Government to increase tax credits for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers

April 10, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers play a critical role in protecting Canadians. Every year thousands of Canadians volunteer their time, and sacrifice their own safety, to keep their neighbours safe. Whether responding to flooding in Nova Scotia or wildfires in British Columbia, these volunteers continue to go above and beyond to help with firefighting and search and rescue.

In recognition of this, today the federal government announced that Budget 2024 will propose to double the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit and the Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit.

This means the tax credit will increase from $3,000 to $6,000 for 2024 and subsequent tax years, saving volunteer firefighters up to $900 per year. This increase will particularly benefit rural communities where firefighters are most often volunteers and they are confronting increasingly more frequent wildfires due to climate change. Over the next six years, this represents about $105 million in new support for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers across the country.  

Today’s announcement also includes $166.2 million over five years in new funding in support of First Nations emergency management and preparedness. Recognizing that many First Nations communities are especially vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters, this investment will better support First Nations to protect their communities.

These investments will help ensure that our essential first responder volunteers are better supported in the selfless work they do to keep all of us safe. Alongside these measures, in the upcoming budget, the government will announce further action to build more homes, faster, make life more affordable, and create more good jobs and economic growth to ensure every generation can get ahead.

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