The North Bay Police Service is facing a budget deficit of just over $359,000 because of a $300,000 insurance bill from an employee who’s suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Police Chief Shawn Devine says the spike in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums and other expenses connected to last year’s operating budget are reasons for the deficit. Devine added there was an insurance issue with the city for $45,000 and two projects were over budget which led to an additional $20,000.
Devine says the WSIB bill was definitely a surprise, adding he was only notified of the charge in November while the board was presenting its police budget to city council. He says the WSIB bill was from one specific case, and represents about two per cent of their overall budget. Devine says legislation changed in June of last year about presumptive PTSD, making the costs associated with claims unpredictable.
Devine says the police will now look to allocate money in the form of a line item in future budgets to cover any costs related to employees suffering from PTSD, or any kind of mental illness.
Devine finished by saying they’ve also moved $68,000 from the surplus reducing the current deficit to $280,000.