Please check the discount page for info on Holiday Marlies tickets if interested.
OPFFA RAPTORS/MARLIES PROMO
Attention all members, please log into our members discount page in order to view our promotional codes for upcoming Toronto Raptors games as well as information on the Marlies upcoming first responders night.
Please see the member's discount page for our discount code.
Toronto Fire has offered to include Barrie Fire in a Detroit road trip to watch the Lions and Tigers play this weekend. Package includes travel, hotel, and tickets to both games. Price is $315. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book.
Free Mental Health Webinar for First Responders
ATTENTION CANADIAN AFFILIATES
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is hosting a free webinar on April 26, 2017, Understanding our brain’s reaction to stress: How to adopt positive mental health hygiene habits, as part of their mental health for first responders initiative. The IAFF Canadian Office is working with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to create a mental health roadmap for fire fighters. This roadmap links in with our ongoing work with the federal government to create a National Action Plan for PTSD for first responders. The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s webinar series contributes to our efforts to raise awareness and educate members to foster healing, resilience and suicide prevention.
This webinar presentation will enable participants to understand the different types of stress, our brain’s response to stress, and the concept of mental health hygiene.
Please register through this link: http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/1156975/85827ea41d/ARCHIVE
We encourage you to share this opportunity with your members, and promote it through your websites and social media.
IAFF Canadian Office
March General Membership Meeting
The March General Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday March the 23rd at The Royal Canadian Legion starting at 9:30 am. All business from the last meeting to present will be discussed.
CABELA'S HOMETOWN HEROES EVENT
Coldest Night of the Year 2017
Come walk with us on Saturday February the 25th to help support Canada's walk for homelessness. Part of the Barrie Professional Firefighter's Association will be joining several other fine members of our community fundraise donations for hard-hit local charities and help bring awareness to some of the challenges faced by the homeless. For more information please check out the local Coldest Night of the Year 2017 Website .
Hope to see you there!
January General Membership Meeting
The January General Meeting will be held on Thursday January the 12th at The Royal Canadian Legion starting at 9:30 am. All business from the last meeting to present will be discussed.
Merry Christmas from BPFFA
Barrie firefighter 'elves' delivering Christmas gifts to a local senior's residence.
Happy holidays from the Barrie Professional Firefighters Association.
Please stay safe this holiday season.
Toronto Firefighters Hockey Tournament
Dave Forfar's Retirement Party
Join us in celebrating Dave Forfar's retirement on Saturday November the 19th at 7pm at The Farmhouse.
Click the link for further information on how to purchase tickets.
Fundraiser for retired Officer
His job was helping others and now he needs a little help himself.
Bernie Cullen was a Metro Toronto police officer for 25 years before he retired to his home in Tiny Township with his wife, Lee Cullen.
She said she first noticed his health was failing a few years ago.
"Bernie has always been in ridiculously amazing health," Lee said on Thursday.
After being diagnosed with low iron, the couple thought he'd rebound once he started on iron pills.
But last year, when he lost his appetite - and 30 pounds in a two-month period - Cullen said they knew something was wrong.
By mid-February, they found out that Bernie had Stage 4 prostate cancer.
"It's too late for surgery because it has spread into his liver and there's very little of his liver that's not affected. And a transplant is not feasible," she said.
Bernie is now taking chemotherapy at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre for three days every two weeks and his tumour has shrunk a little, she said.
Worried as she is about Bernie's health, there's also the cost of being a pensioner with cancer.
Trips to the hospital have been offered by friends and Bernie has sometimes driven himself.
But the cost of gas, hospital parking, more than $300 in medications each month plus health supplements have taken their toll on the Cullen's budget.
Now that the deck leading into their home has fallen into disrepair, the couple are doubly concerned because Lee is in a wheelchair.
"I tried mowing the grass in my wheelchair but I damaged the wheelchair," she said. "There's all kinds of little things adding up that we just can't take care of right now."
That's where Frank Nelson comes in.
The Barrie man whose bucket list became a way of paying it forward to other people who were suffering - Nelson has the same prostate cancer as Bernie - has eased the suffering of 42 people to date.
"I've still got eight more to go," Nelson said, meaning he wants to help 50 people with $1,000 gifts before he moves on to his next project.
Although Nelson has terminal cancer too, it hasn't reached his liver as Bernie's has.
Nelson is hosting a fundraiser for the Cullens at the Buffalo Wild Wing on Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. with a raffle and silent auction prizes.
Lee's sister Shelley Campbell, who lives in B.C., has also created a gofundme page, Take a Bite Out of Cancer 4 Bernie (https://www.gofundme.com/2nfvqd24).
Nelson has visited 20 police stations in central Ontario, to get the message out to first responders who might want to help a retired officer.
For more information, visit Frank Nelson's Facebook page or his website,iampayingitback.com.
OPFFA Scholarship & Bursary
Attention all members
At the bottom of this entry you can find the application forms for the Wayne DeMille Scholarship and the William T. Saunders Bursary which are based on the OPFFA’s Code of Ethics listed below.
The deadline for completed applications to be returned to the OPFFA office is Friday, September 30th 2016 no later than 4:30pm.
OPFFA CODE OF ETHICS
As a Fire Fighter and member of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, my duty is to serve humanity; to protect and preserve life and property; to maintain the highest levels of professional proficiency; to continually seek and facilitate innovation; and to share my expertise with all members who seek to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities.
I will never allow personal opinions, emotions, values, or ideals to deter me from my responsibilities as a Fire Fighter. I also acknowledge that my duties as a Fire Fighter may place me in situations of personal risk, and, I will do everything in my power to minimize such risks.
I will at all times respect the property, rights, and chosen way of life of all people. I will abide by all the laws of my: community, province, and country. I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust, to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the Fire and Emergency Service.
I will constantly strive to achieve the goals and objectives established by my service, dedicating myself to my chosen profession: “THE PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF ALL LIFE AND PROPERTY”
As a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, I accept this self-imposed and self-enforced obligation as my personal and professional responsibility.
Wayne DeMille Scholarship Application
William Saunders Bursary Application
Burlington Hockey Tournament
The Burlington Professional Fire Fighters Association is hosting its first annual Movember Hockey Tournament. It will be held Thursday November 24th - Friday November 25th 2016. Please see the attached flyer for further details and contact information.
Burlington Hockey Tournament
Fill the Boot for MDA in 2016
Please support the Barrie Firefighters on June 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th at various locations across the City of Barrie. Help us Fill the Boot in support of those affected with muscular dystrophy.
New Treasurer and Executive Officer Elected
Congratulations to Eric MacFadden and Stephen Pomeroy for being elected as BPFFA's new Treasurer and Executive Officer. The membership appreciates your dedication to the association and is looking forward to working with you in the upcoming years.
New BPFFA President Elected
Congratulations to the new President of the Barrie Professional Firefighter's Association Kevin White. Yesterday evening Kevin was elected to take on the role of BPFFA President. A special thank you goes out to Scott Ellis for his dedication and service to the members of the BPFFA over the past 6 years.
Attention All OPFFA Locals – Hot Edict Declared on Captain/Training Position in Caledon
In accordance with the OPFFA’s Hot Edict Policy we are declaring a Hot Edict on the current posting for a Captain/Training in Caledon.
Attached please find a letter supporting this decision. Please distribute this to your membership and emphasize that a Hot Edict is a request to all members to NOT apply for this position and respect the Local’s attempt to have a fair process for its bargaining unit members prior to any external posting.
We will keep you informed of any progress in this regard.
Caledon Hot Edict
BPFFA Executive Board Nominations
To all BPFFA Members,
Nominations have been put forward for the vacant positions of Vice-President of the BPFFA and Executive Officer of the BPFFA.
A nomination was received from Jeff Catteau putting forward Rob Doucette for the position of Vice-President. Rob has confirmed his intent is to stand for the nomination. No other nominations were received for this position.
A nomination was received from Jim Dawes putting forward Steve Pomeroy for the position of Executive Officer. Steve has confirmed his intent is to stand for the nomination. A nomination was also received from Denis Laurin putting forward Chris Sauve for the position of Executive Officer. Chris has confirmed his intent is to stand for the nomination. Seeing there are two candidates wishing to run for the position of Executive Officer, an election will be held at the June 8th 2016 General Membership Meeting of the BPFFA. Advance online polling will be in effect seven (7) days prior to the election date. Further details regarding the online voting shall be put forward to the membership by the Elections Officer, Brad Conrad.
Due to the acceptance of the nominations of Rob Doucette (presently Treasurer for the BPFFA) and Steve Pomeroy (presently Shift Steward for D Platoon for the BPFFA), these candidates as per the Constitution have resigned from their Board positions. A call for nominations for the Executive Board position of Treasurer and the Shift Steward for D Platoon is being put forth. The deadline date for receipt of nominations for these positions shall be May 30th, 2016. An email after this date shall be send to the membership to identify all nominations. An election for these positions shall also be held at the June 8th General Membership Meeting of the BPFFA.
For further clarification, if needed, please contact an Executive Board Member.
2016 Toronto Fire St. Patrick's Day Parade
Lung cancer added to Ontario firefighter health coverage
The City of Ottawa is budgeting an extra $3 million for workers' compensation for firefighters in 2016, as the list of cancers presumed to be related to a firefighter's exposure to toxins on the job grows longer.
As of Jan. 1, the onus is no longer on firefighters — full-time, part-time and volunteer — and fire investigators in Ontario to prove their lung cancer is work-related.
Ottawa fire fighters at Daily Grind Oct. 2015
Firefighters, seen here battling a blaze on Ottawa's Somerset Street in October 2015, had lung cancer added to a list of cancers presumed to be work-related for WSIB benefits.
It is the latest condition to be covered under what's called presumptive legislation, which was first passed for firefighters in Ontario in 2007.
In 2014, the provincial government expanded the list beyond an initial eight cancers to include six more that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board must presume is an occupational disease.
Breast cancer, multiple myeloma and testicular cancer were added in the spring of 2014, followed by prostate cancer in 2015. Skin cancer is to be phased in on Jan. 1, 2017.
The legislation is retroactive to 1960, so it applies to claims by the families of firefighters who have died.
"It was very emotional, and emotional for the family," said Peter Kennedy, president of the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association, of the former process that saw firefighters try to prove their work caused their cancer. "Because, they just knew through a number of horrendous incidents that it had to be related.
"What it does now in the future is give you some comfort that your family will be taken care of," explained Kennedy, who said the life expectancy of a firefighter is about age 70.
The Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association knows of 101 cases of lung cancer among firefighters province-wide, as well as 175 cases of prostate cancer and 68 cases of the other four forms of cancer.
Many WSIB costs fall to municipalities
Cities such as Ottawa are responsible for paying the full WSIB benefits to their employees, so they are adding those costs to their budgets.
"One of the biggest challenges are WSIB costs," Anthony Di Monte, acting general manager of emergency and protective services, told councillors during a 2016 budget presentation at the end November.
Chief Anthony Di Monte Ottawa paramedics live update June 18 2014
Anthony Di Monte, acting general manager of emergency and protective services for the City of Ottawa, says WSIB costs are a challenge for municipal budgets. (CBC)
He cited the presumptive legislation, and how some Ottawa firefighters benefit from WSIB because of the six "tragic" cancers being added.
Of the $37-million gap the City of Ottawa had to close by finding cuts and savings to balance its budget, $4 million dollars was for increased costs for workers' compensation, mostly for firefighters but also for paramedics. That number is based on what Ottawa saw in 2015.
Kennedy, of the firefighters' union, acknowledged the addition of each cancer is a "one-time hit" for the city.
But he also credited the City of Ottawa with working to prevent its firefighters from getting cancer in the first place.
For instance, Ottawa Fire Services recently bought new "self-contained breathing apparatus" that front-line firefighters must wear inside a structure as they attack a fire or perform rescues.
It also launched a fitness and wellness program including medical evaluations that could detect cancer early.
"We're well below the provincial median for firefighter deaths," said Kennedy, "so we're doing a lot right, here in Ottawa."
Associations seek post-traumatic stress disorder WSIB coverage
The City of Ottawa is also preparing for future costs should post-traumatic stress disorder among firefighters, paramedics and police eventually be covered by presumptive legislation some day, Di Monte told councillors during that budget presentation.
A bill to that effect was introduced by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo at Queen's Park in July 2014. Her bill is expected to be debated again in February, and DiNovo hopes Ontario will eventually follow the examples of Alberta and Manitoba, which have passed similar legislation.
Kennedy said the issue has been a priority for the provincial association of firefighters, and has seen traction among government ministers as well. The Ontario Paramedic Association has also pushed for the change.
"It's a very difficult job and you do see a lot of things that the general public may not experience," said Kennedy.
In the meantime, Di Monte said Ottawa Fire Services is coming up with a mental health strategy that includes PTSD.
Ontario could recognize PTSD as workplace-related illness for first responders
Ontario could follow Alberta and Manitoba's examples in recognizing post-traumatic stress disorder as a workplace illness for first responders, provided an NDP private member's bill moves through the legislature this winter.
The MPP for Parkdale—High Park says she's hopeful Bill 2, which has been introduced five times, will move forward when it comes up for debate in February. The bill passed its first reading in July 2014.
The amendment would shift the burden of proof so that a first responder diagnosed with PTSD would automatically be considered for compensation if they needed to take a medical leave.
"What [it would] mean is that you wouldn't have to prove ... that you came down with post-traumatic stress disorder because of your work," MPP Cheri DiNovo told CBC News. "That would be something that is assumed."
Alberta has had legislation governing mental health and first responders since 2012. And a new law came into effect in Manitoba on New Year's Day that recognizes PTSD can be a work-related condition for any employee.
Burden of proof
As it stands now, first responders have to prove that it was their exposure to trauma at work that caused them to become ill. But since others may be exposed to the same crime scene and not be diagnosed with PTSD, insurers can deny there's a direct link between a paramedic or police officer's illness and their job.
"I think it's both insulting and inaccurate to think that people will fake this any more than they would any physical illness," DiNovo said. "You can do everything you can to prevent it but it will still happen to a few — and we have to protect those few."
Those in the Canadian Forces do not have to prove a connection between PTSD and the work they do in military to qualify for assistance, DiNovo said.
Last year, 12 members of the military committed suicide, according to statistics published by the Tema Conter Memorial Trust. In that same period, 38 first responders also killed themselves, the organization says.
The trust advocates for treatment and recognition of all first responders, both civilian and military, who have PTSD.
Private member's bill
Former paramedic Vince Savoia founded the organization years after he became diagnosed with the illness himself, after being called to a violent crime scene in Toronto where he found the body of 25-year-old Tema Conter in 1988.
The Nova Scotia woman looked like Savoia's fiancee and he began having nightmares and daytime flashbacks about the violence.
"I would sit down to have supper with my family and I would excuse myself and go into the basement and spend hours just sitting in a chair staring at the wall," Savoia said.
His organization has also put its support behind DiNovo's private member's bill.
"I don't see any difference between a psychological trauma and a physical trauma," the former paramedic said.
An Ontario provincial spokeswoman told CBC News that the length of time between first and second reading of the bill has been because, as a private member's bill, it can only be introduced on certain days.
DiNovo used her most recent opportunity, on Dec. 10, to debate Bill 137, Clare Graham said in an email.
"Members can introduce multiple bills [but must] debate the one of their choosing on their ballot date," Graham said.
Bill 2 is now slated for debate on Feb. 16. It would amend the current Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
Liberal government maintains campaign commitment
Attention Canadian Affiliates:
The Liberal government has maintained its campaign commitment to restore fairness in respect of the confidentiality of union financial information by taking the first steps towards repealing the anti-union Private Members’ Bill C-377. Effective immediately, it has waived the reporting requirements outlined in Bill C-377 for fiscal periods starting on December 31, 2015 and through 2016.
Introduced four years ago by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, the Bill is scheduled to come into force on December 30, 2015. It would require labour organizations and labour trusts to file reports with the Minister of National Revenue disclosing detailed financial information as well as information on political, lobbying and other non-labour relations activities. This information would be made publicly available on a federally funded website.
The IAFF Canadian Office worked with the Canadian Labour Congress and many other labour groups to ensure that this legislation would never be enforced. Thank you to all affiliates for your efforts over the past four years to urge parliamentarians to vote against the Bill.
Further details can be found in the Canada Revenue Agency’s press release:
The Minister of National Revenue waives reporting requirements under Bill C-377
December 21, 2015 - Ottawa, ON - Canada Revenue Agency
Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, announced she has waived reporting requirements for labour organizations and labour trusts, arising from Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations), for fiscal periods starting on December 31, 2015 and through 2016.
These requirements would have placed obligations on labour organizations and labour trusts to track their activities for fiscal years beginning on or after December 31, 2015.
The Government of Canada has indicated its intent to repeal Bill C-377. As a result, this waiver ensures that unions and other stakeholders affected by the Bill will not be required to develop and submit detailed tracking of their activities to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for these fiscal periods.
The Minister of National Revenue has the authority under subsection 220(2.1) of the Income Tax Act to waive the reporting requirements.
Repealing Bill C-377 was identified as a priority in the mandate letter for The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
Bill C-377, which received Royal Assent in June 2015 and is scheduled to come into force on December 30, 2015, would require labour organizations and labour trusts to file reports with the Minister of National Revenue disclosing, among other things, detailed financial information as well as information on political, lobbying and other non-labour relations activities. This information would be made publicly available.
Legislation is already in place to ensure that unions make financial information available. Section 110 of the Canada Labour Code requires unions (as well as employers’ organizations) to provide financial statements to their members upon request and free of charge. Similar provisions exist in many provincial labour relations laws.
“Waiving Bill C-377 reporting requirements delivers on our government’s commitment to restore a fair and balanced approach to organized labour, freeing them from additional administrative tasks, and providing confidence in the future while the necessary steps are taken to repeal the Bill.”
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue
“The Government of Canada believes that our labour laws should be fair and balanced, recognizing the important role that unions play in protecting the rights of workers and helping the middle class grow and prosper. That’s why we will be repealing Bill C-377, legislation that diminishes and weakens Canada’s labour movement, as soon as possible.”
The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
IAFF Assistant to the General President for Canadian Operations
Rob Taylor Retirement Party
Retirement Party for Rob Taylor will be held January 8th at the Army Navy Airforce Club in the Starlight room at 7pm.
Bill Boyes is Barrie's new fire chief and will officially assume his duties Jan. 1.
He succeeds John Lynn, city fire chief for the past nine years and a 31-year veteran of the Barrie Fire and Emergency Services (BFSE).
City council made the decision Monday night and it was announced Tuesday morning.
“I am honoured to lead an incredible group of fire service professionals within BFES that are focused on delivering the highest quality educational, preventative, communication and emergency response services possible to the community and the citizens of Barrie,” said Boyes, a deputy fire chief.
Lynn said Boyes is well qualified for his new position.
“I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Deputy Boyes for the past year,” Lynn said. “He has proven his ability and commitment to moving BFES forward and becoming the next fire chief.”
Boyes joined BFES in 2014 as the deputy fire chief of operations and training. In this role he is responsible for the leadership of 149 staff in the operations and training divisions, along with the department’s equipment and facilities.
He also oversees the provision of Hazmat and technical rescue services to surrounding municipalities, acts as the management chairman of the joint health and safety committee, leads various recruitment and promotional processes and has acted as fire chief when required.
Mayor Jeff Lehman praised Lynn, who has been a firefighter for about 40 years.
“He is hanging up his helmet and we will miss him sorely,” Lehman said, mentioning the December, 2007 Five Points fire in downtown Barrie as one vivid memory.
“It was his calm demeanour and sense of control,” said the mayor. “He had calm confidence in the face of what was our worst day.
“But if there was a severe incident, he wanted to be there.”
An explosion and fire destroyed a restaurant and several buildings at the Five Points on Dec. 7, 2007, causing $4 million in damages. The fire set off a huge explosion, and a massive fire engulfed several buildings on the street. No one was hurt in the blaze.
Lynn joined BFES in 1985 and was promoted to fire chief on May 15, 2007. He leaves behind a career full of achievements, including the new Barrie Fire Headquarters on Dunlop Street and the new Fire Station #5 in the city’s south-end.
He was also instrumental in the development of a temporary training centre in Barrie to allow firefighters to train locally and the establishment of technical rescue agreements with surrounding municipalities.
Lynn is also well-known for his support and participation in community charity events and his willingness to take a pie in the face, streak his hair pink or have water poured over his head for a good cause.
“It has been an honour to serve,” Lynn said.
“His dedication and service to our community has been truly outstanding,” Lehman said. “He leaves behind a legacy of excellence and achievement that I know will continue under the new chief.”
John Lynn Retirement Party
Retirement Party for John Lynn will be held December 15th at the Locker room starting at 7pm.
2016 Barrie Firefighter Calendar
2016 Barrie Firefighter Calendar is now available! Follow link to purchase or for more information.
For the fires time in more than a decade, the Barrie Professional Firefighters Association and the city have agreed to a multi-year deal.
The BPFFA ratified a three-year deal Tuesday morning that councillors approved Monday night.
“Our last long-term freely negotiated agreement would have been in 2000-2004. We had last year’s one-year agreement, which was six months in arrears when we negotiated it,” BPFFA president Cory Mainprize said.
That deal was the result of an arbitrator awarding the firefighters parity with Barrie Police in April 2014. The arbitrator determined the contract would cover Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2013. It gave a first-class firefighter $88,621.
Mainprize estimated arbitration cost both the city and the association about $100,000.
The one-year 2014 contract gave firefighters a 2.5 per cent raise in July, the same as police.
“Now we’ve mutually agreed to a three-year program that will last until Dec. 31, 2017. We’re pleased we were able to have reached a fair agreement. Both parties are looking forward to three years of labour rest and stability,” said Mainprize.
The new agreement includes two 1.25-per-cent wage increases each year, in January and July. The increases are comparable to those for other fire departments in Ontario.
Barrie CAO Carla Ladd said she was pleased the new multi-year deal could be reached without arbitration.
“This agreement achieved a number of operational efficiencies, which will result in a cost savings to the city and enhanced service during fire investigations. This was achieved as a result of a mutual desire to freely negotiate a settlement and the positive relationship we have built with the BPFFA.”