BARRIE, ON, Feb. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) Board of Directors and OPP Association members were at the Ontario legislature on Thursday February 27th to show the Association's support for MPP Cheri DiNovo's Private Members Bill 67 - which would amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to provide better support for front line officers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.
"The OPP Association believes strongly in Bill 67 and is very grateful to MPP DiNovo for championing this issue," said President Jim Christie. "'We hope that all three parties will work together to rapidly advance this important bill in the coming weeks." It is estimated that up to 15% of police officers will experience PTSD over the course of their careers. Despite the fact that the vast majority of these cases are work-related, impacted officers currently have to undergo an exhausting, intrusive and at times unfair process to prove that their illness is work related. Bill 67 would cut red tape and streamline this process so that PTSD sufferers are not re-victimized through their appeal for support.
"Right now, many of our members will not seek help for job-related PTSD as a result of the application process. A process which they feel forces them to re-live the very trauma that created their illness in the first place. Simply put, this is wrong and needs to be fixed. These brave officers have confronted some of the most horrible things imaginable so that our citizens are safe. In return we have an obligation to give them the support they need in dealing with the aftermath." said President Jim Christie.
To become law, Bill 67 will have to be heard by committee and then returned to the legislature for third and final reading. For this to occur, all parties will have to work together to ensure that the process unfolds in a speedy manner.
"There is no controversy around this bill in its current form - it is simple, straightforward and eminently reasonable. To MPP's I say If you believe that the work police personnel do matters, if you believe that our police personnel as people matter, then I strongly urge you to move this important piece of legislation forward in as quick a manner as possible." said President Jim Christie.
To learn more about Bill 67, please visit www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2789. To learn more about the OPP Association, the largest police association of its kind in Canada, please visit www.oppa.ca or www.facebook.com/OPPAssociation.
SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police Association
For further information:
Jim Christie, President, OPP Association, (705) 728-6161