In a letter to the Times-Journal, St. Thomas developer Bob McCaig questioned the motives of city fire fighters going door-to-door in support of municipal candidates who support public safety.
He encouraged voters to “support candidates who promise to provide services based on their needs and not on the direction of one of Ontario’s most powerful union lobbies.”
The full transcript of his letter can be read here
Here is the response from Warren Scott, president St.Thomas Professional Fire Fighters’ Association …
I am writing to correct inaccuracies that appeared in an October 15, 2010 letter to the editor (“Base Municipal Vote on Need Not the Direction of Union Lobby”).
The aforementioned letter centres around the issue of some St. Thomas Fire Fighters’ Association members volunteering their off duty time to participate in the democratic process; more specifically, involving ourselves in the upcoming municipal elections.
Contrary to what the author of the letter suggests, at no time during flyer drops for various candidates or otherwise, has any member of our association done election campaign work of any kind while wearing department issued clothing.
The gold tee shirts we wear are purchased not with public money, but by our Association. We are proud to wear these shirts in support of those candidates who have clearly demonstrated or expressed their support for public safety.
The St.Thomas Professional Fire Fighters’ Association conducts any and all of its political activity while off duty and we absolutely do not use any municipal supplies, equipment or property.
In addition, I find it difficult to believe that our presence at an all candidates meeting was in any way “intimidating,” as the author suggests it was, because we wore our shirts which bear the slogan, “We support those who support public safety.” I would like to point out that, on the night of the candidates meeting, that at that time, our Association had not publicly declared which candidates we were officially supporting.
I am also left to wonder why the author specifically names only 3 of the candidates for whom we have done or offered such campaign help.
I’m quite sure that the letter-writer has preferred candidates of his own and, along with every eligible voter in St. Thomas, he has that right. I encourage him and all interested residents to get involved this municipal election should they wish to do so. This municipal election campaign is an excellent opportunity for citizens and associations such as our own to exercise our collective right to educate ourselves as to where all candidates stand on issues we consider important. We are blessed to live in a country like Canada where we are able to do so.
Our members are proud of the work we do in this community both on and off duty. The St.Thomas Professional Firefighters Association will continue to be active in this municipal election and future elections supporting those candidates whom we are confident support public safety.
Warren Scott, President
St.Thomas Professional Fire Fighters’ Association