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Canadian Association for Free Expression
Box 332,
Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3
Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director

October 5, 2013
Jim Sales, Chief,
Toronto Fire Services Headquarters
4330 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M3H 5R9

By Fax: 416-338-9060
Dear Chief Sales:
While I live in Port Credit, I have an office in Etobicoke. As a taxpayer, let me tell you what I expect from the Toronto Fire Services. I expect brave, trained, competent firemen to respond quickly and professionally to emergencies, especially fires, to which they might be called.
What they do on their own time is no concern of mine. If they drink too much, act rowdy, tell crude jokes, that’s their business. I expect them to be professional, fit and competent on the job. Their salary should pay for their dedication on the job; it should not necessarily buy us a saint off the job.
That brings me to recent disturbing press reports about your decision to first suspend and then fire three of your firemen. According to the Canadian Press of August 22, 2013, you called yourself  an "agent of change" trying to  correct the "culture"  at the Toronto Fire Department. The recent suspension (August 22) and firing three weeks later of three Toronto firemen for sexually insensitive twitter comments on their own cellphones on their own time makes one wonder whether "agent of change" shouldn't be read as "agent of the thought police"? The Toronto Fire Service didn't even have a policy about the use of social media on one's own time, but, hey, fire the outspoken tweeters anyway; they were, in that catch-all of political correctese being "inappropriate".
Your action has trampled on these men’s right to freedom of speech. While the comments quoted may have been juvenile and silly, when it comes right down to it, we are paying these men for their courage and competence on the job, not for their social skills or proper attitudes.
I hope you will reconsider and rehire these men.
Sincerely yours,

Paul Fromm


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