At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Carleton Place Councillors received information about the open letter that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released to Premier Kathleen Wynne at the end of last month.
The open letter addresses deficiencies in the arbitration system that result in an increased cost of emergency services. The cost to operate emergency services like fire, police and ambulance in Carleton Place has increased over three times the rate of inflation annually since 2002.
Chief Administrative Officer Paul Knowles said the only way the municipality can continue to operate emergency services is by increasing property taxes.
Knowles also said the arbitration system tends to favour the union rather than the Town and the taxpayers. The chamber is trying to get the province to change the system because there is currently no control on it.
Municipalities have been pushing for reform of the arbitration system for years but little has been accomplished.