NDP wants help for Volunteer Firefights in the budget

OTTAWA— On Wednesday, Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh toured the Denman Island Volunteer Fire Department on Vancouver Island with NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtney – Alberni).

Singh acknowledged the selfless work of volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers across the country and called for an increase to the tax credit they receive in the upcoming budget.

“Last summer wildfires raged across Canada. Families lost everything and, hundreds of miles away from the fires, it wasn’t safe for kids to play outside because of the smoke,” said Singh. “In the middle of all the chaos, it was often volunteer firefighters that saved peoples’ lives, their homes and our rural communities. These are people who often have other nine-to-five jobs. They’re doing this heroic work in their free time and they deserve some financial help this tax season.”

Johns introduced a private member’s bill that would increase the firefighter and search and rescue volunteers tax credit from $3,000 to $10,000. In addition to giving these volunteers more money in their pockets, it would also help local governments and communities to recruit and retain these vital first responders.

“We’re asking the federal government to increase the tax credit in the budget so volunteer firefighters and search and rescue personnel can get more money back sooner,” said Johns. “These men and women keep our communities safe in the middle of disasters. These are the people who show up when you’re having the worst day imaginable, and your family is at risk of losing everything. The very least the government can do it get them some financial help so that they can keep doing this incredible work for our rural communities.”

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