Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley
Windsor's mayor has a few thoughts on West Hants council's recent decision to sever ties with the Windsor Fire Department.
“To me, it's contrary to where we need to go,” said Mayor Paul Beazley.
Citing the commonly referenced Ivany Report (Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians), Beazley said it is well known that municipalities in Nova Scotia must focus on working together to get the best bang for a taxpayer's buck.
He stressed that the Town of Windsor will continue to rely on the Windsor Fire Department's services, allowing a partnership established more than 100 years ago to continue.
“We've said all along that if West Hants decided to start their own fire service that we would work with the Windsor Fire Department. We support the Windsor Fire Department and we'll make sure that the Windsor Fire Department continues in a right-sized format,” said Beazley.
The right-sizing process would include a review of the equipment required for the service area.
“The reality is this is going to hurt the volunteer base for sure and it will require some adjusting if it goes forward,” said Beazley, who added that the fire department will lead the right-sizing process.
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From what he's heard from the public, Beazley said he doubts the majority of citizens served by the Windsor Fire Department support West Hants council's decision to end the long-standing partnership.
Beazley said the onus is on the citizens of West Hants to voice their concerns loud and clear if they are not in favour of the creation of a new West Hants fire service to cover the areas currently serviced by the Windsor Fire Department.
He said the Town of Windsor's council has taken several opportunities to state that they hoped to the Municipality of West Hants would continue to support the Windsor Fire Department, but he is prepared to respect the wishes of the neighbouring council.
“If West Hants decides to break away, that is the decision of their council and we'll go from there. Whatever their decision is we'll live with it and we'll go on,” he said.
“It's a shame that is has come to this point.”