Fire Fighting in Canada

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Waterloo’s move not to raise taxes may hike fire insurance rates

Dec. 20, 2007 - WATERLOO, Ont. - Property insurance rates are set to rise across Waterloo after city council voted against a small tax hike to speed up improvements to its fire department.

December 20, 2007
By BN [The Canadian Press - Broadcast wire]

Consultant CGI warned this year that it was downgrading the city's Fire Underwriters Survey rating from a 3 to a 4.

The ratings are used by insurance companies to set rates for all but single detached homes in the city.

Fire Chief John deHooge says the new rating will mean the total cost of insurance for businesses, institutions and multi-residential high rise units will increase by as much as $600,000 a year across the city.

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The city decided not to implement a one per cent tax increase spread out over three years that would cost the average homeowner about $3 a year.

Instead, councillors opted to fund the fire plan over five years, which meant no additional tax increase, but caused the city's insurance rating to drop.

(The Canadian Press)(Waterloo Region Record)