Professional firefighters who develop certain types of cancers will be presumed to have contracted them because of their work under proposed amendments to the Workers Compensation Act announced by the B.C. Government.
Under the changes, firefighters diagnosed with certain cancers will be presumed to have developed an “occupational disease”, thereby entitling them to WCB benefits, unless the WCB or the employer is able to prove otherwise. The government intends to make the changes retroactive to April 11, 2005.
The government has stated it will also consult with the Government of Alberta on how the legislation could apply to volunteer firefighters, noting that Alberta is looking at this issue as well.
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