January 08, 2016 - 2:06 PM
VERNON - A Vernon city councillor is petitioning the federal government to get a tax credit for auxiliary police officers.
The petition is posted on the Parliament of Canada website, and calls upon the government to extend the same credit to auxiliary constables — unarmed, unpaid, uniformed RCMP volunteers — as it does to certain other volunteers.
The petition, launched by Vernon city councillor Bob Spiers, states "the previous government instituted a tax credit for Volunteer Firemen in 2011 and a similar tax treatment for Volunteer Search and Rescue in 2014.”
Spiers says Vernon city council first resolved to lobby the federal government for the tax credit in 2014, on the tenth anniversary of auxiliary constable Glen Evely’s death Nov. 13, 2004. Evely died on duty when a stolen vehicle collided with the police car he was in.
Spiers says there was no response from the federal government back in 2014, so when he learned of the new government’s e-petition website, which guarantees the petition will be heard in the House of Commons, he decided to give it a shot.
“We’ve got auxiliary policemen across Canada, and they should get the same tax credit (as volunteer firemen and search and rescuers),” Spiers says. “Hopefully, we’ll at least get it to parliament’s attention again.”
To have a petition posted on the House of Commons e-petition website and eventually presented in the House of Commons, it must be sponsored by a Member of Parliament. North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold is the sponsor for this petition. As part of the process, Spiers also needed to get signatures from five supporters. They were gladly provided by other Vernon council members, Spiers says.
The petition will be open for signatures from Jan. 8 to May 7.
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— This story was updated at 2:36 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 to add comments from Bob Spiers.
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