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Ontario Strengthens Protections for Firefighters Across the Province

BRANTFORD – Ontario is taking significant strides to bolster protections for firefighters throughout the province, with proposed legislation aiming to enhance coverage for occupational diseases and injuries faced by these frontline heroes.

If passed, the forthcoming legislation will ensure that wildland firefighters and investigators receive the same presumptive coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for cancers, heart injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as their municipal counterparts. Additionally, the province is proposing to expand presumptive coverage for firefighters and fire investigators to include skin cancer and reduce the required service time for compensation eligibility from 15 to 10 years.

David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, emphasized the importance of recognizing the sacrifices made by firefighters across Ontario. “In every corner of our province, firefighters, fire investigators, and volunteers put their lives on the line to keep our families and communities safe,” he stated. “These frontline heroes deserve a government that values their service and sacrifice.”

The proposed changes to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) come in response to growing scientific evidence highlighting the increased risk of cancer, heart injuries, and PTSD among firefighters due to exposure to carcinogens and other hazards in the line of duty. These changes build upon previous legislative actions aimed at expanding coverage for firefighters, including the Working for Workers Acts introduced in recent years.

Key stakeholders, including the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association and government officials, have voiced their support for the proposed legislation. Greg Horton, President of the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association, commended the government for recognizing the need to update legislation to ensure fair treatment for firefighters and their families facing health issues due to their service.

The proposed measures have been welcomed by communities across Ontario, with local leaders expressing gratitude for the government’s commitment to supporting emergency responders. Kevin Davis, Mayor of the City of Brantford, expressed appreciation for the security and support these measures would provide to those who serve the community with courage and dedication.

In conclusion, the proposed legislation reflects Ontario’s commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of its firefighters and ensuring they receive the support they need. By expanding coverage and reducing barriers to access benefits, the government aims to provide firefighters with the resources and assistance necessary to protect themselves and their communities effectively.


The proposed legislation marks a significant step forward in recognizing the sacrifices and risks faced by firefighters across Ontario. By expanding protections for firefighters and reducing bureaucratic hurdles, the government is sending a clear message of support for frontline heroes. However, ongoing monitoring and evaluation will be crucial to ensure that these measures effectively address the needs of firefighters and their families in the long term.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at

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