November 25th, 2015

Ontario’s first responders need action on PTSD now: NDP

Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo called on the Premier to listen to pleas from Ontario’s first responders and finally act to recognize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a workplace injury.

“These firefighters, paramedics and police officers are the people we call when we need help. But when they need us, all we can say is: Just keep waiting,” said DiNovo. “How much longer will we keep first responders waiting?”

Ontario’s first responders have been waiting for eight years for the government to act on PTSD. DiNovo’s bill to finally recognize PTSD as a workplace injury has passed second reading and has been tabled five times, yet now, after the Minister of Labour promised that the legislation would be tabled this month, the bill may not be tabled until next year.

“So far this year, there have been 31 responder suicides because of PTSD in Ontario. Eight more years of more suicides, eight years already. One suicide is one suicide too many,” said DiNovo.

Alberta has had this legislation since 2012.

“If the government fails to see the urgency in this, I don’t know what else we can do. First responders are asking: Will more have to die before action is taken?” said DiNovo.