IN THE HOUSE ~ Member's Statement ~ Public Safety Officer Compensation Fund

41st Parliament, 1st Session~Context : Private Member's Statement

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today marks the annual firefighters' legislative outreach, where firefighters from across Canada come to Parliament to raise critical issues for public safety. For 14 years they have asked for the creation of a public safety officer compensation fund.

    In 2005 the NDP brought forth this issue as private member's motion. New Democrats and Conservatives voted 161 to 112 to establish the fund. Yet six years later it has yet to be put in place.

    We can think of no better time than this year's firefighters lobby for the government to announce that it will finally do what Parliament mandated six years ago.

    Every year an average of 10 firefighters die in the line of duty to protect the public and save lives. They pay the ultimate price. Their families make a tremendous sacrifice and far too often suffer enormous financial hardship.

    Today we rise in the House to pay tribute to the firefighters of Canada for their selflessness and sacrifice. Today we renew our pledge to work to establish a public safety officer compensation fund for our nation's firefighters and police officers. Their courage is exemplary. They deserve no less.