The local MP has proposed a way to recognize volunteer search and rescue members in Canada.
North Okanagan Shuswap Conservative Mel Arnold has introduced a bill in Ottawa, for a national search and rescue volunteer medal
“Search and rescue volunteers exemplify Canada’s proud tradition of volunteerism, a tradition Canada will be celebrating in the upcoming National Volunteer Week,” says Arnold. “Canada’s volunteer search and rescue personnel provide invaluable service to Canadian citizens and communities across our nation and this service warrants a national award medal.”
There are currently over 300 search and rescue teams with over 12,000 trained volunteers throughout Canada who work with law enforcement, the Canadian Forces and other volunteer organizations in search and rescue operations.
Although honours such as the award medal proposed in the bill remain the personal ministerial prerogative of the Prime Minister, there have been acts of Parliament in the past that have established such honours.
Cariboo Prince George MP Todd Doherty seconded the bill’s introduction in the House of Commons.
“We ask our search and rescue volunteers to show up in any weather, under insurmountable conditions,” says Doherty. “As the only national volunteer organization that does not have a service medal, it is time that they are recognised by the federal government for the service that they provide to our country, and to Canadians.”