NEWS: NDP’s Peter Julian receives award from North American firefighters

OTTAWA – Today, NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby - New Westminster), received an Award of Recognition from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), for his legislative work, leading to the passage of Motion M-153 in November 2005.

The award was presented at the IAFF's Fourteenth Annual Canadian Legislative Conference, held in Ottawa. Julian’s Private Member’s Motion called for the establishment of a national benefit to be awarded to the families of fallen and injured firefighters, and the construction of a national firefighter’s monument in a prominent location in Ottawa.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be recognized by these hard working, courageous Canadians who literally put their lives on the line for our communities” said Julian.

Julian reiterated his call for all party cooperation on this issue and appealed to the Conservative government to honour their support of Motion 153 in the last parliament: “Now is the time for this new government to finalize the implementation of the compensation benefit after 12 years of foot-dragging. The families of firefighters deserve no less”, said Julian.

To this day, about 20 public safety officers die in the line of duty each year, with 10 out of the 20 being firefighters. The vast majority of Fire Departments do not have the benefits to provide for the families of fallen colleagues. This can mean real hardship on a surviving family.

In the United States, firefighter’s families have been compensated by the American government since 1976.