CFFF Courage Vol.14 NA

Vol.14

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5 Message from the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness As Canada's Minister of Public Safety, it has been a genuine honour to meet and work with firefighters and other first responders from across the country. You have my utmost respect. You are our heroes and make us proud. Both in and out of uniform, you reflect the very best of Canadian values – dedicated to helping others, even when facing great dangers. Unfortunately, when answering the call, things can go horribly wrong for even the most highly skilled and trained officers. And sometimes – thankfully rarely – some make the ultimate sacrifice. When you report for work, the last thing on your mind should be worrying about your family and whether they will have support if the worst comes to pass. Prime Minister Trudeau made a commitment to stand with you and your family when tragedy strikes, and I am proud that we have fulfilled that commitment. It's called the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders, and it came into effect April 1, 2018. The grant provides a one-time, lump-sum, tax-free payment of $300,000 to the families of first responders who lose a loved one from a fatal injury, occupational illness or psychological impairment (suicide) as a result of their duties on or after April 1, 2018. It encompasses police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, including volunteers, reservists, and auxiliary members serving at the municipal, provincial, or federal levels. The selflessness and sacrifice of first responders commands the respect of all Canadians, and their families deserve to be treated with the greatest compassion and support. For more information, visit www.memorialgrant.ca, email inquiry@memorialgrant.ca or call 1-833-469-0753. We have also long advocated for increased support for the mental health needs of public safety officers, who face repeated exposure to traumatic events in the course of their daily work. We are investing $20 million for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment to establish a new national research consortium focused on post-traumatic stress injuries in public safety officers. We are also investing $10 million for the latter to develop an Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy pilot that will provide greater access to care and treatment, particularly in rural and remote areas. This year, Justin Trudeau was the first Prime Minister ever to attend Firefighters National Memorial Day, which is now formally recognized by the Government of Canada. His message was that your government and your country can't ever thank you enough for what you do to keep us safe. We hope that you will see the new Memorial Grant Program and other investments as a reflection of respect and appreciation for the bravery, the service, and the sacrifice of public safety officers.

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