February 5th, 2021
Local Fire Chiefs Show Support for Bill C-264
- Fire Chief Donald A. Bardonnex, City of Courtenay
“Volunteering takes time, time away from your family, missing holiday time, missing children’s games, performances and missing sleep. Volunteering means giving up this time to step up and deal with your neighbours’ worse day. These volunteers put their personal health, safety and possibly their families future at risks for the sake of others. They are also left to deal with the psychological pain that may stay with them for years. Recruitment and retention is one of our greatest challenges with a volunteer service. Over the last decade communities have faced a decline in those who are willing to step up and volunteer to help their fellow citizens. There are many reasons for this decline, from both parents working, working out of town, or the tremendous increase in the amount of training that is required to volunteer. In some cases the volunteers may even lose income from work. An increase in the in volunteer tax credit would most certainly assist our recruitment and retention challenge that we face today. I whole heartedly support this Bill to Parliament.”
- Mike Williamson, Fire Chief, Cumberland Fire Rescue
“Volunteer Tax credits would be greatly appreciated by our Volunteers. These firefighters risk their health and safety on every call and now their families are also at risk. We're all in the same bubble. We look after each other so we can serve and protect our Residents under normal operation, now add in Covid and things get more complicated and more risky. This Tax credit shows the governments support and appreciate the volunteer members and future members. You’re covering firefighters backs and firefighter have the publics' back.”
- Aaron Poirier, Fire Chief, Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department
"This tax credit for Volunteer Fire Fighters helps to recognize the effort put forth everyday, this will help with retention and recruitment of future volunteer firefighters to ensure a sustainable volunteer fire service for years in rural communities such as Coombs. Without volunteer firefighters , fire protection would not be sustainable in rural communities such as ours.”
- Lucas Banton, Fire Chief, Cherry Creek Fire Department
“The role of a volunteer Firefighter has dramatically changed over time requiring certification and comprehensive skills maintenance. This is beneficial for increasing safety and ensuring effective fire ground operations but it comes at a huge cost to the commitment level of volunteers who are often already working and raising families in rural communities across Canada. Increasing this tax credit incentive would positively impact the long term retention of volunteer Firefighters thereby providing the necessary stability and experience in volunteer Fire Departments.”
- Marc Norris, Fire Chief, Parksville and Qualicum Beach Fire Departments
“As a Fire Chief of two composite fire departments, both of which are comprised of primarily volunteer on-call members, I’m in complete support of this initiative to improve the federal Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit. Recruiting and retention in the Volunteer / Composite Fire Service is one of the most significant challenges of our time. ... Any thoughtful improvement to the recognition of their contributions is well deserved and may help with retention of our volunteer members."
- Michael Smith, Fire Chief, Fanny Bay Fire Department
“I wanted to take this opportunity to commend your efforts on behalf of the Volunteer Firefighters of our Department. Of the many challenges we face in the fire service, one of the most challenging is the recruitment and retention of firefighters in small rural departments like ours. During these times of cultural change it is difficult to get folks to commit the time and extra effort required to be a firefighter. As a result any added incentive such as a tax credit can be the tipping point which attracts new members and encourages them to stay. I applaud your efforts in this matter and thank you for your help.”
- Troy Bater, Fire Chief, Errington
As Fire Chief in a small rural community, I support MP Gord Johns petition to the Government of Canada of the increase to the tax exemption from $3,000 to $10,000 for lines 31220 and 31240 to help our essential volunteer firefighters and volunteer search and rescue people across the country. As our community depends on volunteers to staff their fire station, this would help in recruiting and retaining our volunteer members. Our volunteers give so many hours of their time and life every week. Our volunteers train to the same NFPA 1001 standers as full time Fire Departments do without getting the same pay. They train 4 plus hours a week and drop everything any time of day or night when the pager goes off and risk their lives to help their community. Many leave their full-time jobs to come help and loss their wages from those hours as most companies do not pay when they leave for a fire call. This would be a huge Thank You to all the volunteers and their families across Canada from their Government for all the time they give to their communities.
- Rick Geddes, Fire Chief, Ucluelet Fire Department
“The vast majority of communities in Canada rely on a fire service that is volunteer based. Increasing the volunteer firefighter tax credit would go a long way in helping to retain these volunteers who are so critical for the maintenance of public safety.”
- Nick Acciavatti, Fire Chief, Dashwood Fire Department
"The Dashwood Fire Department and its 35 volunteer members fully support this initiative and our members, and their families have benefitted from the existing $3000.00 income tax credit. Increasing it to $10,000 will significantly help in the recruitment and retention of our volunteer members and ensure that we are able to maintain a well staffed volunteer fire department into the future. We use the current $3000.00 income tax credit as part of our recruitment retention plan for our department and I know that each year our members apply for the current credit and are thankful they have access to it. I know for a fact that increasing it to $10,000.00 will help them during these unprecedented times, help them remain in our community and continue to volunteer for our fire department."