Earlier this week, Bill Nine was introduced by NDP Labour Minister Harry Bains.

Smithers Staff Sargeant Rob Mitchell says the introduction of this bill was needed for emergency responders.

“Bill Nine introduced the mental disorder presumption, to remove the burden of employees having to prove their mental illness was directly caused by employment. If a first responder develops a mental disorder, the illness is now presumed to be a reaction to traumatic events caused by their work.”

Under the current “Workers Compensation Act”, first responders have to report PTSD on a case by case basis to Work Safe BC, but as we all know it can be difficult in their line of work. It may not be on specific incident triggering this sort of psychological damage.

Mitchell was quick to say these are the kind of initiatives that point our province in the right direction. It shows clarity and proper support for workers.

“The new legislation applies to police officers, firefighters, emergency medical assistants (paramedics), sheriffs and correctional officers.¬†PTSD cases are on the rise amongst frontline health care professionals, emergency responders, and correctional employees.”

BC Labour Minister Harry Bains says his office is already looking to modify Bill Nine to include other high-risk occupations.