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Editor's note: The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is in Ottawa this week for government-relations week. Rob Evans, deputy chief of Redwood Meadows Fire Department in Alberta and the CAFC photographer, is blogging from Parliament Hill.

March 13, 2012, Ottawa - Thank you. Today was a day for the members of CAFC to send thanks to many of the MPs that supported the tax credit for volunteer firefighters that was announced in the 2011 federal budget.

March 13, 2012
By Rob Evans

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Editor's note: The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is in Ottawa
this week for government-relations week. Rob Evans, deputy chief of
Redwood Meadows Fire Department in Alberta and the CAFC photographer, is
blogging from Parliament Hill.

March 13, 2012, Ottawa – Thank you. Today was a day for the members
of CAFC to send thanks to many of the MPs that supported the tax credit
for volunteer firefighters that was announced in the 2011 federal
budget.

I got my chance to thank Hon. Ted Menzies, Secretary of State for Finance and Blake Richards this morning. Both MPs constituencies in southern Alberta have many volunteers serving on local fire departments. A CAFC thank you plaque was delivered to both by me and was well received and will be prominently displayed in their offices. Mr. Menzies has always been a great supporter of our fire department even before the efforts of the CAFC put the tax break on the radar. As for Mr. Richards… he was once a volunteer firefighter in Olds, Alta. One of the first things I noticed in his office was a frame with patches from all of the fire departments in his constituency proudly displayed. Certainly both men are champions for the Canadian fire service.

Both men also serve First Nation communities and one of the key talking points the CAFC is bringing to Government Relations Week are issues within Canada’s First Nations communities. CAFC is the single voice for all fire service issues in the country and a trusted advisor to the prime minister. It includes representation from all provinces and territories as well as Iqaluit Fire Chief Blaine Wiggins who represents the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada. Wiggins’ association along with the CAFC support the use of residential sprinklers. Both groups also support the implementation of new legislation that will require the use of National Fire, Building and Plumbing Codes on First Nations land that is not governed by provincial fire statutes; the implementation of a Federal Fire Marshal and regional Fire Marshal offices on federal lands, and; HRSDC fire inspections, currently performed every three years on federal lands, be required on an annual basis.

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Today was not just a day of thanks for what the MPs from all parties have done for us but also a day to thank our MPs for their future support. I think it is also a day to thank fire chiefs from across the country and everyone that supports the CAFC and makes the single voice of the Canadian fire service an increasingly stronger voice on Parliament Hill and across the country.

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