The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act, introduced by Pictou West Progressive Conservative MLA Karla MacFarlane, exempts active volunteer members, in good standing, from vehicle registration fees, license plate issuance fees and driver’s license renewal fees.

Founded in 1978, auxiliary members from coast to coast have participated in 50,000 missions and saved 4,000 lives. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary’s 470 vessels in the Maritimes support the Coast Guard for search and rescue operations and look after 30 per cent of calls.

“These hardworking, courageous men and women, who volunteer their time to help the Coast Guard in search and rescue operations, deserve this recognition,” says MacFarlane. “It’s getting harder to recruit new people to these volunteer roles. This exemption of motor vehicle fees is just one way to show our gratitude and help incent new volunteers to join.”

This Act would put the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary on par with exemptions offered to the Nova Scotia Ground Search and Rescue Association and volunteer firefighters in the province.

Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Regional Training and Business Manager Darcy Henn says the exemption would be welcomed by the non-profit organization.

“Volunteers are the foundation of the Coast Guard Auxiliary team,” says Henn. “We are always looking for volunteers and this exemption is just one way to help us recruit and retain new members.”

Henn wants to see the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act passed this fall.

“Local fishermen and women understand the seas better than most. They have local knowledge and experience that is invaluable when their support is needed,” says Henn. “Their knowledge and commitment to saving lives at sea is worthy of this special recognition. We hope to see Ms. MacFarlane’s bill passed this fall.”

This legislation was previously introduced in the Spring of 2016, but the McNeil Liberal government refused to pass it. MacFarlane hopes they have a change of heart with the latest introduction of this bill.