Kelowna MLA’s push for law to help emergency workers succeeds

What started out as a private member's bill by Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick is now law in B.C.

Lake-Country Liberal MLA Norm Letnick

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick has succeeded in his bid to help emergency responders get help if they believe they were exposed to a communicable disease while on the job.

The Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act was received unanimous approval in the B.C. legislature Tuesday and is now law. The law allows emergency workers, such as firefighters, police offers and paramedics, as well as victims of crime, to get medical information from people they assist or are attacked by if they believe they have been exposed to a communicable disease and need to be tested.

While the act was passed under the Ministry of Labour, Citizen’s Services and Open Government, it started life as a private member’s bill, introduced by Letnick in May 2011. Prior to the introduction of his private members bill,  Letnick worked for nearly two years preparing it.

“I want to thank the (Kelowna professional) firefighters at Local 953 for asking me to serve them in this regard as they and other emergency personal from around the province so humbly serve all of us,” said Letnick.

“It took us three years but we got the job done.”

Labour Minister Margaret MacDiarmid introduced the act as a government bill last month .

Both McDiarmid and local firefighters union president Larry Hollier hailed the new law, publicly thanking Letnick on behalf of firefighters, police officers and paramedics across B.C. province.

 

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