The Association of Municipalities of Ontario, or AMO, wrapped up their annual meeting in London earlier this week.
It’s a chance for Mayors and City Councilors to get together and get some face time with Provincial Ministers .
They talked about more money for infrastructure and an outdated arbitration system that seems to award unrealistic contracts to Police, Fire and Paramedics.
All worthy causes, but let’s face it, the solutions to those problems will cost millions and it’s highly unlikely that the Province will do anything about them anytime soon.
But, there was another issue which should have been addressed , namely, the policy of full pay for suspended police officers.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that still follows this practice and it needs to change.
Hamilton Police Chief Glenn DeCaire’s plan to give local Police Services discretion about paid suspensions was supported by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and many local Councils including Hamilton City Council.
It’s a plan that resonates with Hamilton taxpayers because we’ve seen flagrant abuses of the current paid suspension policy that have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s not only unfair to taxpayers , but it reflects badly on not just the abusers of the system, but all police officers who carry out their duties with honour and integrity.
The problem should have been dealt with by Ontario politicians this week.
It was a missed opportunity to correct an injustice that’s costing too much money and too much grief.