Letter to Minister Elliot: Ambulance Suppliers - August 30, 2021

SENT VIA E-MAIL: christine.elliott@ontario.ca

August 30, 2021

Minister Christine Elliot
Ministry of Health
777 Bay St, 5th Floor,
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3

Dear Minister Elliot:

RE: Ambulance Suppliers

We are writing about the requirement under the Ambulance Act to purchase ambulances that are fully certified to operate in Ontario.

With the amalgamation of Demers Ambulance and Crestline Coach there are only two ambulance manufactures that meet Ontario certification standards. (Demers/Crestline and Mercedes Benz Sprinter Ambulances)

As the Minister is aware the cost of purchasing ambulances is paid for upfront by Paramedic Services funded by municipal tax dollars and then the province funds 50% of the purchases through a depreciation formula over several years depending on the life of the ambulance.

On July 23, 2021 Paramedic Services across Ontario were notified by Demers/Crestline that do to circumstances beyond their control they would be “implementing a price increase ranging from 7% to 15% on conversions and options and the price increases were effective immediately as the date of the letter.” In addition, “effective as of the date of this letter they would require a 30% deposit payment on all orders at the time of Purchase Order Issuance to help secure and execute the vehicle order contract.” (Letter attached)

Minister we understand private companies need to make tough decisions during these unprecedented times. We want to support them and ensure they prosper in Ontario.

The cost of purchasing ambulances, at a cost of $150,000 each, is a huge burden on the municipal tax base. In Northern Ontario, the 11 Paramedic Services that are part of NOSDA own 201 ambulances and based on a 5-year replacement cycle the North alone purchases approximately 40 ambulances per year at a cost of 6 million dollars.

Our real concern is the lack of competition in this sector, and we want to know what the province plans to do to ensure we have strong and vibrant economy where private companies prosper and competition in the marketplace is alive and well.

If you require any further details, please reach out to Fern Dominelli, Executive Director for NOSDA at 705-7665-2944 or fern.dominelli@nosda.net.


Michelle Boileau

c.c. Graydon Smith, AMO President
Wendy Landry, NOMA President
Danny Whalen, FONOM President