Letters are ‘fear mongering:’ Jewell

Local politicians were displeased at some of the feedback received on the 2013 budget

By Maria Spitale-Leisk

Record contributor

 

Mission council was critical of some public feedback on the district’s 2013 budget, relating to fire department staffing levels.

At Monday (Nov. 19) evening’s council meeting, Coun. Jeff Jewell spoke first during a discussion on the receipt of the comments, saying the pattern disturbs him. Jewell figured 21 out of the 28 resident submissions focused on one issue: increasing the number of full-time firefighters in the district.

“What seems very clear to me is that we are being subjected to a coordinated campaign by the partisans of the fire department who want to see the expansion of the fire department,” said Jewell. “And they are doing this by a campaign of fear mongering to get citizens afraid that they are not safe.”

Coun. Dave Hensman echoed councillor Jewell’s sentiments.

“But I want to say as well to the writers of this creative writing exercise that we’re not stupid and we see through the guise,” said Hensman. “And the community of Mission is not stupid either.”

Capping off the discussion, Mayor Ted Adlem reflected on discussions he had with Mission Fire/Rescue Service ahead of last year’s election.

“I feel I made every effort to work with them, said Adlem. “However, recent activity leads me to believe that, to put it politely, I was kind of conned. So I wasn’t going to say this tonight, but I am going to say it: The full-time firefighting force in the District of Mission has lost the support of this mayor.”

After the meeting, Adlem said the department didn’t like the zero per cent tax increase platform that his Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government slate ran in the election.

“We’re talking about holding the line on spending and that doesn’t meet with their objectives of increasing their members,” said Adlem.

Norm MacLeod, president of IAFF Local 4768, which represents full-time Mission firefighters, said people were encouraged to send comments to council through a message on the union’s Facebook page.

“It was actually my wording,” said MacLeod, of the duplicated messages sent to the district. “It was no way intended to be a letter-writing campaign.”

The bottom line, said MacLeod, is the union’s goal of working with council and the municipality to improve fire protection.

He referred to the Master Fire Plan developed in 2008 when Mission moved to a composite model, which has full-time and paid on-call firefighters. The plan was to hire four full-time firefighters annually over four years. Eight were hired between 2009-2010; now, they are calling for eight more.

It’s about the ability to have a quicker response time, said MacLeod.

Currently, evening fire calls are tackled by on-call firefighters. The extra eight full-time members would allow for a fully staffed hall at night.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

On Nov. 20, the Mission Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque for $100,000 to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation to go towards new lab equipment at Mission Regional Hospital. / Submitted Photo
Mission Healthcare Auxiliary presents $100,000 for lab equipment

Volunteers wanted to put the funds to work in a way that would benefit as many patients as possible

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

This home at 32228 Buffalo Drive in Mission was all lit up for the holidays in 2019. / Submitted Photo
Tell us about your Christmas light displays in Mission

Holiday-light list to be published online and in newspaper

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

Students at the Chilliwack campus of the University of the Fraser Valley. (Darren MacDonald/ UFV)
UFV asking students to voluntarily report COVID cases and exposures to the school

With COVID cases rising and Fraser Health struggling to keep up, students are asked to help

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

File
LETTER: Public should provide feedback on Mission’s proposed budget

Writer feels more community push back is needed to stop annual property tax increases

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read