Letters: In reponse to Canada’s firefighters

Motion for nation's firefighters in House of Commons

When you dial 911 to get help in an emergency, you fully expect a quick response.

In the vast majority of cases – from traffic accidents to heart attacks, from hazardous spills to burning buildings – the first to the rescue will be firefighters.  People’s lives depend on them and they put their lives at risk for the rest of us everyday.

For several years, Canada’s firefighters have been asking three simple things from the Government of Canada.  They deserve a decent response.  That’s why I’ve introduced Private Member’s Motion M-388 in the House of Commons.  It comes up for debate and a vote this fall.

On average, 18 firefighters die in the line of duty every year.  But there is nothing in place to help provide for their families if they are killed or become permanently disabled while on the job keeping Canadians safe.  So Motion M-388 proposes a one-time $300,000 benefit for firefighters (and for other “public safety officers”) who perish or become disabled.

In their work as “first responders” during public health emergencies, like influenza pandemics, firefighters will often come into contact with infected individuals.  Like doctors, nurses and other front-line health workers, they need priority access to vaccines and other medications to keep them as safe as possible in the line of duty.  Federal guidelines don’t currently provide for this.  Motion M-388 corrects that defect.

Finally, while most people get out of burning buildings as fast as possible, a firefighter’s job can be the exact opposite. To save lives, they sometimes need to run right into the teeth of a blaze.  Certain building materials and techniques can result in fires burning faster and hotter, thus endangering firefighters’ lives, especially during search-and-rescue operations.  Motion M-388 calls for firefighter safety to become an objective of the National Building Code.

These are three modest proposals. They respond to thoughtful, rational requests coming from Canadian firefighters.  Please encourage your Member of Parliament to support Motion M-388 – to help look after the courageous firefighters who look after all of us in times of emergency.

Yours sincerely,

Hon. Ralph Goodale, PC, MP

 

Deputy Leader, Liberal Party of Canada

 

 

Just Posted

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read