Ontario will allow mandatory retirement at age 60 for the province's salaried firefighters. The average retirement age for a professional firefighter in the province is 57.
Changes to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act will help to standardize the retirement age across Ontario. This change recognizes the unique physical and hazardous work firefighters do to keep communities safe, said the government.
"The full-time firefighters who keep our families and communities safe do so with great bravery and dedication. They deserve our utmost respect. This new legislation recognizes their years of selfless service and the hazardous nature of the work,” said Charles Sousa, minister of labour.
Most municipalities already include a mandatory retirement age for firefighters in their collective agreements. The new legislation will give other municipalities two years to negotiate a new retirement provision.
The changes will only apply to salaried firefighters involved in front-line firefighting duties.
"We rely on our firefighters to keep Ontario's families safe and now we have acted to recognize their health and safety needs,” said Jim Bradley, minister of community safety and correctional services.
The legislation also allows firefighters who believe their local association is not representing them fairly to take their complaints to the Ontario Labour Relations Board — as is the practice with most other unions, said the government.
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