I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on February 26, 2004, by the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government of the House of Commons concerning Bill C-472, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (deductibility of fines), introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre. I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for having raised this matter.
The parliamentary secretary pointed out that Bill C-472 proposes an amendment to the Income Tax Act that would have the effect of eliminating from the act an existing deduction from taxation for fines or penalties imposed by law. The net result of the elimination of this exemption would be an increase in the level of taxation for affected taxpayers.
As stated in a ruling on October 24, 2002, dealing with an earlier version of this bill introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre, a bill of this nature can only be brought before the House if it is preceded by the adoption of a motion of ways and means.
As House of Commons Procedure and Practice states at pages 758 and 759:
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, it goes on, at page 898, to state:
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.
Bill C-472, introduced on February 5, 2004, by the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre, seeks to eliminate an existing tax deduction. If adopted, the bill would result in an increase of the tax payable by a certain group of taxpayers. Our practice in these matters is clear.
Since the bill has not been preceded by the necessary ways and means motion, the proceedings related to its introduction and first reading that took place on February 5, 2004, are null and void. The Chair therefore rules that the order for second reading of the bill be discharged and the bill withdrawn from the Order Paper.
I thank the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for bringing this matter to the attention of the Chair.
(Order discharged and Bill C-472 withdrawn)