SAR Volunteer Medal
Monday in the House of Commons, Mel Arnold, Member of Parliament for North Okanagan- Shuswap, introduced a bill seeking to establish a national award medal for Canadian search and rescue volunteers.
“Search and rescue volunteers exemplify Canada's proud tradition of volunteerism- a tradition Canada will be celebrating in the upcoming National Volunteer Week,” said MP Arnold during the introduction of the bill. “Canada's volunteer search and rescue personnel provide invaluable service to Canadian citizens and communities across our nation and this service warrants a national award medal.”
There are currently over 300 search and rescue teams with over 12,000 trained volunteers throughout Canada who work with law enforcement, the Canadian Forces and other volunteer organizations in search and rescue operations.
Although honours such as the award medal proposed in the bill remain the personal ministerial prerogative of the Prime Minister, there have been acts of Parliament in the past that have established such honours.
The bill's introduction was seconded in the House of Commons by Todd Doherty, MP for Cariboo- Prince George who said: “We ask our search and rescue volunteers to show up in any weather, under insurmountable conditions. As the only national volunteer organization that does not have a service medal, it is time that they are recognized by the federal government for the service that they provide to our country, and to Canadians.”
“There are a myriad of circumstances that require the work of search and rescue personnel across Canada on a regular basis,” summarized MP Arnold. “I believe that establishing this national award medal is one step that Parliament can take to recognize the commitment of Canada's search and rescue volunteers who give so much to assist others and exemplify the Canadian spirit. ”