New Brunswick became the fifth province to formally recognize post-traumatic stress as an occupational disease among first responders. Legislation introduced earlier this year was officially signed into law June 29.

The legislation helps protect members in seven IAFF locals in New Brunswick. Presumptive coverage for post-traumatic stress for the purpose of workers compensation benefits now exists in half of Canada’s 10 provinces and covers a vast majority of the nation’s 23,000 members.

Glenn Sullivan, a member of Fredericton Local 1053 and President of the Atlantic Provinces Professional Fire Fighters Association, says the legislation – which New Brunswick’s Liberal Government introduced unexpectedly in early April – is a welcome advance for the province’s 500 members.

“This is great news for New Brunswick fire fighters, as they don’t have to face hurdles as before,” Sullivan says.

Alberta enacted legislation linking post-traumatic stress to first responder occupations in 2012, while the same year, British Columbia passed legislation recognizing mood disorders – including post-traumatic stress – in all workers. Manitoba enacted legislation last year, and Ontario followed this year.

In Saskatchewan, the opposition New Democratic Party introduced a post-traumatic bill for first responders on June 23 amid speculation that the Saskatchewan Government may be considering its own legislation on the issue.