MPPAC support the following petition:
We start this petition off in memory of all of our fallen First Responders and in support of their families.
We are petitioning with regards to the motion 388 Memorial Grant for first responders and the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting the families of public safety officers who die in the line of duty AFTER April 1st, 2018.
For too many years these surviving families have been excluded, forgotten or even ignored. They have been abandoned by a system that was supposed to support them in the event of the unthinkable. They are left to raise their children, through pain and uncertainty, insecurity and disappointment. The Canadian Government developed a Memorial Grant, based on the tragedies that these families have endured and by recognizing the need to support them, only to then exclude every single family currently living this reality.
We are very pleased to hear that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to supporting these families, however, disappointed at the decision to only recognize those families of fallen first responders who die after April 1st, 2018.
Although, we recognize that most decisions or changes in government policy have “effective” dates, we can’t help but feel saddened for those families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty.
As the National organization that supports our families of Emergency Services we recognize the limited support to our families following Line of Duty death and or suicide. In 2014 our organization launched Camp F.A.C.E.S. (family and children of emergency services). This initiative supports our surviving families by brining them together, all expenses paid, so that they can support each other, know they are not alone and know that they are not forgotten. We don’t discriminate by LODD date, by story or by province. Our program is simple…. As a first responder family and have lost a loved one to LODD or suicide, regardless of when, you qualify. This is the approach the Canadian Government needs to take.
Our organizations position is to ensure that these families have the support, respect and representation that they deserve.
Over the past 4 years we’ve gotten to know many surviving families. We have heard their stories and know their pain. Sadly, each year, our youngest camper has been only two years of age. That equates to a life time of loss, pain and financial burden for these families. They are left to spend tens of thousands in mental health cost that are not covered by health benefits. We need to further find a way that we can provide unlimited mental health support not only for the surviving spouse but their children as well.
Albeit, there are many families that would qualify, there needs to be a way to respect those families that have sacrificed their loved one, so that our country and communities are safe.
We urge the Canadian Government to rethink the eligibility of this benefit and consider all surviving families amongst those that are recognized and receive the Memorial Grant. Our Canadian Government can’t ignore or exclude these families from a benefit that is designed for them.
WE ARE ASKING FOR
– Unlimited mental health benefits for the spouses and children of fallen First Responders
– Revise the eligibility criteria to be inclusive of all Canadian First Responder Families that have suffered this tragic loss to LODD regardless of date of incident.