Queen’s Park – Oshawa MPP Jennifer French re-introduced legislation this week implementing key recommendations from the May 2017 coroner's inquest jury following the tragic deaths of firefighter trainee, Adam Brunt and volunteer firefighter Gary Kendall, who died during unregulated private training procedures. Brunt tragically lost his life during a private safety training exercise in February 2015, and Kendall was killed five years earlier during a similar exercise with the same company.
“This legislation is called The Brunt and Kendall Act, in memory of Adam Brunt and Gary Kendall,” French said. “It establishes a much-needed framework for regulating and licensing private trainers by ensuring curriculum and standards are set, met and overseen by the Office of the Fire Marshal & Emergency Management.”
This isn’t the first time French has brought this to the Legislative Assembly. She tabled a motion early this year, calling on the Liberal government to fully adopt the recommendations of the coroner’s inquest. Unfortunately, in the time since her motion passed, the government failed to take any discernable action and chose instead to let the bill fall through the cracks when the Legislature was dissolved for the election.
French’s bill has received widespread support that includes the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, safety advocates and of course the Brunt and Kendall families including Adam’s father, Al Brunt.
“My wife and I were very disappointed that MPP French’s legislation wasn’t passed before the legislature prorogued for the election.” Brunt said, “A change of government doesn’t dilute the importance of the issue nor the importance of making sure first responders and students, studying to become first responders, have the protections they need.”
“We have an opportunity to make sure deaths like Adam’s are prevented and I hope the new government recognizes the urgency.”