Status: Bill 47 was introduced on November 5, 2020
Ministry responsible: Labour and Immigration

Overview

Bill 47: the Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020 would establish the Heroes’ Fund to recognize the sacrifices of first responders who die as a result of performing their duties.

If passed, the act will provide a one-time, tax-free payment of $100,000 to eligible families. This funding recognizes the noble service of first responders, while providing support to grieving families.

Our province currently has more than 30,000 part and full-time police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Between 2010 and 2019, there were 106 first responder deaths in our province.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 47 will:

  • commit $1.5 million per year for the Heroes’ Fund for 3 years, starting in the 2020-21 fiscal year
  • provide a one time, tax-free payment of $100,000 to eligible families of first responders

How it will work

If passed, the Workers' Compensation Board will identify eligible families using its fatality claim process and administer the funds accordingly.

Eligible for funding

The families of first responders who died from April 1, 2020 onward as a result of performing their duties would be eligible to receive funding. First responders are identified under the act as:

  • police officers
  • firefighters
  • paramedics
  • sheriffs
  • provincial correction officers

Other assistance programs

Federal assistance

The federal Memorial Grant Program for First Responders provides a one-time payment of up to $300,000 to families of first responders who die while on duty. This program is limited to firefighters, police officers (including RCMP) and paramedics.

Families who receive funding from the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders are still eligible to receive benefits from the Heroes’ Fund.

Workers’ compensation benefits

Payments administered from the Heroes’ Fund and the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders are separate from regular workers’ compensation fatality benefits. Families should contact their plan provider for more information.

Next steps

The Heroes’ Fund will take effect upon Royal Assent. Upon passing, the Workers' Compensation Board will begin identifying eligible families and administering payments.

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