Before we go to the next speaker, I am now prepared to rule on a point of order raised earlier today by the hon. government House leader concerning the bill introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre. I would like to thank the government House leader for having raised this matter, as well as the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre for his comments.
The bill proposes an amendment to the Income Tax Act to prevent businesses from deducting fines as an expense for income tax purposes.
The hon. government House leader raised the objection that the bill would have the effect of increasing taxation levels for businesses affected by it. The bill therefore could only be brought before the House if it were preceded by the adoption of a motion of ways and means.
Our procedure with respect to taxation matters is clear. House of Commons Procedure and Practice states, at page 758 to 759, and I quote:
The House must first adopt a Ways and Means motion before a bill which imposes a tax or other charge on the taxpayer can be introduced...
Before taxation legislation can be read a first time, a notice of a Ways and Means motion must first be tabled in the House by a Minister of the Crown;....
Furthermore, I will also refer the hon. member to Marleau and Montpetit, at page 898, which states:
With respect to the raising of revenue, a private Member cannot introduce bills which impose taxes. The power to initiate taxation rests solely with the government and any legislation which seeks an increase in taxation must be preceded by a ways and means motion.
The case before the House is clear. The bill introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre seeks to remove an existing tax exemption. If adopted, this measure would have the effect of increasing the tax payable by a certain group of taxpayers. Legislation of this sort, however worthy, may only be introduced when preceded by a motion of ways and means provided by a minister of the Crown, as I said earlier.
As the bill in question was not preceded by a ways and means motion, the proceedings this morning were not in acceptable form. I therefore rule them null and void and the order for second reading of the bill be discharged and the bill withdrawn from the Order Paper.
(Order discharged and Bill C-252 withdrawn)