Conservatives pledge to expand tax credit for volunteer fire, search and rescue

Andrew Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising to expand a program giving volunteer search and rescue workers and firefighters tax credits for their supplies.

He says if elected, he'd lower the number of service hours required to qualify for the program, introduced by a previous Conservative government.

Right now, volunteers must work 200 hours a year to access the credit, and the Conservatives are pledging to lower that to 150.

Scheer notes that volunteers often pay out-of-pocket for equipment, uniforms, transportation, training, and insurance; costs that run into the thousands of dollars.

The promise will leave the amount those volunteers can claim unchanged, and the credit is non-refundable, so those who qualify can use it to reduce their overall tax payments, but don't get any of that money back.

Scheer made the announcement in the town of Upper Kingsclear, N.B., where the entire fire department is run by volunteers.