NDP Refuses to Support Volunteer Firefighters

EDMONTON, AB: Over 80 per cent of firefighters in Alberta are volunteers – but supporting them doesn’t seem to be on the NDP government’s radar, as they delayed passage of a United Conservative Bill yesterday by sending it to committee for review, a procedural maneuver that effectively kills this legislation.

“We are profoundly disappointed that the NDP chose to kill common-sense legislation that supports the volunteer firefighters that many communities, especially rural communities, depend on,” said Wayne Anderson, the United Conservative MLA for Highwood. “Volunteer firefighters serve their communities selflessly and shouldn’t have to worry about risking their day jobs to do so.”

Anderson’s Bill 201, the Employment Standards (Firefighter Leave) Amendment Act, would have ensured that casual, volunteer, and part-time firefighters in Alberta are allowed unpaid leave from their main jobs when firefighting duties require them, and ensures that employers cannot prevent volunteer firefighters from their life-saving duties.

“Especially with fire season coming up soon, our volunteer firefighters should know that we have their back,” Anderson said. “Regrettably, the NDP has once again chosen partisanship over common-sense.”

According to Alberta Volunteer Firefighters, there are over 450 volunteer-run fire departments in Alberta,