Offering more clarity on pulling of JEPP funding
To the Editor:
Following last week’s St. Paul Journal article regarding the decision of the Federal Government to discontinue funding to the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP), I wish to offer a little bit of background regarding the story.
In the beginning of April of this year, I was notified by my provincial counterparts of the decision to cancel funding of the JEPP program, as well as the closure of the Canadian Emergency Management College. I found this rather strange, as not only do I serve as fire chief, but also as the director of emergency management for the Town of St. Paul, and surely I would have been consulted or at the very least notified of this decision. After two calls and messages left with the local MP’s office went unanswered, I contacted then editor Tim Banman to see if he could find any information for me. On April 26, Mr. Banman forwarded me a link to a press release from Ontario, and then on April 30, 2012, he again email me saying that, “Today was my last day at the Journal, and I did not get a chance to get to the story.” I think it’s important for readers to know and understand that Mr. Banman left his position with the Journal to become a paid assistant to the local MP. The readers can draw their own conclusions if they so choose.
I am also confused as to the statement by the local MP that JEPP was one time funding? I have files dating back nearly 10 years where both the Town and County of St. Paul have benefited from JEPP grants. How is that one time funding? As far as trying to contact me, I work Monday through Friday and also carry a radio and cell phone with me 24 hours a day, due to the nature of my job. Telemarketers have no trouble finding me, surely a Member of Parliament can too.
St. Paul Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management
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