On March 8, 2023, the House of Commons adopted Bill C-224, An Act respecting the development of a national framework for the prevention and treatment of fire-related cancers, a move welcomed by Quebec’s unionized firefighters and managers as a major stride forward.
The bill, which seeks to establish a comprehensive approach to the prevention and treatment of cancer in firefighters, was endorsed unanimously by the House, and is now awaiting royal assent before it can become law.
The legislation will provide a framework to ensure that firefighters, both unionized and non-unionized, receive the medical attention they require. It will also provide the resources needed to study, investigate and report on fire-related cancers and their causes and effects.
The bill will also include provisions to ensure that fire departments are equipped with, and use, the necessary protective gear to help protect firefighters from the hazardous materials they are exposed to while in the line of duty.
The unionized firefighters and managers of Quebec are pleased to see the bill move forward and view it as a positive step in the right direction. They hope that the bill will lead to improved safety measures for firefighters and increased access to the medical attention they need.
“We are proud to see the passage of this important legislation in the House of Commons,” said Eric Caouette, President of the Union des pompiers du Québec. “We believe that this bill will ensure greater protection for our members and will make a real difference in the lives of firefighters across Canada.”
The adoption of Bill C-224 is an important milestone in the effort to protect and support firefighters. The unionized firefighters and managers of Quebec are hopeful that the bill will become law quickly and will provide the necessary framework for the prevention and treatment of fire-related cancers.