1989 – Alex Forrest begins career as a City of Winnipeg firefighter.
1995 – Forrest graduates from the University of Manitoba's school of law while working full time as city firefighter.
1996 – Forrest is called to the bar.
1997 – Forrest is elected United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg president.
2014 – Forrest takes full-time leave of absence for union work. Recognizing it has been paying 100 per cent of Forrest’s salary, the city renegotiates the deal, agreeing to pay 60 per cent for remainder of his time as union president.
2016 – New collective bargaining agreement between City of Winnipeg and UFFW is agreed to in principal in December and then later ratified in April, 2017. There are no changes to Forrest’s salary deal.
Jan. 5 – News reports reveal that taxpayers have been paying 60 per cent of Forrest’s salary since 2014.
Jan. 8 – Mayor Brian Bowman says Forrest’s 2014 salary deal should be renegotiated.
Jan. 10 – Free Press reports city has been paying part — and, at times, all — of Forrest’s salary since 1997.
Jan. 11 – City admits there may be no paper trail for Forrest’s salary deal prior to 2014, saying it’s believed it was approved by former Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service Chief Jim Brennan prior to 2014. Brennan denies the claim.
“I don't know if (the deal) was done as a handshake or written on the back of a napkin. But I can certainly confirm in 2017 any such arrangement done verbally would simply be unacceptable,” City of Winnipeg Chief Corporate Services Officer Michael Jack says in an interview with the Free Press.
The Free Press also reports the city may have been on the hook for as much as $1.2 million in salary, plus benefits and pension payments, over a 17-year period, based on information pulled from more than decade of the city’s annual compensation disclosure agreements.
Jan. 12 – Former city councillor Paula Havixbeck says she wants an apology from Forrest. In 2014, while a candidate for mayor, Havixbeck claimed the city was paying Forrest’s salary without reimbursement from union. Forrest denied the claim at the time.
Jan. 17 – In an interview with the Free Press, Forrest confirms the city paid all of his salary from 1997 to 2014. He claims it was justified due to his work on eight city committees — as stipulated under Article 20 of the collective bargaining agreement. Forrest also admits to receiving two paycheques: one directly from the city, the other a top-up — representing the partial wage of a city firefighter — from his union.
Jan. 17 – Bowman says Forrest’s salary deal “should have been flagged” for renegotiation during 2016 collective bargaining. However, he won’t commit to renegotiating the deal prior to the next round of collective bargaining in 2021.
Jan. 19 – Free Press fact checks past claim by Forrest that despite receiving two paycheques he’s lowest-paid civic union leader in Winnipeg. Information pulled from the city’s annual compensation disclosure agreement shows the president of the local paramedics union is paid less.
Jan. 19 – Free Press reports Forrest has taken at least 60 out-of-town trips — averaging more than one per month —since March 2014, based off information culled from his personal Twitter account. Roughly one-third of the trips were to the U.S. or Europe.
Jan. 23 – UFFW Twitter account posts a letter from International Association of Fire Fighters district vice-president for Manitoba and Ontario Fred LeBlanc that criticizes the media for a “line of attack” on Forrest that “clearly displays the new low of today’s media outlets.” The letter likens the controversy surrounding Forrest’s salary to attempts by media to shame U.S. President Donald Trump.
Feb. 13 – UFFW files a defamation lawsuit against the Free Press for a Jan. 20 editorial entitled “Union Should Mull Over Forrest’s Future.”
Feb. 27 – Forrest is acclaimed for an 11th term as president of the UFFW.
April 23 – Documents obtained by the Free Press show Forrest hasn’t attended a single joint safety committee meeting since at least December 2006. The joint safety committee is one of eight Forrest has pointed to as justification for the city paying his salary.
"Alex’s (Forrest) attendance on committees was always spotty at best. Unless there was something to specifically attract his attention, some specific issue that interested him, he wasn’t likely to attend," said one former WFPS member who asked not to be named.
April 24 – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation calls on Forrest to stop taking taxpayers' money.