N.B. introduces compensation legislation for first responders with PTSD
Angela Gevaudan, the wife of RCMP Const. Fabrice Gevaudan, who was killed while on duty June 4, 2014 in Moncton, comforts her daughter Emma as they take part in the Canadian Police and Peace Officers Annual Memorial on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
FREDERICTON -- The wife of one of the three Mounties shot and killed in New Brunswick in June 2014 is applauding the provincial government's efforts to help first responders suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Angela Gevaudan says new legislation, introduced Friday, will help tear down the stigma associated with PTSD.
The amendments to the Workers' Compensation Act would mean that when first responders such as police officers and firefighters are diagnosed with PTSD, it will be presumed that the condition was the result of events they experienced in their job.
Gevaudan says reliving the events in an effort to prove to your employer that you are struggling is retraumatizing, but the changes will mean that affected first responders can now focus on healing.
Gevaudan, whose husband Fabrice was killed in Moncton, says PTSD is a difficult issue and one that she is dealing with personally.
The idea for the legislation came as the result of a private members bill introduced last year by Progressive Conservative member Ross Wetmore.