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Friday, June 1, 2012

Thousands of fire fighters take advantage of federal government tax credit

The Conservative government's volunteer fire fighter tax credit has been
a huge success in its first year.

Information obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency says 27,305
volunteer fire fighters claimed the tax credit on their 2011 tax
returns.

The credit was originally a Conservative platform promise during the May
2011 federal election, which allows volunteer fire fighters who
volunteer at least 200 hours per year to claim $3000 on their annual tax
returns. It came among a slew of other tax credits promised by the
Conservatives, such as the children's art and fitness tax credit; a tax
credit for first-time home buyers; a tax credit for public transit;
deductions for tradespersons' tools; and more.

By comparison, the only discussion on taxes held by the Liberals and NDP
were tax increases. They threatened Canadians with a multi-billion
dollar eco-tax and an even more expensive carbon tax. These measures
would see taxes explode for Canadian families, and send gas prices
skyrocketing - among just about everything else we buy.

"Every day in Canada, almost 85,000 brave men and women are ready to put
their own lives at risk to protect the lives and property of their
friends, neighbours, and even perfect strangers. Our Government
recognizes these efforts and is proud to have introduced the Volunteer
Firefighter Tax Credit," said Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue,
on the tax credit's launch last spring.

The credit was originally launched in Ottawa with Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty and Fire Chief John de Hooge. De Hooge presented the minister
with a commemorative helmet to show his appreciation.

Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs President Rob Simonds said he was
pleased with the introduction of this tax credit.

But while the Conservative Party supports Canadian heroes, the NDP and
Liberals are busy ensuring these heroes do not receive the tax break
they deserve. Budget 2011 included the volunteer fire fighters' tax
credit, among other vitally important tax relief measures for Canadians.

The NDP and Liberals voted against it.

Now we're into Budget 2012: Jobs, Growth, and Long-Term Prosperity and
the NDP and Liberals seem bent on voting against it this year, too.

Budget 2012 supports jobs and growth under the same plan that has
created over 700,000 net new jobs for Canada since July 2009. Budget
2012 ensures Canada responsibly develops our natural resources while
protecting the environment through "one project, one review." Budget
2012 also saves small businesses money by extending the Small Business
Hiring Tax Credit, ensuring our local businesses can hire employees to
continue growing our economy. And Budget 2012 also ensures Canada
returns to balanced budgets by 2015-2016, among several other
initiatives.

But the NDP and Liberals, driven by ideology and not what Canadians
want, already seem destined to vote against these important measures.
Measures like the volunteer fire fighters' tax credit.

The Conservative government has eliminated or reduced over 150 taxes on
Canadians and their families since 2006, the fire fighters' tax credit
being one of the most recent.