Things continue to be very active for the OAFC with particular emphasis on the technical consultation for fire safety improvements in occupancies housing vulnerable Ontarians.
It needs to be recognized that the Ontario Fire Code is a Regulation under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act with the development/revision of it being controlled by an approved government policy. I want to thank Fire Marshal Ted Wieclawek, who, with the support of Deputy Minister Ian Davidson, Commissioner Dan Hefkey and other Ministry staff for recommending to condense the original timeline for the technical consultation by four (4) months. We are encouraged that the Government continues to search for additional opportunities to expedite this process. These additional opportunities are not within the control of the Fire Marshal and will require an exception to the approved policy.
As I noted in an update last week, the OAFC has requested a meeting with Premier McGuinty to further discuss this matter. Over the last week we have been able to speak with Minister Linda Jeffrey; Minister of Labour and Minister Responsible for Seniors, as well as Minister Madeleine Meilleur; Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs including their staff, offering our full support to commit the necessary resources to further expedite this technical consultation process. Both Ministers and their offices are fully supportive of our request to meet with the Premier. They (and many others) are actively advocating to secure a meeting. Indications at this time are very positive for our request to be granted.
In the meantime work continues. We have had continuous communication with Deputy Minister Ian Davidson, Commissioner Dan Hefkey and Fire Marshal Ted Wieclawek on the technical consultation and our request for a meeting with the Premier
Earlier this week Brian Maltby (Brampton) participated on behalf of the OAFC in the ongoing process for the Ontario Building Code revision. On Wednesday, 1st Vice President Matt Pegg, Treasurer Rick Arnel and myself had the opportunity to personally speak with both Minister Jeffrey and Minister Meilleur and their staff about both the issues noted above. Today 1st Vice President Matt Pegg and myself are meeting with the Fire Marshal. Jim Jessop (Niagara Falls) will go on to represent the OAFC at the technical consultation committee for fire safety improvements in occupancies housing vulnerable Ontarians which is scheduled to meet for the first time next week. The Fire Code technical review (2nd VP Frank Lamie; Toronto) is looking to get going in July.
The Ontario Fire Code is currently open for comment until the end of June. I would encourage everyone to take the time to provide input and please also forward your comments to the OAFC Board Office.
Chief Kevin Foster
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs