Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I appreciate your taking the time and the opportunity to hear from the IAFF today.
As you heard, my name is Fred LeBlanc, I'm the 13th district vice-president for the IAFF. I'm a recently retired Kingston firefighter. I spent 32 years on the job. Now I'm a full-time union representative for the IAFF.
“District vice-president” means I'm vice-president for district 13, representing Ontario and Manitoba on a board of 16 members in total.
With me today is Greg Hewitt, our researcher from our Canadian office, which is located here in Ottawa. Just for full disclosure, I want to let the committee know that I suffer from a significant vision loss and it has rendered me legally blind, so I'm going to turn to Greg to read our statement and give our testimony. Together we'll be happy to answer any questions that may come before us.
At this time I'd like to turn it over to Greg Hewitt.