Following the report of the death of firefighter Pierre Lacroix, the official opposition in Montreal is calling for an independent investigation to shed light on the working climate at the Montreal Fire Department (SIM).
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On Thursday, the Commission on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) released these conclusions on the death of Mr Lacroix, who died in a rescue operation at sea in October 2021.
His report indicates that firefighters were inadequately trained and that the vehicles used were of limited capacity.
However, an investigation by Radio-Canada found that the SIM boats had several documented problems and that their boats had a tendency to capsize. A situation that has not been resolved despite several warning signs.
“While it is important to clarify the death of firefighter Pierre Lacroix, it is also important to shed light on the internal handling of denunciations and the follow-up to the recommendations of the reports destined for the SIM,” said Abdelhaq Sari, door-spokesman for the opposition public safety.
He considers it essential that the investigation be conducted independently in order to fully clarify the situation.
The opposition is also demanding that preventive signs be put up along the banks to inform Montreal residents that the rapids contain a no-navigating zone.
“If an accident occurs, it can be very difficult to be rescued because of this restricted area. The problem right now is that people who venture into this sector do so at their own peril and peril without knowing it,” lamented Mr Sari.
The party will table a motion at the next city council meeting on October 24 to push through these two demands.
For his part, Alain Vaillancourt, head of public safety at the city’s executive committee, said he was concerned about the situation.
“The allegations made in the investigative media report are worrying, we are confident that the CNESST investigation, our internal investigation in conjunction with the coroner’s public inquiry, will help us shed light on this matter,” he said in a written statement.
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