Hants West MLA calls on province to appoint a fire services mediator

Ashley Thompson
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MLA Chuck Porter wants some answers.

The county's local MLA is calling on the provincial government to intervene in the case of a council decision that’s sparked much public debate.

Hants West MLA Chuck Porter has requested that Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey appoint a professional mediator to tackle the longstanding contract dispute between the Windsor Fire Department (WFD) and the Municipality of West Hants.

“I really think that’s all the hope we have left, unfortunately,” said Porter.

On May 13, West Hants council voted 6-3 in favour creating a stand-alone fire service for the areas currently covered by the WFD.

Several residents have since spoke out in opposition of council’s decision to end its partnership with the WFD, many of whom are concerned the construction of a new West Hants fire station will result in an increase in taxes and insurance rates.

Porter, who has spoken with Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess and West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee since the council decision, believes there is still a chance the two parties may come back to the table if the provincial government offers assistance.

“Something has to be done to try and resolve this. If there’s still an opportunity there, we have to see it through,” he said.

Porter said he offered to ask the provincial government to step in about a year ago, but neither party involved in the negotiations felt that step was necessary at that time.

Feeling the parties may be more open to the offer now, Porter said he’s once again asking the province to offer assistance in response to concerns raised by numerous constituents who have contacted him by phone, e-mail and in person.

“I think it is worthy of trying,” said Porter.

He is urging citizens with strong opinions about council’s decision to part ways with the Windsor Fire Department to write Furey, Premier Stephen McNeil and their local councillors to share their views.

“It doesn’t matter where I’ve gone in the last four or five days, certainly everyone is talking about this.”

Furey was unavailable for comment as of press time. His response will be added at a later date. Stay tuned.

Organizations: Windsor Fire Department, Municipality of West Hants, West Hants council

Geographic location: Hants West, Windsor, Windsor Fire Department Nova Scotia Hants County West Hants

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Recent comments

  • John
    May 22, 2014 - 08:52

    We need to assess things if we are to grow. We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    • Mrs. Bigballs
      May 23, 2014 - 10:10

      John - What is the problem? I'm wondering if the problem is the excellent service the county receives from the WFD? Is it the awesome per civic cost that we receive our fire service for? Is it the great home insurance rates we receive because WFD has proven it's excellent response time and capabilities on scene? How about the well-trained and dedicated volunteer fire fighters? I know - it must be the awesome daytime response we get from Windsor because it is centrally located in the only "centre" of West Hants that employs any significant number of people anymore.

  • Jeff White
    May 21, 2014 - 12:52

    I think Richard Dauphinee is getting bored and is starting to create make work projects. Why change a fire system that has been working for as long as "he" can remember? Here is a phrase that he should remember. "If it isn't broke don't fix it!" If he doesn't want to be warden anymore he doesn't have to sabotage himself. Just step down! At least then he will still have friends in the end, his taxes won't go up and the people of West Hants will have an experienced and proven fire dept. to depend on.

  • Leah Riisesco
    May 20, 2014 - 22:19

    ABOUT TIME. WAITING FOR ANY PARTICULAR CATASTROPHE?