Nov. 23, 2012, Ottawa - The IAFF’s top Canadian legislative issues took a giant leap forward Wednesday with the adoption of private member’s motion M-388 in the House of Commons in Ottawa.
Introduced by Liberal MP Ralph Goodale in June, M-388
was adopted 150-134 by MPs . The motion calls on the Canadian
government to establish a national Public Safety Officer Compensation
(PSOC) benefit, to give fire fighters priority access to vaccines
during an influenza pandemic and to amend the National Building Code of
Canada to improve fire fighter safety.
While private member’s motions are non-binding, the
fact that a majority of MPs representing a majority of Canadians voted
in favour of M-388 sends the federal government the clear message that
it should act on the IAFF’s Canadian legislative issues.
IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger cheered the
adoption of M-388, citing it as a tremendous advance for the Canadian
Legislative Program and as more proof that the IAFF’s political action
formula works. He also congratulated the IAFF’s Canadian leadership for
its hard work.
“To get this motion before the House of Commons was a
victory in itself; to see it adopted is a major step forward for our
Canadian legislative agenda and yet another confirmation that our
lobbying pays off.”
In the days leading up to the vote on M-388, numerous
Canadian affiliates responded to the IAFF’s request to contact target
MPs and to urge them to vote in favour of the motion. Those efforts
played a key role in the adoption of M-388.
The adoption of M-388 becomes a key argument as the
IAFF continues lobbying the Canadian government on the three priority
issues, and it comes just as discussions with the federal government on
the pandemic issue turned promising and as further consultation on the
building code issue was expected. It also helps set the stage for the
20th Canadian Legislative Conference, which takes place in April, 2013 in Ottawa.
The IAFF is extremely grateful to Goodale (Wascana,
Sask.), for his decisive action on behalf of Canada’s professional fire
fighters and his hard work in getting M-388 adopted in the House of
Commons. Goodale introduced M-388 in the House of Commons shortly after
speaking at the IAFF’s 19th Canadian Legislative Conference and meeting with delegates from Regina, Sask. Local 181.
All Liberal and New Democratic Party (NDP) MPs voted
in favour of M-388, as did close to 20 Conservatives. Green Party
Leader Elizabeth May also supported the motion as did all four Bloc
A jubilant Goodale noted the cross-party support M-388
received. “It’s good to see a little genuine democracy on the floor of
the House – for such a worthy cause,” Goodale said. “I’m grateful to
all my colleagues in all Parties who joined together to endorse these
important measures in support of the courageous people who put their
lives on the line daily to keep Canadians safe.”
The IAFF is also grateful to Conservative MP and IAFF
ally Patrick Brown (Barrie, ON), who worked exceptionally hard on
behalf of fire fighters to help secure enough votes to see M-388
adopted, and to NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster, BC), who
also brought important attention to the motion. Click here to see how individual MPs voted on M-388.