Auxiliary petition proves popular

Coun. Bob Spiers launched a petition in January to have auxiliary police officers in Canada receive a tax benefit

A Vernon politician’s campaign to recognize auxiliary police officers is gaining strength.

Coun. Bob Spiers launched a petition in January to have auxiliary police officers in Canada receive a tax benefit, and the document now has 739 names.

“There are signatures from every province and territory except P.E.I. and Yukon,” said Spiers.

Under federal rules, a petition attracting more than 500 signatures can be presented to MPs for consideration.

Mel Arnold, North Okanagan-Shuswap MP, has agreed to bring the petition before his colleagues.

The petition calls on the federal government to provide auxiliary RCMP constables the same tax credit as other volunteer first responders.

The petition reads, “Whereas the previous government instituted a tax credit for volunteer firemen in 2011 and a similar tax treatment for volunteer search and rescue in 2014; and an auxiliary constable is an unarmed, unpaid, uniformed RCMP volunteer whose activities are governed under provincial legislation. We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, request (or call upon) the Government of Canada to extend a tax credit to auxiliary police officers similar to that already given to volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers.”

Of the names on the petition, a total of 381 have come from B.C., with 256 from Ontario and 30 from New Brunswick.

Signatures have also come from three other countries.

The petition can be found at www.vernon.ca/activities-events/news-events/news-archive/vernon-city-councillor-seeks-support-petition#sthash.BB5XlSYo.dpuf