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August 20, 2012
For immediate release

Government makes major investments in volunteer firefighting

Finance and Energy

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The provincial government announced investments today to support the work of volunteer firefighters and to upgrade fire halls and fire safety services in three Island communities.

Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan announced a refundable income tax credit of $500 for volunteer firefighters with more than 200 hours of service per year. This credit was announced in Budget 2012, and passed in the Legislative Assembly during the spring session. It will benefit approximately 1,000 volunteer firefighters across the province, who will be able to claim this credit on their 2012 tax returns.

“When someone steps forward to become a volunteer firefighter, they do it not for personal gain, but to keep their neighbours and community safe,” said Minister Sheridan. “As a government, we wanted to acknowledge that level of self-sacrifice and community spirit. This annual tax credit is our way of recognizing the dedication and bravery it takes to serve with one of our volunteer fire departments.”

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley announced an Island Community Fund investment of $147,429 to upgrade fire halls and improve fire safety services in West Point, Tyne Valley and Miminegash.

“Fire halls offer many services to residents who live in communities across Prince Edward Island,” said Minister MacKinley. “Our government is pleased to provide a contribution from the Island Community Fund to help replace outdated equipment and to assist with building renovations so that fire halls are able to continue to meet the needs of residents.”

The announcement was held in the newly renovated West Point Volunteer Fire Department. The total cost of its renovation and expansion was $149,625 with the Island Community Fund contributing $112,219. The Tyne Valley Firemen’s Club received $13,710 for improvements costing $44,270. The community of Miminegash and the Island Community Fund each contributed $21,500 to replace outdated fire safety equipment.

Environment, Justice and Labour Minister Janice Sherry applauded the initiatives.

“Volunteer firefighters make a tremendous time commitment and take on personal risks in order to protect the lives and property of their neighbours. The government of Prince Edward Island wants to recognize this work and thank our volunteers for all their work,” said Minister Sherry.

The Island Community Fund is focused on addressing infrastructure needs in communities across Prince Edward Island.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacDonald-Donovan
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