Bowman calls on province to pay full cost of ambulance services

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman wants the province to cover the full cost of ambulance services in the city.

“Delivering a provincial service should not come at the expense of Winnipeg property taxpayers,” Bowman said Wednesday.

“It’s important that as a contractor delivering these services on the province’s behalf, that it be done at a level that is cost neutral to the city of Winnipeg.”

Council’s Executive Policy Committee passed a motion Wednesday morning to seek “full cost recovery” from the province’s Shared Health Services as part of contract negotiations for the city’s emergency medical services.

The city and province have disputed the issue after Shared Health Services froze service payments to the city in November 2017.

City finance chair Scott Gillingham said they are still operating under the terms of the previous agreement which expired in March, which amounted to a 50-50 cost-sharing arrangement. He supported the Mayors call for a new deal that means taxpayers won’t be on the hook for the essential service.

“Subsidizing the cost of delivering a provincial health service through property taxes poses too significant a threat to prosperity for Winnipeg residents,” Bowman said.

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