An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (volunteer firefighting and search and rescue volunteer services)

Sponsor

Gord Johns  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Outside the Order of Precedence (a private member's bill that hasn't yet won the draw that determines which private member's bills can be debated), as of Nov. 25, 2021

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-201.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Volunteer Firefighting and Search and RescuePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to table a petition on behalf of volunteer firefighters from Ucluelet to Tofino, Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake and Cherry Creek in my riding. It is timely, because it is budget day.

The International Association of Fire Fighters cites that volunteer firefighters account for 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential first responders. In addition, approximately 8,000 essential search and rescue volunteers respond to thousands of incidents each year.

The tax code currently allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if 200 hours of volunteer services were completed in a calendar year. This works out to a mere $450 per year that we allow these volunteers to keep of their own income. The petitioners cite that increasing this tax credit to $10,000 would allow these essential volunteers to keep more of their hard-earned money, which is likely to be spent in the communities they live in, and would help retain these volunteers at a time when volunteerism is decreasing.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada and Parliament to support the private member's bill, Bill C-201, to increase this credit from $3,000 to $10,000.

Volunteer First RespondersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 25th, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to table a petition today on behalf of volunteer firefighters from Parksville, Qualicum, Bowser, Cumberland, Courtenay, Port Alberni, Sproat Lake and Cherry Creek.

The petitioners cite that volunteer firefighters account for 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential first responders. In addition, approximately 8,000 essential search and rescue volunteers respond to thousands of incidents every year. Currently, the tax code of Canada allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if 200 hours of volunteer services were completed in a calendar year. That works out to a mere $450 a year, and we know they work and volunteer more than 200 hours. This is timely, given that there could be a budget announced in the next couple of weeks.

The petitioners support Bill C-201 and call on the government to increase the tax exemption from $3,000 to $10,000 to help our essential volunteer firefighters and volunteer search and rescue people across the country, including in Ucluelet and Tofino, which I forgot to mention. We are all grateful for these first responders.

First Responders Tax CreditPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 4th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise and table this petition on behalf of residents of Courtenay, Cumberland, Bowser and Royston in my riding. They are citing that 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential first responders are volunteers. In addition, 8,000 essential search and rescue volunteers respond to thousands of incidents every year.

The tax code of Canada currently allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if 200 hours of volunteer services were completed in a calendar year. This works out to a mere $450 a year. They are calling on the government to increase the tax exemption from $3,000 to $10,000 to help essential firefighters and volunteer search and rescue people across this country. They are calling for the support of Bill C-201.

It is timely, because the PBO just released a report this week to cite that this would cost taxpayers in Canada $40 million for 42,000 volunteer firefighters and first responders.

Volunteer Firefighters and Search and Rescue PersonnelPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2021 / 3:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I have one petition to table today, and it is to support volunteer firefighters, who account for 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential first responders. In honour of these incredible volunteer firefighters, the people of Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Port Alberni are calling on the Government of Canada to support the private member's bill, Bill C-201, and increase the tax exemption from $3,000 to $10,000 to help our essential volunteer firefighters and volunteer search and rescue people across the country.

Currently, the tax code of Canada allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if 200 hours of volunteer services were completed in a calendar year, which works out to about $450 a year that we allow these volunteers to keep regardless of their own income and regardless of their regular jobs.

Volunteer Firefighters and Search and Rescue PersonnelPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 7th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a huge honour to table this petition on behalf of volunteer firefighters in my riding from Hilliers, Dashwood, Coombs, Cumberland, Bowser, Tofino and Ucluelet. They are stating that 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential response is from volunteer firefighters, and 8,000 essential search and rescue volunteers respond to thousands of incidents every year.

The petition outlines that the tax code of Canada currently allows a volunteer firefighter or a search and rescue person to claim $3,000 in a tax credit if they volunteer for over 200 hours. Essentially, we know that these volunteers not only put their lives on the line and give their time, training and efforts to Canadians, but also allow cities and municipalities to keep their property taxes lower than if paid services were available.

The petitioners are calling on the government to support Bill C-201, a private member's bill that would increase the tax exemption from $3,000 to $10,000 to help our essential volunteer firefighters and volunteer search and rescue people across the country. This would allow them to keep a bit more of their hard-earned money. Right now, the current tax credit works out to a mere $450 per year that we allow these essential volunteers to keep of their own income. This would be a significant change and reward them for the important work they do when we call upon them.

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

November 25th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-201, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (volunteer firefighting and search and rescue volunteer services).

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Windsor West, for seconding the bill.

Bill C-201 calls on the Government of Canada to increase the tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue responders from $3,000 to $10,000 in the tax code. We know that search and rescue responders and firefighters are on the ground right now in British Columbia doing the important work, helping people at a time of need, which is when they always show up, in difficult crises, such as fires, floods and accidents in our local communities.

These volunteer firefighters account for 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential first responders. Approximately 8,000 essential search and rescue volunteers respond to thousands of incidents every year.

The tax code of Canada currently allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if they have completed 200 hours of volunteer services in a calendar year. This works out to about $450 per year that we allow these essential volunteers to keep of their own income from their regular jobs, which is about $2.25 an hour. If they volunteer for more than 200 hours, which many do, this tax credit becomes even less.

These essential workers give their time, training and efforts to Canadians on a voluntary basis, often putting their lives at risk, allowing local governments to keep property taxes lower than if paid services were required. Increasing this tax credit would allow these essential volunteers to keep more of their hard-earned money, likely to be spent in the communities in which they live. Also, an increase in the tax benefit would result in increased volunteer recruitment and retention at a time when volunteerism is decreasing.

I hope all members in the House will show support for the bill and show respect for all those first responders and volunteer firefighters across Canada who put their lives at risk and put themselves behind all of us. We saw the work they did during COVID-19. They were there fo us.

I am thankful for the time to talk about this important bill, and I hope I will get the support of the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)