Sudbury mayor issues statement on closed-door meeting about volunteer firefighter discipline, termination

Sudbury city council met behind closed doors on Tuesday evening to discuss the fate of 11 volunteer firefighters.

Volunteer firefighters reprimanded over comments made about proposal to overhaul fire services

Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger says there will be no further comment from his office on the fate of 11 volunteer firefighters until council has had a chance to review all the information presented. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Sudbury city council met behind closed doors on Tuesday evening to discuss the fate of 11 volunteer firefighters.

The meeting was called after the city disciplined eight volunteer firefighters and terminated three others over comments they made about a proposal to overhaul fire services earlier in the year.

The proposal would have closed 10 fire halls, reduced the number of volunteers firefighters and hired 58 new full-time firefighters.

It was scrapped by city council in April, due to its high cost and the short time that was given to review its details.

During the lead up to city council's vote, some volunteers voiced their concerns over the plan with city councillors, and wrote and shared social media posts about the negative impact they believed optimization would have on paramedic and fire services, according to Gord O'Coin, the president of Sudbury's Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC).

Letters were sent to volunteer firefighters in June to meet with the city's deputy fire chief over public comments made about fire and paramedic services. (Supplied)

Coun. Gerry Montpellier is demanding an investigation into the punishment and dismissal of the firefighters, and he said he wants to know why the matter was not brought forward to the city's emergency services committee or city council before action was taken.

Mayor Brian Bigger is remaining quiet on the issue, saying in a press release on Wednesday morning that he will not be making further comments until more information is made available from city staff.

Council meets again on October 17 to discuss the issue.


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