SYDNEY, NS – Premier Iain Rankin, today, announced that a re-elected Liberal government will expand the list of presumptive cancers for Nova Scotia’s volunteer and professional firefighters from six to 17.
This will bring Nova Scotia in line with Ontario, which covers the highest number of cancers for firefighters.
In addition, the expanded list recognizes that women are firefighters, too. Reproductive cancers, including ovarian and cervical cancer will be among the 17.
“I am pleased to be able to recognize the great work and service our firefighters provide to all Nova Scotians,” said Premier Rankin. “Over the summer, I have visited several volunteer fire departments and met with the men and women who sacrifice for us every day. Hopefully, supporting them in this way will also provide comfort to their families.”
The Premier made the announcement at Sydney Fire Station #1, a brand-new station, where construction just finished.
He was joined by Derek Mombourquette, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Liberal candidate for Sydney-Whitney Pier, and John John McCarthy, the Liberal candidate for Glace Bay-Dominion.
Nova Scotia’s firefighters have had coverage under the Worker’s Compensation Act for six cancers since 2003.
In 2019, the government amended the Act to update the definition of firefighters to include volunteer firefighters.
There are 3,000 volunteer firefighters in rural communities across Nova Scotia. These volunteers are at the heart of our rural areas.
Recruitment can be an issue for some of these fire departments. Expanding the list of presumptive cancers could contribute to attracting more Nova Scotians.