Full Fire Report Release Delayed

(ESSEX, ON) – A request by an Essex councillor to see the workplace assessment of the Essex Fire and Rescue Service in its entirety has been put on hold. At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Ron Rogers, after a notice of motion, requested that members of council be allowed to see the full report.

“I believe this is an important motion,” Rogers said. “Council has been supportive of this, and keeping it away from council is wrong.” He went on to say that if members of council wanted to see the report they should be allowed to after signing a confidentiality agreement, if necessary.

While it was expected that a vote would be held on Rogers’ motion, instead Councillor Sherry Bondy motioned to have Rogers’ request tabled until a later date. Her motion passed.

“It will be discussed at a later date, after the in-camera meeting,” said Bondy.

The workplace assessment was conducted by Jan Parnega, with Shearer Parnega LLP of Toronto. Essex CAO, Donna Hunter, brought forth the 14 recommendations from the report, which have been accepted and approved by council for implementation.

“They want to get moving on those recommendations right away, so the firefighters can work on,” Bondy said. Hunter told council that part 1 of the process was the recommendations while part 2 will be an in-camera session for council to deal with what appears to be a personnel issue.

Bondy wants the vote on Rogers motion to take place after Hunter completes part 2. Councillors Bondy, Rogers, and Randy Voakes have all said, in one way or another, that they want to see the entire report.

“I think to provide closure. I think some of the members of the fire department would rest at ease,” said Bondy. “I need to have piece of mind. Whether the firefighters get the report is a different issue.”

Hunter has not specified when the in-camera session will occur.

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About the Author

Fred Groves
Formerly with the Essex Free Press, Fred Groves is a local journalist and the author of Rising from the Rubble, the story of the 1980 explosion which leveled the town, and of Homeless Not Hopeless, an in depth look at five people living on the streets of Windsor and how they turned heir lives around.