New fire chief takes helm following period of tension between firefighters and leadership
New fire chief takes helm following period of tension between firefighters and leadership
September 8, 2017
Brampton Guardian
Article by: Peter Criscione

 

Bill Boyes will take over as Brampton fire chief Oct. 10

 
Bill Boyes

During Wednesday’s (Sept. 6) Committee of Council meeting, the city announced that Bill Boyes(centre), former fire chief with the City of Barrie, has been hired on to lead the Brampton fire and emergency services department, commencing Oct. 10. - Chris Simon/Metroland

The City of Brampton has a new fire chief.
 
During Wednesday’s (Sept. 6) Committee of Council meeting, the city announced that Bill Boyes, former fire chief with the City of Barrie, has been hired to lead the local fire and emergency services department, commencing Oct. 10.
 
He replaces Michael Clark, who retired as chief in July.
 
“Community safety is central to our city operations, and will continue to be as we grow from our current 600,000 people to close to 900,000 by 2041. Our rapid growth places an even greater importance on recognizing the interdependencies between all city divisions and our Brampton Fire and Emergency Services team,” reads a media release issued Wednesday announcing Boyes’ hiring.
 
Boyes’ appointment as chief is a homecoming, of sorts.
 
Prior to serving in Barrie, Boyes spent a decade with Brampton Fire serving in various roles. He takes over at the helm in Brampton following a period of tense relations between firefighters and the former leadership under Clark, who retired after a 35-year career in Brampton, including three years as chief. Clark is now deputy fire chief with the City of Owen Sound.
 
Municipal leaders said as the city’s new fire chief, Boyes will be charged with building relationships with fire service labour and management leaders, various professional development organizations, and the public “in inventive ways”.
 
“Bill is a true people leader, connecting openly and easily with all parts of the fire service, fire association, and leadership team, council, and the public.”
Paul Lecompte, a vice president with the local firefighters association, said in a recent interview that members are looking forward to moving on from the turmoil that has plagued the department in recent years.
 
In 2016, the Brampton Professional Firefighters Association Local 1068 filed a formal complaint with the Ontario Labour Board, accusing Clark and the city of unfair labour practices.
 
The firefighters union charged that relations had hit an all-time low under Clark's leadership.