To: Members Of The Legislative Assembly In British Columbia
Bring Presumption Of Illness For PTSD In Public Safety Workers In British Columbia
Members Of The Legislative Assembly In British Columbia
Due to the nature of the work they do for us, Public Safety workers (Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Emergency Dispatchers, Correctional Officers, and Others) are exposed to traumatic incidents and experience traumatic stress at levels well above those in the general population.
Employers have been slow in developing safety programs and education programs to better inform and protect Public Safety Workers across Canada.
Workers Compensation Law has limited delivery of appropriate financial supports and treatment provided to those workers who fracture under the often repeated traumatic stress they experience on the job.
This leaves workers unprotected and those who's experience causes psychological injury go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues requiring treatment.
With limitations established under current provisions in Provincial Workers Compensation Law, many Public Safety Workers are falling through the cracks.
The tragic outcome is an increasing level of worker suicide across Public Safety jurisdictions coast-to-coast.
To ensure full protection for Public Safety Workers and their families we need to ensure that solid provision is granted through Workers Compensation Legislation in every Province in Canada.
The Government of Canada is currently working on a National Strategy in concert with Provincial Governments. However the wheels of progress, as we know, move far too slowly. Too many families are experiencing the loss of their Public Safety Worker family member.
To address this issue Provincially, we need Amendments to Workers Compensation Law in British Columbia that empowers adjudication and ensures claims are honoured for psychological injury resulting in PTSD and other mental health illness for Workers in Public Safety without delay.
This is best achieved through language in Workers Compensation Law that considers PTSD and other mental health illness in Public Safety Workers presumptive.
Presumption of Illness language ensures immediate supports for injured workers without interruption of income throughout treatment. This ensures protection for both the worker and for the worker's family.
To date, the Provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario have legislated presumptive clauses in governing legislation. We hear the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are following their lead.
In British Columbia, after years of discussion on the issue, the Government continues to stall in bringing forth and enacting presumptive legislation to protect Public Safety Workers.
Earlier this year, Opposition MLA Shane Simpson Tabled Bill-M203 calling on the Provincial Government to amend the Workers Compensation Act with 'presumption of illness' provision incorporated in the Act to protect Public Safety Workers in British Columbia.
Government has not supported this Bill. Nor have they chosen to follow the lead of other Provinces and brought forth amendments of their own.
We are asking now for your support. We ask the Government to bring forth amendments to the Workers Compensation Act in British Columbia, in line with the changes to legislation already granted in other Provincial Jurisdictions.
We ask as public citizens that our Government now act. This is simply now the right thing to do.
These workers serve British Columbians in our darkest hours of human need.
We need you now to stand up and be counted in supporting workers by insisting on legislative action to bring amendment to the British Columbia Workers Compensation Act providing presumption of illness for Public Safety Workers in BC.
Contact Info: Terrance Joseph Kosikar
Why is this important?
An Amendment to the Workers Compensation Act In British Columbia is in order to provide support and care for British Columbia's Public Safety Workers. Such Amendment creates a presumptive clause for Public Safety Workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In recognition of the crucial role paramedics, firefighters, police officers, emergency dispatchers, corrections officers, and others play in ensuring the health and safety of British Columbians, this amendment guarantees that they will receive timely support and treatment when they are suffering from exposure to traumatic events.
How it will be delivered
Signatures will be delivered via email.