ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — An Ontario city is telling firefighters to turn down the heat on their steamy charity calendar or risk losing municipal backing.
Members of the St. Catharines Fire Combat Team strip down to their overalls for the annual calendar to raise money for a good cause.
But now municipal officials say firefighters have to cover up or take off their uniforms, because the city can’t support the publication of photos of its employees in states of undress.
The deputy chief administrative officer insists the no shirts, no city services directive isn’t about discouraging charity, but ensuring “respect and dignity in the workplace.”
David Oakes says the policy was prompted by an investigation into an internal complaint about a calendar featuring partially undressed women being displayed in a municipal setting.
The president of the St. Catharines Professional Firefighters Association called the city’s decision unfortunate, and says they’ve never received any complaints about the combat team’s calendar.
Ryan Madill says last year’s calendar raised $18,000 for mental health services in St. Catharines, and also serves as a “morale booster” for the firefighters involved.