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Brantford driver in a collision gets a fire truck bill from Mississauga

Posted on 06/01/2013 3:28:13 PM PDT by rickmichaels

TORONTO - Brantford resident Kevin Maguire was on his way to a business meeting in Mississauga in April when everything went pear-shaped.

It was a bright, sunny day. The weather was good and everything was going well.

Travelling east, he stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of Dixie Rd. and Eastgate Dr.

When the light turned green, he pulled into the intersection — and a car travelling south on Dixie blew through a red light and hit his Lincoln Navigator on the driver’s side — causing an estimated $20,000 damage.

The other person’s car flipped, rolled, slid onto the roof and hit a school bus.

Police and fire trucks arrived — although Maguire didn’t need assistance and wasn’t injured.

Apart from the headaches of sorting through the insurance fine print, Maguire thought everything was dealt with.

Then he got a bill for $277.30 from the City of Mississauga — for sending a fire truck.

This seems a bit rich to Maguire, given that he wasn’t at fault in the accident.

“I was blown away!” he told me by e-mail.

“I couldn’t believe that they could do such a thing ... what are our taxes for?”

Maguire called the City of Mississauga and was told that as a, “non-resident” he didn’t pay taxes in that city and therefore was not entitled to have fire and emergency services paid for by the city.

“I was wondering what country I lived in,” he said.

Maguire was raised in Mississauga. Four of his five children were born in that city.

“Mississauga brags about the fact they’re the only city in Canada that’s not in debt — and now I know why,” he said. “The worst part is that none of it was my fault. The guy who caused the accident of course doesn’t get a bill — because he lives in Mississauga.”

His insurance company told him they’d never seen such a charge and he’s waiting to see if it’s covered.

A spokesman for Mississauga Fire said it’s common practice to charge out-of-town drivers for costs associated with fire and emergency services at accidents.

“It’s not new and it’s not isolated to Mississauga,” said deputy Chief Kevin Duffy. “It’s very common.”

Duffy said the fire department doesn’t get access to police reports related to accidents, so they have no idea who’s to blame for the accident.

“Most of it gets sorted out through the insurance company,” he said.

With no-fault insurance, though, often the driver who’s not at fault ends up paying for services.

“From our perspective, it’s the cost of running the business that a non-resident isn’t supporting,” Duffy said.

Toronto Fire has a similar policy, as does Hamilton.

The City of Toronto and Toronto Fire Services (TFS) bills non-residents involved in motor vehicle accidents, regardless of fault attributed as a result of the accident.

“The fee of $410 per TFS vehicle dispatched, is based on the current Ministry of Transportation rate and divided by the number of vehicles involved in the accident,” said Toronto Fire Division Chief Toni Vigna. “Generally, no fees are applied if injuries or fatalities are sustained.”

Well, that’s nice of them.

Otherwise, though, it’s a rip-off.

We all pay taxes. This is a mobile society. Wouldn’t it make more sense for municipalities to have reciprocal arrangements so if one of their residents is in an out-of-town accident, they’re covered right across the province?

We’re not talking about crossing international boundaries or even moving to another province. Should you be dinged for these extra costs just because you’re unlucky enough to be caught in a traffic accident across a city line?

So a word to the wise.

If you’re taking a drive today and crossing city boundaries — watch out.

If you get into an accident and a fire truck shows up, watch you don’t get burned by the bill.

TOPICS: Canada; Government

1 posted on 06/01/2013 3:28:13 PM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels

The surrounding cities should charge Missaugga residents three times the cost and pick up the tab if they need services in Missasuga. Way more residents in Missasauga than the other surrounding cities.

2 posted on 06/01/2013 3:42:41 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: rickmichaels
if a resident caused the wreck, it's on him to pay ALL COSTS and if not, i'd sue him for anything billed to me...
3 posted on 06/01/2013 3:45:04 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: rickmichaels
Wouldn’t it make more sense for municipalities to have reciprocal arrangements so if one of their residents is in an out-of-town accident, they’re covered right across the province?

Not really. First, you'd have the whole country covered because boundaries between provinces are just as arbitrary as boundaries between towns. If there are N towns in your country, each town need to sign a contract with (N-1) other towns. Since each town has to do it, the total number of signatures will be N*(N-1). It's a lot of work; and a municipality at PEI may not ever know what municipalities exist in Yukon. Doing all that work ahead of time is not very practical, unless it is the law of the country. But then it becomes unfair because a response from a tiny town will be different from a response from a large city - in quality of service, in value of equipment, in training of the personnel, and in own costs of providing that service.

These contracts also need to be maintained, such as all the changes need to be approved when rates change, for example. Some, if not all, contracts will be unfair because a visitor to Toronto from some middle of nowhere has more chances to get into trouble than an experienced city driver having difficulty navigating two streets of a small town.

Of course, there could be goodwill gestures that major cities make toward visitors. In the end, I don't think those visitors consume a lot of resources. But outside of that goodwill, it's far more practical - and fair - to let people pay for what they personally consume.

4 posted on 06/01/2013 3:48:40 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: rickmichaels

If I didn’t ask their help and in fact received no assistance from them I’d tell them to stuff the “bill”.

5 posted on 06/01/2013 4:14:32 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: rickmichaels

It is time for other cities to put Mississauga on a list of places that they send bills for if Mississauga’s drivers get into accidents in their cities.

I am actually not outraged by that story if Mississauga’s model catches on. You might then have private firetruck companies competing. The issue I have with the way it’s currently done is that this guy never needed the service and they still charged him for a service he didn’t request nor need. It’s almost the way that a “protection” racket gets done.

6 posted on 06/01/2013 4:15:08 PM PDT by winner3000
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To: rickmichaels


7 posted on 06/01/2013 4:21:01 PM PDT by fanfan ("If Muslim kids were asked to go to church on Sunday and take Holy Communion there would be war.")
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To: TalBlack

Bill it to Øbozo ;-)

8 posted on 06/01/2013 4:46:41 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: rickmichaels

I’m sorry, but the fire services bill is paid by the citizens of that town. What, is the budget there set up that if there’s no out of towners to bilk at accidents, the city budget goes up? Do they actually plan for these money grabs? Or is it just a random act of bureaucracy, where someone read about some town doing this, and then said, hey, why don’t we?

What are these funds used for? It can’t be part of the normal salaries, that would be insane budget planning - we estimate that 300 cars from cities outside ours will be involved in traffic accidents, with the average number of parties involved being 3, so we’ll assume 300 * $277 into our budget? No, they don’t do that, I’m sure.

The services are already paid for, the people just need to tell the civil servants to drop this nonsense, which likely costs the residents more in civil service costs than it actually collects in fees. I’m sure there’s some full time employee that sends out these bills, probably less than one a week, and the city taxpayers are on the hook for all costs involved in that employee. Worse is where these funds are going once they are collected - what, a fire department office party? Or more realistically, a slush fund that civil servants drain for their own benefit.

9 posted on 06/01/2013 4:47:51 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: rickmichaels

If you order the pizza you pay for the pizza. The firetruck bill belongs to whomever call the fire department.

10 posted on 06/01/2013 4:59:47 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: rickmichaels

It is no different than parents needing to pay extra for their kids in school for activites, etc. The good ole unoins are always looking for ways to stick it to the taxpayer.

11 posted on 06/01/2013 5:02:07 PM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: rickmichaels

Was this a volunteer fire dept. or was it union with the firemen sitting around the fireplace sipping hot chocolate and eating donuts? If they are already getting paid, why in the world would you bill anyone? Sounds like the pop-up stop signs they used on remote rural roads in Ga. for revenue.

12 posted on 06/01/2013 7:15:45 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (Truth - the new hate speech!)
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To: rickmichaels

This is quite common, but most fire departments bill the insurance companies directly.

13 posted on 06/02/2013 1:05:49 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar)
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