Before rising for the summer, a government bill to establish a national framework for the prevention and treatment of cancers linked to firefighting became law in Canada.
PSAC supports this bill that:
- Declares the month of January as “Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month, and
- Includes a national framework for research and best practices in the screening, detection and treatment of cancers that are common among firefighters.
PSAC represents more than 600 firefighters who are employees of the Department of National Defence, Parks Canada, airport authorities, private contractors, and territorial governments. These workers are structural firefighters, wildland fighters, and aircraft and shipboard firefighters. Indeed, many of the firefighters on the front lines of the forest fires across the country at this moment are PSAC members.
Effective implementation of this act must be inclusive of all types of firefighters and the environments in which they work. PSAC delivered this message during the hearings on the bill of the Senate committee on National Security, Defence and Veterans Affairs.
PSAC has already been in contact with the office of the Minister of Health to ensure that we are among the stakeholders engaged in the development of the framework. We will continue to ensure that all workers have the right to be informed of and protected from workplace injuries and illnesses and are appropriately and fairly compensated when health and safety issues do occur.