going on in the dispatch centre, the Service may not achieve the 8:59 response time target in 2003. Upon receiving confirmation from staff that his understanding was correct, Councillor Kreling wondered what would need to happen in order for the Service to achieve the aforementioned target. Mr. Kanellakos explained that the Fitch Report, which outlined a three-year plan, was based on 3 issues, at the heart of which was the assumption of dispatch. He indicated the Service is on target to achieve year two targets, however because it only received control of the dispatch centre on December 1, it has not had time to incorporate it into its operations. Furthermore, he explained the Service inherited a dispatch centre that was greatly understaffed, even to the standards and the benchmarks that were in the Ministry’s RFP. He noted the Ministry has acknowledged that and it therefore deferring the Service’s performance standards for one year and not holding them financially liable for not meeting those performance standards. He maintained, staff’s concern is that without the opportunity to integrate the dispatch centre into operations and take full advantage of it, year three response time targets may be in jeopardy.
In response to a further question from Councillor Kreling, Mr. Kanellakos stated it will be very difficult for the Service to achieve its 8:59 response time target. He maintained that, even if the 14 FTEs (recommended for deferral to 2004) were added this year, it would be very difficult to achieve 2003 targets.
Chair Deans stated this issue is a concern. She noted that, although the City has won the dispatch contract, it has not won the ability to fully integrate. She wondered what influence that was having on staff’s recommendation to defer the 14 FTEs. Mr. Di Monte discussed some of the details from the Fitch Report with respect to the conditions for success. He indicated there are significant staffing and technology issues with the dispatch centre and maintained that perhaps it is better to defer the addition of 14 FTEs for one year while the Service gets a handle on it. He suggested the Service could add the 14 FTEs but staff still could not guarantee achieving 2003 targets.
Emergency Medical Services, Director’s Office, p. 244
Emergency Medical Services, Operations, p. 246
In response to a request for clarification from Councillor Legendre, Mr. Kanellakos explained the 14 FTEs recommended for deferral are paramedics the Service would need to hire over the next year.
Councillor Legendre referred to a bullet on page 248 which speaks to the elimination of 9 FTEs for communications. Mr. Kanellakos explained that bullet reflects the fact that the Province will be paying for staff in the communications centre.
Emergency Medical Services, Program Development, p. 250
Emergency Medical Services, Support Services and Logistics, p. 252
Emergency Medical Services, EMS CACC (Dispatch) Contract, p. 254
Emergency Measures Unit, 9-1-1, p. 264
Emergency Measures Unit, Emergency Measures Unit, p. 266
Councillor Stavinga asked for clarification on the additional $300,000 being requested for the radio system. Mr. Kanellakos explained the Service is adding more users onto the system so there are charge backs, which are reflected in revenues.
Emergency Measures Unit, Corporate Radio System, p. 268
Councillor Stavinga suggested that, in addition to the number of firefighters available, years of experience are also an important factor. She asked that staff provide, before Council, data with respect to the years of experience of firefighters. Councillor Thompson offered to amend his written inquiry to include a request for this information.
Fire Services, Fire Chief’s Office, p. 278
Fire Services, Fire Operations, p. 280
Fire Services, Fire Program Development, p. 282
Councillor Stavinga requested clarification on the forecast for gross expenditures. She noted the gross expenditures for 2002 are about $300,000 more than what was budgeted, yet in 2003 staff are forecasting a gross expenditure that is less than what was budgeted in 2002. Mr. Kanellakos explained the increase relates to a one-time catch-up of uniforms which the Service required in 2002. He maintained the issue was affected by collective agreement requirements and will not apply in 2003.
Fire Services, Operational Support Services, p. 284
Councillor Legendre referenced the “secondary costs” line near the bottom of page 286 and wondered what it represents. Mr. Kanellakos indicated the line represents the costs of on-going fleet maintenance.
In response to further questions from Councillor Legendre, Mr. R. Gillespie, Director, Fleet Services, Corporate Services, explained the $736,000 indicated on page 287 for increase in Fleet secondary costs represents a reconciliation of actual costs as opposed to what was forecasted upon amalgamation.
Fire Services, Fire Logistics & Administration, p. 286
2003 dRAFT cAPITAL bUDGET AND fOUR yEAR fORECAST
Councillor Stavinga asked for clarification on the additional investment requested, given the fact that the Service has committed $2.5M of the previous $3.3M budget for this program. Mr. Kanellakos outlined the spending plan for the remaining balance in the program’s 2002 budget and explained the new funding requirement intended so that the Service can start maintaining and replacing the equipment already out in the community.
Emergency Medical Services, Public Access Defibrillation Program, p. 337
In response to questions from Councillor Bloess, Mr. P. Jolicoeur, Manager, Comprehensive Asset Management, Real Property & Asset Management Services, outlined the current costs for the Tremblay Road facility; $240,000 for the lease and $140,000 to $145,000 operating costs. With respect to the proposed P3 initiative, Mr. Kanellakos assured members that staff will be coming to Committee to present a business case before proceeding. He explained the $20M identified in the budget represents staff’s preliminary estimate of what the facility might cost.
In response to comments from Chair Deans, Mr. Kanellakos maintained that by approving the project, Committee and Council are approving the authority to fund the project from another source.
Emergency Medical Services, Facilities Program, p. 339
Responding to a question from Councillor Legendre with respect to the “secondary costs” line on page 341, Mr. Kanellakos indicated it represents the transfer of funds to support the Advance Life Support program. He explained the Service is funding that one-time peak in its operating budget through a transfer from the capital to back fill the positions of those paramedics on training.
Councillor Legendre noted the significant amount shown in the pay-as-you-go program and wondered how so much was accummulated in such a short time. Mr. Kanellakos indicated the program was set up when the ambulance service was downloaded and it captures all the program requirements to start-up the City’s EMS service. He explained that what is shown is the unspent portion related to facilities and life support training.
Emergency Medical Services, EMS Program, p. 341
Councillor Legendre asked for clarification on the fact that page 343 is mostly blank. Mr. Kanellakos explained that the item is shown as part of the Service’s long range plan. Based on forecasted population increased, the Service will require additional by-law officers and the associated resources (vehicles, workstations, etc.).
Councillor Legendre suggested another approach would be to build up a reserve in anticipation of that need. Ms. Tippett stated that is in fact what staff are doing. She explained that the page is included to show Councillors what staff are forecasting in terms of need. She referenced the continuity schedules at the front of the budget book (page 19), which show annual contributions through pay-as-you-go.
In response to a further question from Councillor Legendre, Ms. Tippett indicated the pay-as-you-go contributions will be approved as part of the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee’s budget deliberations.
Councillor Stavinga asked about the By-law Services’ works in progress balance of approximately $600,000. Ms. Jones explained those funds are mainly related to by-law harmonization. To date, the Service has accomplished about 30% of its work and anticipates completing another 40% in the coming year. She indicated that would leave approximately 30% to carry out the work of harmonization beyond 2003.
By-law Services, Operations Program, p. 343
(J. Legendre dissented)
By-law Services, By-law Services Technology Upgrades, p. 345
(J. Legendre dissented)
By-law Services, Facilities Upgrades, p. 347
(R. Chiarelli, J. Legendre and D. Thompson dissented)
Emergency Measures Unit, Emergency Response Program, p. 349
Councillor Chiarelli wondered how much works in progress authority is contained in this area (page 351, Communication System Replacement Program). Mr. Kanellakos indicated there are $144,458 remaining. He noted the Service returned $200,000 and kept the existing balance. He explained that approximately three quarters of it is committed and will be spent before year-end. The balance will be spent early in 2003.
Councillor Legendre thought it curious that staff are only setting aside $140,000 and wondered if the program is being under estimated. Mr. Kanellakos explained the rationale behind the estimate and expressed his belief that the level is adequate.
Fire Services, Communication System Replacement Program, p. 351
Fire Services, Fire Equipment Replacement Program, p. 353
Responding to a question from Councillor Stavinga with respect to the works in progress program, Mr. Kanellakos explained this item (p. 355) refers to the South Urban Station. This project has been caught up in trying to identify a site. The funds will be required quickly once the site location is finalized.
Fire Services, New Infrastructure, Station, Station Expansion & Equipment, p. 355
Fire Services, Fire Agreement Forests Program, p. 357
Responding to questions from Councillor Legendre, Mr. Kanellakos explained the amount identified on page 359 for the Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system represents a life cycle replacement cost for equipment already in place.
Fleet & Emergency & Protective Services, EMS Vehicle & Equipment Replacement, p. 359
Responding to a question from Councillor Stavinga, Mr. Kanellakos confirmed that the amount pre-approved at the last Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee meeting for the purchase of equipment is included within the amount shown on page 361.
Fleet & Emergency & Protective Services, Fire Vehicle & Equipment Replacement, p. 361
Fleet & Emergency & Protective Services, EMS Vehicles & Equipment, p. 363
(J. Legendre dissented)
Based on the approved solutions and the motions passed, the Committee voted on the budgets as amended.
That the Emergency and Protective Services Committee consider, for recommendation to Council:
1. The applicable 2003 Business Plans and Draft Operating Estimates, as amended by the following, for a net annualized impact of ($932,031):
a) The reduction of 9 non-firefighter support positions in the Fire Services Branch for an annualized impact of ($666,000);
b) The elimination of overtime related to community fairs and the Car Seat program (as currently operated by the Ottawa Fire Service) for an annualized impact of ($100,000);
c) The implementation of a new Special Event chargeback program for (Ottawa Fire Service) Special Event coverage (e.g. Dragon Boat Race, Kayaking, ect.) for an annualized impact of ($100,000);
d) The elimination of grants to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and a $10,000 increase in grants to the Wild Bird Care Centre for a net annualized impact of ($150,000);
e) That funding in the amount of $83,969 be added to the 2003 Humane Society allocation, conditional upon the results of a third party financial and services audit; and
f) That City staff bring back a report to the Emergency and Protective Services Committee as soon as possible on the results of the aforementioned audit.
2. And the applicable 2003 Draft Capital Budget and Four Year Forecast, as presented to the Committee.
carried as amended
DEMANDES DE RENSEIGNEMENTS
Councillor Thompson submitted the following written inquiry with respect to the human resources of the Ottawa Fire Service.
That staff provided the following information:
1. A complete breakdown of Volunteer Firefighters available for daytime service in each station of the rural areas of Osgoode, Rideau, Goulbourn and West Carleton; and
2. The average years of experience for both career-based and volunteer firefighting forces serving the City of Ottawa.
LEVÉE DE LA SÉANCE
The meeting adjourned at 4:14 p.m.