Pressure is being placed on Ottawa to embrace equality among emergency personnel.
On Monday, North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold presented a petition in the House of Commons drafted by Vernon Coun. Bob Spiers to have auxiliary police officers in Canada receive a tax benefit.
“Hopefully they will move ahead with the tax credit,” said Spiers of the federal government.
“They have 45 days to reply in writing.”
The petition applies to all RCMP, provincial and municipal auxiliary police officers.
A tax credit for volunteer firefighters has been in place since 2011 and since 2014 for volunteer search and rescue members.
“It’s an issue of fairness,” said Spiers of why he wants auxiliary police included.
“They are completely volunteer and unpaid.”
Under House of Commons rules, a public petition attracting more than 500 signatures can be presented for consideration.
“I thank Councillor Spiers for his advocacy on behalf of auxiliary police,” said Arnold.
The petition comes at the same time that the RCMP is reducing the activities auxiliary officers can be involved in.
“The tax credit may come too late for RCMP auxiliary,” said Spiers.
“There will be no actual ride-alongs and walk-alongs. But the RCMP may change it back to a more meaningful role.”