Mr. Speaker, federal radio licence fees are hurting volunteer organizations such as search and rescue and volunteer fire departments. These organizations are paying exorbitant fees for a radio operating licence in order to use that very tool to facilitate and coordinate rescue, safety and firefighting operations.
I have contacted the Minister of Industry several times over this injustice and still nothing is being done. The Liberal government has said that the fee is to promote the economic efficiency of the resource, not to generate revenue. But the government brings in revenue amounting to $475,000 from this so-called efficiency promotion. That amounts to a licence fee of $850 for all volunteer fire departments and volunteer search and rescue groups.
Volunteer fire departments such as New Ross, Woods Harbour, Oakhill, Barrington, New Germany and all others deserve a break. Saving lives is a necessity, not some privilege that we pay a premium for.