McNamara: Bill 148 Is Going To Hurt Municipalities

The Mayor of Tecumseh is sounding the alarm on the province's 'Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act'.

Gary McNamara says, when budgets are already tight, Bill 148 is going to cost municipalities millions of dollars each year.

In addition to a $15 per hour minimum wage, the Bill also includes equal pay for part-time and full-time workers.

McNamara says that'll have a major impact on towns with volunteer firefighters like LaSalle and Amherstburg.

"You've got a volunteer that comes in or a part-timer at $23 to $26 on average across the province, and a full-time firefighter at $43. Now we're at odds in terms of, how do we structure these departments to be able to afford it?"

He says cost downloading from the province needs to stop.

"We have to operate our communities. We deliver 80% of the services and have to take care of 67% of infrastructure and we do it on nine cents per dollar. Now you want us to start adding tens of millions of dollars to our operations."

McNamara adds, the entire Bill needs to be reviewed.

"At the end of the day, what gives? Services or I'm going to increase your taxes. This government in the last while is, I call it 'a death by a thousand cuts'. We've been able to bend as much as we could, but there's a breaking point and I think that this Bill needs to be really looked at."

McNamara admits, there are some good aspects to the Bill, but says there needs to be more consultation with municipalities about how the changes are going to be funded.