Volunteers applaud new tax credit

Staff writer
February 13, 2014 01:00 AM

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) is applauding a new federal tax credit for search and rescue volunteers.

The tax credit was previously available only to volunteer firefighters.

"We are delighted that the government has recognized the many hundreds of hours that our volunteer crew members devote each year to public safety on the water," said RCM-SAR president Jim Lee. "Like volunteer firefighters, our marine rescuers spend time being on call, responding to emergencies, training and promoting safety. It's great that their contributions are being acknowledged at tax time."

The tax credit will mean a savings of up to $450 for marine rescue volunteers who provide a minimum of 200 hours of service per year.

RCM-SAR is part of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary national organization. Both organizations have been urging the federal government to extend the volunteer tax credit to those involved in marine rescue.

"This new tax credit is a nice recognition for the hard work, commitment and dedication our brave volunteers provide," said Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary president Randy Strandt. "The government has acknowledged the key role these crews play in essential search and rescue services."

RCM-SAR operates 42 marine rescue stations on the B.C. coast and in the Interior. It has more than 1,000 members, and responds to an average of more than 600 marine emergencies a year. Here on the Sunshine Coast, units are based in Gibsons, Halfmoon Bay and Pender Harbour.

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