Mr. Speaker, volunteer and professional firefighters serve a vital role in ensuring our public safety.
Ninety-one per cent of fire services are provided by volunteer fire departments. Their technical training demands are growing in complexity and range. Attracting and keeping trained volunteers is difficult for small communities due to family and job demands and lost wages, as well as personal risks.
In January, Caronport's mayor and volunteer fire chief, Royden Taylor, perished fighting a fire. He was instrumental in housing, equipping and boosting the ranks of firefighters serving an area that spans 1,300 square kilometres.
We will never forget Chief Taylor's tremendous service to his community and province.
Therefore, we must work together at all levels of government to find and implement solutions for the challenges facing firefighters, both volunteer and professional alike.