The Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit

  • Feb. 17, 2014 1:00 p.m.

submitted by Chris Ashurst–Last week’s federal budget included a small surprise that will help recognize the time and effort SAR volunteers put in helping our fellow islanders on the land and water with The Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit. The Economic Action Plan 2014 states “Quiet heroes across Canada put themselves at risk in service of their communities by volunteering for ground, air and marine search and rescue groupsÂ… They are an integral part of the emergency response system, and provide a source of well-organized, well-trained and well-equipped volunteers”. This program is similar to the recognition that volunteer fire crews already have when filing their taxes, and can amount to about $450/year for those super-volunteers that put in 200 h/year.”We are delighted that the government has recognized the many hundreds of hours that our volunteer crew members devote each year to public safety on the water,” said Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue President Jim Lee. “Like volunteer firefighters, our marine rescuers spend time being on call, responding to emergencies, training, and promoting safety. It’s great that their contributions are being acknowledged at tax time.”On Haida Gwaii, there are two volunteer search and rescue (SAR) organizations. Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 45 is operated by Massett Marine Rescue. Approximately a dozen members take advantage of extensive training and boat time which prepares them for when a call comes in from the community, the Rescue Coordination Centre, or the Canadian Coast Guard. The Zodiac Hurricane rescue vessel “NorthWard” is a fast-response craft and all crew are trained in seamanship and first aid. A combination of bi-weekly training and incident response means that dedicated volunteers will be able to meet the 200-hour requirement of the new tax program.Archipelago SAR is the islands’ ground search and rescue team. An initial training course gives volunteers certification to conduct rescue operations under Emergency Management BC. This group does not have regular training, so it may be trickier to get sufficient hours for the tax break. But of course, volunteering for SAR isn’t about being reimbursed for your time.New volunteers are always welcome to become a part of Haida Gwaii’s SAR teams. Massett Marine Rescue takes in new members throughout the year, for those who live within 20 minutes of Masset Harbour. Archipelago SAR puts on an annual training course, and adults from all communities with local knowledge, wilderness skills, and the ability to respond are encouraged to take part. Both SAR groups support their volunteers with training, insurance, and covering any expenses that may arise during a response.For more information on the opportunities to join either Massett Marine Rescue or Archipelago SAR, please contact Chris Ashurst – chris@sparkenergy.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii COVID cases climb to 24 over B.C. Day long weekend

10 cases active, 14 cases now recovered; 23 people also isolating as a result of contact tracing

Boon Docs comics illustrate Haida Gwaii health staff ‘Behind the Mask’

Family doctor and cartoonist Caroline Shooner shares inspiration for new comic series

Two Kwuna sailings cancelled on B.C. Day

BC Ferries making schedule adjustments on Aug. 3 to facilitate charter flight

Fishing lodge ‘shocked’ by B.C. ban on non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii

West Coast Fishing Club ‘shocked and stunned’ by travel restriction put in place July 30

Province restricts non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii amid COVID outbreak

Provincial staff will help enforce travel restrictions from islands, mainland

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

‘We want to help’: As overdose deaths spike, beds lay empty at long-term Surrey rehab centre

John Volken Academy searching for ‘students’ to enlist in two-year residential treatment program

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Most Read