Fire Fighting in Canada

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OPFFA applauds new compensation bill

May 31, 2013, Toronto – An Ontario MPP has introduced a bill that would add six types of cancer to the list of presumed job-related illnesses for firefighters.

May 31, 2013
By Carey Fredericks

May 31, 2013, Toronto – An Ontario MPP has introduced a bill that would add six types of cancer to the list of presumed job-related illnesses for firefighters.

Ontario has had presumptive legislation since 2007 but the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) said in a press release Thursday that the addition of testicular, breast, skin, lung and prostate cancers, as well as multiple myeloma, would bring the province in line with other regions.

All provinces except Newfoundland have some type of presumptive legislation; the OPFFA has been lobbying the Newfoundland government to introduce legislation.

In 2007, Ontario amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to recognize brain, bladder, kidney, ureter, esophageal and colorectal cancers, heart injury (such as heart attacks or cardiac arrest) within 24 hours of fighting a fire, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia as occupational cancers. As a result, workers compensation benefits are paid to firefighters without them having to prove that the job caused the illness.

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"Presumptive legislation is a matter of fairness for fire fighters and our families," OPFFA president Mark McKinnon, said in the press release.

"We welcome legislation that strives to recognize more of the cancers that studies have linked to our profession."

For more information on the bill, click here.