Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. On February 5 a private member's bill, Bill C-472, was introduced in the name of the member for Winnipeg Centre. At that time you invited comments to be made.
Bill C-472 is entitled an act to amend the Income Tax Act with regard to the deductibility of fines. It proposes to amend the Income Tax Act by removing provisions for the deductibility of fines or penalties imposed by law. I suggest that this private member's bill should be dropped from the Order Paper for the following reason.
The 2000 edition of Marleau and Montpetit House of Commons Procedure and Practice on page 898 speaks to a private member's bill of this nature on this point. It 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. Only a Minister can bring in a Ways and Means motion.
This is laid out in Standing Order 83.
Bill C-472 was not preceded by a ways and means motion.
On the same page, Marleau and Montpetit cites the following exceptions:
--private Members' bills which reduce taxes, reduce the incidence of a tax, or impose or increase an exemption from taxation are acceptable.
If Bill C-472 is passed, it purports to remove deductions from the Income Tax Act thereby decreasing or eliminating an exemption from taxation. This would increase revenue to the consolidated fund. Therefore it does not fall under the exceptions outlined by Marleau and Montpetit.
I would point out that on April 10, 1997, a very similar private member's bill, Bill C-324, calling for the removal of a tax deduction, was before the House. Upon a point of order raised at that time, the then acting Speaker read the following quote from page 821 of Erskine May's 20th edition:
Matters which are covered by the term 'charges upon the people' may be briefly summarized as... (2) the repeal or reduction of existing alleviations of taxation such as exemptions or drawbacks.
Before Bill C-324 at that time was summarily dropped from the Order Paper, the Speaker again at line 9581 of that day's Hansard stated:
--where there are such changes [to the Income Tax Act] it would appear that ways and means proceedings are necessary and the full scope, that is a resolution, would have to be introduced first, followed by the bill.
I would say that Bill C-472 crosses the bounds set for private member's bills and should be ruled out of order and dropped from the Order Paper.