On May 31, 2011, Bill 181, the Fire Protection and Prevention Amendment Act, 2011 passed in the legislature. This amendment will allow mandatory retirement at age 60 for Ontario’s salaried firefighters involved in frontline fire fighting. Although most municipalities already include a mandatory retirement age for firefighters in their collective agreements, this reform will give other municipalities two years to negotiate a new retirement provision.
This is a significant change for the profession of firefighting as it recognizes the unique physical and hazardous work firefighters do to ensure safety in our communities.
According to John Parish, PSHSA’s Provincial Fire Sector Chief, “The impact on municipalities may not be immediate, but this will be an important topic of discussion in future negotiations. Preparations for hiring new recruits to replace retiring firefighters may also have to be considered to keep the required crew sizes for front line activities.”