The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement on Firefighters' National Memorial Day.
"While most people do their best to get out of harm's way when there's a fire, firefighters run directly into it. They do that with the full knowledge of what could happen. And when tragedy strikes, the grief felt by a firefighter's family, friends and colleagues is shared by the whole country.
Firefighters' National Memorial Day is an important way to pay our respects to those firefighters who paid the ultimate price and reaffirm our promise that their sacrifice—and that of their loved ones—is never forgotten. I am honoured to commemorate their brave and selfless service.
Memorial Grant for first responders
The Government of Canada stands with the men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe and with their families when tragedy strikes. This spring, we launched the Memorial Grant for First Responders. This grant provides a one-time lump sum, tax-free direct maximum payment of $300,000 to the families of firefighters, police officers and paramedics who die as a direct result of their duties. This new benefit is an important advancement in how our country supports those who keep us safe.
I would like to recognise the hard work of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters' Foundation in making this day possible and for their efforts to preserve the memories of those who have served, and fallen, in the line of duty. In particular, I want to acknowledge the long-term dedication and hard work of Captain Bob Kirkpatrick, who is retiring from the leadership of the Foundation after a decade of distinguished service."