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Federal budget honours Tim Jones with new SAR tax credit
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty mentioned “brave” people like fallen North Shore Rescue leader Tim Jones when introducing a new tax credit for search and rescue volunteers during his budget speech on Tuesday.
Ground, air and marine search and rescue volunteers who perform at least 200 hours of service will now be eligible to claim a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit on up to $3,000 in rescue-related expenses annually.
The government expects the credit to reduce federal revenues by $1 million this year and $4 million over the following two years.
Jones, the longtime volunteer leader of North Shore Rescue, died suddenly last month on Mount Seymour.
He volunteered with NSR for 26 years, participating in more than 1,800 missions to rescue outdoor enthusiasts who’d become lost or injured in the North Shore backcountry.
In the hard copy of the federal government’s Economic Action Plan 2014 released on Tuesday, there’s an imbedded tribute to Jones, entitled “Remembering Tim Jones” that notes he “exemplified the dedication and commitment required of search and rescue volunteers.”
“I am particularly pleased to see the Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit, which is a fitting tribute to Tim Jones’ incredible work, and of course to the team at North Shore Rescue,” said North Vancouver Conservative MP Andrew Saxton in a statement.
Douglas Pope, as spokesman for NSR, said the rescue organization was very pleased that their fallen leader was honoured in the budget.
“Tim was a strong advocate for increased funding for search and rescue. This federal tax credit is a positive step that will benefit search and rescue volunteers across Canada, most of whom along with the countless hours they volunteer, incur personal costs for things like equipment and transportation,” he wrote in an email to The Outlook. “Special thanks goes to Andrew Saxton for his work in this regard.”
While Pope applauds the new federal tax credit, he says there still needs to be continued dialogue — especially with the provincial government — about sustainable long-term funding for search and rescue groups in B.C.