For no compensation, 24/7, every day of the year, land, sea and air search and rescue volunteers put their lives at risk so that others may live.
Today, during the budget speech, the federal government announced a tax credit for SAR volunteers across Canada. This tax credit will see SAR members who volunteer more than 200 hours per year get a 15% tax credit on $3000 of taxable income, resulting in a roughly $450 tax credit. See pages 237-238/427 for details: budget2014-eng
This is a long awaited, and much appreciated affirmation of the essential role public safety lifeline volunteers play in Canada. While an initial step, this recognition is a huge step forward towards adequate funding.
Today’s announcement is a huge honour for all the men and women who volunteer to carry out search and rescue in Canada. However, NSR is particularly proud because the tax credit specifically honoured our late team leader and my father, Tim Jones.
Tim selflessly petitioned for more funding and recognition of our SAR volunteers in Canada and specifically BC. He even went so far as to dedicate his own Order of BC to all the other SAR volunteers of the province who often go unrecognised. Today that hard work culminated with a recognition in the 2014 budget book. A recognition which brings pride to every member of this team, and his family.
A huge honour, and a great stepping stone towards recognition by our province of a need for adequate funding. This team will continue to honour Tim’s legacy and advocate for that change across the province.
A big thank you to the Federal Government, and our BC Members of Parliament who made this happen.
Also, thank you Dreamfilm and CBC Doc Zone for highlighting the importance of our search and rescue system, and the need for funding in “To the Rescue” (See the documentary here – http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/to-the-rescue).