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Liberals Renew Call for Volunteer Firefighter Support in Cape Breton

Apr 16, 2024

The Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus is renewing its call for the Houston government to recognize the work of volunteer fire crews in Cape Breton.

Ahead of the federal budget being tabled today that includes the doubling of the federal volunteer firefighters tax credit, the Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus is renewing its call for the Houston government to provide more relief.

In November 2023, Northside-Westmount MLA Fred Tilley first tabled a bill that would double the provincial volunteer firefighter tax credit from $500 to $1000 with support from the Cape Breton Regional Fire Chiefs’ Association. Across the province, volunteer fire crews are often the first to respond in emergencies and deserve a token of appreciation from the province for their important work.

“As an MLA, I witnessed first-hand how our volunteer fire crews step up in times of need for our community,” said Tilley. “Volunteer firefighters selflessly risk their lives to protect others, often using their own vehicles and gas to respond to emergencies. Doubling this tax credit would be a simple way for the government to thank them for their important efforts and help with rising expenses they face.”

Instead of directly funding the more than 300 volunteer organizations that respond to emergencies and disasters across the province, the Houston government is trying to reinvent the wheel by creating the Nova Scotia Guard. The initiative, which won’t be up and running until after this year’s wildfire and flooding seasons, has been met with criticism by volunteer organizations who weren’t consulted by the government.

“Thousands of Nova Scotians across our province put their lives on hold to help their communities when disaster strikes,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “Instead of consulting with these important organizations to determine how to better support them, the Premier has taken his classic approach of choosing a PR stunt over meaningful action. We’re urging the Houston government to do the right thing by providing much-need financial relief to our first responders."

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