Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise on this motion and to commend my colleague from Haldimand-Norfolk in his initiative.
There is no question that increasing the deduction from$500 to $1,000 for volunteer firefighters is long overdue.
In my capacity as local councillor I have had exposure to both professional and volunteer firefighters. In my community the quality of life would not be the same if it did not have volunteer firefighters. In a rural community it would be impossible to have a professional firefighter force.
When we talk about volunteer firefighters we are talking about volunteerism at its best. There is a real melting pot, what the community is about, and there are people who respond at all hours of the night, leaving their jobs to do so. There is no question that their employers are to be commended as well. I
really hope that at some point we do something to recognize firefighters in general.
I have attended far too many funerals involving firefighters. I recall part of the firefighter's prayer: "God, if it is your will that in the line of duty to save a child or a life I give my life, then I ask that you take care of my children and my wife". That kind of selfless devotion to duty and devotion to our fellow human beings is to be commended and recognized. I believe that this issue should be redressed and redressed now.