Original Published on Jul 01, 2022 at 07:35

By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

BROCKTON – Council approved a staff recommendation that changes the salary grid increase policy. At present, such increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index.

The problem is that Ontario has seen the highest inflation rate increase in 31 years, which has decreased slightly and now stands at 6.7 per cent.

Three options were presented – stay with the present policy, amend the policy to include a cap of 4 per cent and a minimum of 1 per cent, or authorize a one-time exemption to the policy. Staff recommended the second option, with a cap and minimum.

Coun. Steve Adams spoke in favour of the recommendation “that’s got some balance … better than the crazy inflation that we’ve got now.” He continued, saying that the next council would be reviewing the policy.

The general consensus of council was to approve the recommended option.

Enforcement begins on false alarm and parking bylaws

Municipal staff began administering the false alarm bylaw in April. During that month there were 13 at-fault false alarms, and education was provided about the municipal bylaw.

In May, there were six at-fault false alarms; a notice of collection of fees was given to three who had multiple occurrences.

Staff responded to a number of parking complaints between April 1 and June 15, and issued 17 parking infraction notices. The situation in downtown Walkerton will continue to be monitored.

Adams commented that he’s pleased the two-hour downtown limit is being enforced, “so residents have access to downtown businesses.”

There was also discussion about the need for police foot patrols downtown.

Council supports Newmarket resolution

Council has passed a resolution supporting Newmarket in expressing concern about the province’s draft regulations regarding firefighter certification.

The Brockton resolution noted that municipal governments generally support efforts to modernize and enhance volunteer and full-time fire services. However, new provincial policies and programs can and do have an impact on municipalities.

In this case, municipalities and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) are concerned the 30-day consultation period was insufficient to understand the impact the new certification requirements will have on fire services.

The resolution also noted fire chiefs have advised the new firefighter certification process will create additional training pressures and costs; the province has given no indication of some sort of financial support for fire services to meet the new requirements.

AMO made a number of comments and requests on behalf of municipalities in a letter to the solicitor general dated Feb. 25.

Brockton joins Newmarket in supporting AMO’s recommendations, and calls on the solicitor general to work with AMO, municipalities across the province and fire chiefs to address the funding concerns that have been raised.

The new regulations regarding training are to come into effect July 1.

This item reprinted with permission from The Herald Times, Walkerton, Ontario