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Ontario recognizes illnesses caused by firefighting

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After passing legislation in May, the provincial government took the final steps Thursday and implemented a regulation that identifies certain cancers and heart attacks as presumed work-related illnesses for firefighters.

“This is an opportunity to not only ensure we protect the firefighters of today but we recognize the past contributions that firefighters have made,” said Ontario Labour Minister, Steve Peters.

The regulation means that the onus is no longer on firefighters to prove that certain cancers are work related in order to receive compensation from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

The regulation includes eight illnesses and conditions that apply to full-time firefighters. It also includes firefighters who have had heart attacks within 24 hours of fighting a fire or after participating in a training exercise that involves a fire emergency.

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