Calgary

Firefighters want cancer compensation

Alberta firefighters want better compensation for work-related illnesses.

Alberta firefighters want better compensation for work-related illnesses.

The Alberta and Edmonton Firefighters' Associations launched a campaign Thursday in hopes of forcing the Workers' Compensation Board to introduce presumptive cancer coverage.

Richard Magnus, Tory MLA for Calgary North Hill, says he plans to introduce a private member's bill to change the workers' compensation legislation.

Right now, a firefighter with cancer must establish a link between their disease and a particular fire before being eligible for benefits.

Ken Block, president of the Edmonton firefighters, says more than 12 studies show firefighters have two to three times greater risk of developing certain cancers. The studies have established a link between six types of cancer and the toxic fumes firefighters are often exposed to when battling blazes.

Manitoba provides automatic compensation for those six identified cancers.

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