News

Volunteer tax break approved!

CAFC

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) applauds the announcement by the Minister of Emergency Preparedness that Federal Budget 2024 would include a measure to double the Volunteer Firefighter and Search and Rescue Tax Credit from $3,000 to $6,000.

“This is a strong and meaningful recognition of the essential firefighting and search and rescue personnel that volunteer in our communities every day and particularly during a grueling wildfire season”, says Chief Ken McMullen President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC). “We can’t do enough for these individuals, but this is a great start”.

The initiative to raise the tax credit started in British Columbia several years ago and has since been championed by NDP, MP Gord Johns, supported by more than 17,000 Canadians, 100s of communities who have passed resolutions, the CAFC, and like-minded associations, and dozens of MPs from across all parties.

Over the past two years, fire chiefs, their departments, and many others from across the country have generated data, prepared briefs, signed petitions, contacted their MPs, asked local councils to pass resolutions, and more, in support of these incredible people. Results of the Great Canadian Fire Census helped to paint the powerful but precarious picture of volunteer firefighter involvement across the country.

“This type of volunteerism is potentially dangerous and disruptive, so we couldn’t be more appreciative of the message this sends to one of our most precious resources”. Says Chief McMullen.

“To all volunteer firefighters, Canada sees you and needs you. We hope this is a testament to our collective appreciation and we will continue to advocate on your behalf with our friends and partners”, he adds.

The association is hopeful that the federal government will continue to increase the tax credit over time to the $10,000 as proposed by MP Gord Johns in Bill C-310.

“This is a good investment in great people at a very good time. We are stronger for it and so appreciative”, says CAFC.