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Expanded cancer coverage for Ontario firefighters takes effect

June 29, 2023 
By FFIC Staff

June 29, 2023, Ontario – Previously announced increased cancer coverage for Ontario firefighters is now in effect.

The Ontario government is now including thyroid and pancreatic cancer coverage for firefighters, improving access to compensation and supports from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Firefighters die of cancer at a rate up to four times higher than the general population, reported the Ontario government. On average, 50 to 60 firefighters die of cancer yearly in Canada, and half of those are from Ontario. The inclusion of thyroid and pancreatic cancers will streamline their assessment in WSIB claims by presuming they are work-related.

Expanded coverage for claims related to thyroid and pancreatic cancers would be retroactive to January 1, 1960. These changes would apply to full-time, volunteer, and part-time firefighters, firefighters employed by First Nations band councils and fire investigators.

These regulatory amendments are part of a larger package that expands on the ground-breaking actions in the Working for Workers Acts, 2021 and 2022.

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