Alberta expands cancer compensation aid and benefits for firefighters - 660 NEWS
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Alberta expands cancer compensation aid and benefits for firefighters

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley makes an announcement at a microbrewery in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Alberta government is expanding benefits for firefighters who face heightened cancer risks on the job.

Premier Rachel Notley said firefighters who get ovarian and cervical cancer will now receive workers’ compensation benefits and supports, making Alberta the leader in Canada on that front.

The minimum exposure period will be 10 years for those cancers.

The province has also reduced the minimum exposure period to 10 years from 20 for testicular cancers, putting Alberta in line with other jurisdictions.

Craig MacDonald, head of the Alberta Firefighters Association, lauded the changes.

“We do know that there’s somewhere around 125 to 150 full-time career females in Alberta that could benefit from this legislation.”

MacDonald said the biggest danger facing modern firefighters is long-term effects of exposure to burning of chemicals and plastics.