Leeds & Grenville Warden Calling on City of Ottawa to Cover High Paramedic Costs

Published by City News – May 05, 2023

It’s costing neighbouring communities just under a million dollars to answer calls in the Capital and now they’re calling on the City of Ottawa to cover those costs.

The Leeds and Grenville Paramedics covers up to 13 municipalities, and because of their approximately to Ottawa, they also answer more than a thousand more calls in the capital.

Nancy Peckford, the Warden of Leeds and Grenville, now calling on the city of Ottawa to reimburse the paramedics, because the costs are adding up. “This is not an issue of us responding to a call,” Peckford told CityNews on Friday, May 5. “It’s just how do we finance and resource the burden paramedic services across eastern Ontario bare.”

Peckford, who also serves as the mayor of North Grenville, said it cost her county just under a million dollars of paramedic time that was spent in Ottawa, over the past five years. And they’re not being compensated for it.

Her concern is the more time the paramedic service spends in Ottawa, the less they are able to respond to their local residents’ needs.

According to the law in Ontario, municipalities must dispatch their paramedics to a call in a neighboring jurisdiction if they are the closest to the patient, regardless of municipal borders. There’s no requirement for municipalities to reimburse each other. But Peckford explained that due to the volume of calls their paramedics get, she would like to see a system where cities reconcile at the end of the year.

Peckford said this issue will be on the agenda during next week’s Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) to discuss ways to work with Ottawa and ensure the taxpayers of Leeds and Grenville are getting the service they deserve

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Ottawa Paramedic Services ambulance. (Photo/Dani-Elle Dubé)