A Vernon city councilor is spearheading an e-petition to give auxiliary RCMP constables a break on their taxes.
Volunteer firefighters and search and rescue personnel are already entitled to a tax break, and Coun. Bob Spiers believes it's time for volunteer cops to get the same treatment.
"It just makes so much sense to have auxiliary constables get the same kind of tax treatment. And that's what we've been trying to get since 2014, actually," he told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.
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Spiers admits the tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue personnel is a small one, only a few hundred dollars a year, but is important because it recognizes the service of volunteers.
There are 1,600 RCMP auxiliary constables nationwide, including between 15 and 20 in Vernon. Other police forces employ auxiliary constables as well, and Spiers wants to see them get the tax break as well.
Spiers notes the duties of an auxiliary constable can be dangerous. Last year, an auxiliary officer in Red Deer was shot and wounded, and in 2004 a Vernon auxiliary was killed when a stolen truck hit his cruiser.
Spiers is hopeful that his petition will get changes this time around and notes local MP Mel Arnold has agreed to sponsor it. Spiers believes Arnold will present the petition in Parliament in May.
To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Vernon councilor starts e-petition to get auxiliary cops a tax break