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Ted McMeekin
M.P.P. - Ancaster-Dundas
Flamborough-Westdale


tmcmeekin.mpp@liberal.ola.org
4th Floor, suite 4320
Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3
416-327-2333
Fax 416-327-3790



Constituency Office
P.O. Box 1240,
Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0
905-690-6552
Toll-Free: 888-566-6614
Fax: 905-690-6562


  Home / News Releases / McMeekin announces Ontario Government supporting firefighters faced with life-threatening occupational disease  

McMeekin announces Ontario Government supporting firefighters faced with life-threatening occupational disease

 

Waterdown - Firefighters deserve compensation for work-related illnesses and the Ontario government is working to ensure they get the help they need, Ted McMeekin, MPP Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot announced today.

 

New measures have been taken to ensure that fire fighters and their families are compensated properly when tragedy strikes. Captain Bob Shaw of the Hamilton Fire Department succumbed to a work-related illness contracted while serving his community. Today’s new legislation was inspired by his memory.

 

“Firefighters and their families in Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot make sacrifices every day to keep Ontarians safe,” said McMeekin “The late, great Bob Shaw heard the call of duty and served his community with honour.  The Ontario government has heard the same call of bravery and moved to protect those who make the ultimate sacrifice”

 

The legislation will allow the government to make regulations that presume that certain diseases and heart injuries found in firefighters are work-related for the purpose of workers’ compensation, unless it is demonstrated otherwise. This legislation would be retroactive to January 1, 1960.

 

Henry Watson, President of the Hamilton Professional Fire Fighters Association was equally as enthusiastic about the new legislation. “This is a huge, progressive step forward and we’d like the thank the government,” said Watson, who extended his thanks specifically to Ted McMeekin, “on behalf of the Hamilton Fire Fighters Association, we’d like to thank Ted, he was there for the Shaw family when they were in need,” concluded Watson.

 

McMeekin added, “this presumptive legislation would give firefighters and their families the proper recognition that is due them. We must do more than engrave the names of fallen fire fighters on a wall; we must also etch their memory on our hearts.”

 

This legislation which is now approved by the Legislature, allows the government to move quickly to:

 

-Implement a regulation covering full-time firefighters that would identify eight types of cancer as presumed to be work-related, if the firefighter has a minimum length of service;

 

-Include heart attacks as presumed to be work-related if they occur within 24 hours of a firefighter attending a fire;

 

-Consult with volunteer firefighters, part-time firefighters and fire investigators to develop the regulations on how the eight types of cancer and heart injury would apply to these groups.

 

Introducing legislation to support firefighters faced with occupational disease is just one way the provincial government is working on the side of Ontario families.

 

“Our government is also committed to improving the health and safety of all Ontario workers, including firefighters,” said McMeekin.

 

Some initiatives we have taken include:

 

-Providing municipalities with a $30 million Ontario Fire Service Grant to improve services;

 

-Hiring 200 new health and safety inspectors to carry out inspections of high-risk workplaces up to four times a year, and

 

-Introducing a new regulation to protect people who work in confined spaces.

 

“Workplace accidents and injuries are devastating to Ontario workers and their families,” said McMeekin “We’re going to keep working to make sure all our workers have the equipment and training they need to stay safe on the job.”

 

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For further information

Please contact Ted McMeekin, MPP  905-690-6552