An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (travel and accommodation deduction for tradespersons)

This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in September 2008.

This bill was previously introduced in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session.

Sponsor

Chris Charlton  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Not active, as of Dec. 4, 2006
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment allows tradespersons and indentured apprentices to deduct from their taxable income any travel and accommodation expenses that they have incurred in order to secure and maintain employment in a construction activity at a job site that is located at least 80 kilometres away from their ordinary place of residence.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

January 30th, 2014 / 5:35 p.m.
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to such an important issue for tradespeople across the country.

The bill introduced by the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain would allow skilled workers to deduct from their taxable income travel and accommodation expenses. It would also allow them to maintain employment at a construction site that is more than 80 kilometres from their home.

This is a much-needed bill. Tradespeople are the engine of our economy. Construction is the biggest private sector industry in the country. It boasts 17,000 companies and employs a million Canadians. It creates more than 12% of our gross domestic product.

Skilled tradespeople include heavy equipment operators, electricians, welders, carpenters and so on. These workers are essential on construction sites. It is impossible to do the work without them.

However, the trades are facing significant challenges, including a shortage of workers and workforce mobility issues.

The Conference Board of Canada estimates that Canada will need at least a million more skilled tradespeople by 2020. In Quebec alone, more than 730,000 professional and technical jobs will open up in the coming year alone. Some of the most sought after workers include industrial mechanics, welders and industrial management supervisors.

The construction industry estimates that it will need an additional 252,000 workers.

These trades require solid math skills, creativity and technological know-how. The pay is good. Skilled professionals earn 3.1% more than the average Canadian.

However, there is a recurring issue and that is workforce mobility. I am not talking about interprovincial mobility, just regional mobility. The placement of work sites in Canada is based on need. In construction, mining and infrastructure, major work sites are often in regions that are far from major cities.

Workers who want jobs far from home have to pay for their own travel and accommodations while still paying for their permanent residences. Those costs eat up a significant portion of their earnings and are not deductible under the Income Tax Act. That makes working far from home a less attractive proposition, not to mention that these people are also away from their families.

According to the building and construction trades department of the AFL-CIO, mobile workers spend an average of $3,500 of their personal savings to relocate temporarily.

While some regions of the country are experiencing high unemployment, others are suffering from a labour shortage. The bill introduced by the member for Hamilton Mountain offers a two-fold solution to the problem. Workers working at job sites at least 80 kilometres away from home would not have to take a financial hit. This solution is needed all the more because of the Conservatives' employment insurance reform, which forces workers to accept jobs within 100 kilometres of home.

In addition, Bill C-201 would boost government revenues because the cost of these tax credits will be outweighed by the employment insurance savings this bill will generate.

We also have to consider employers. They will have access to a larger pool of skilled workers, and Canadians will have access to jobs. Employers will no longer have to resort to temporary foreign workers.

Tradespeople have been waiting for a solution to this problem for a long time. The construction trades have actually been asking for this law for the past 30 years. The Conservatives and the Liberals have done absolutely nothing. The NDP has put forward a real solution.

I would like to congratulate my colleague from Hamilton Mountain because she has been fighting for this for years. In 2006, she introduced Bill C-390 and in 2008, Bill C-227. Now she is at it again with Bill C-201.

If the members of this House really want to support tradespeople, they must support this bill. It is time to pass this bill.

This bill will enable mobile workers across Canada to maintain their residences while relocating to get work. The tax credit would cover travel, meals and accommodation reduce amounts paid by employers for those purposes.

The 2008 budget provided this kind of tax relief to truckers as a way to minimize mobility issues in that sector. Everyone in the industry agrees. This bill will really help workers relocate to job sites.

According to the president of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Local 67, Geoff Roman, we have become too reliant on skilled workers to foot the bill when the country faces a labour shortage.

Robert Blakely, Director of the Canadian Affairs Building and Construction Trades Department agrees. He said:

The baby boomer generation, which no one expected was ever going to retire, is going to retire. We have spaces for nearly 2,500 people to enter the construction industry in the next five years, and another 163,000 people in the five years after that...If we have trained people all across the country, we need to be able to move them.

In Quebec, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 568, strongly supports the bill. Financial secretary Laurent Talbot stated:

The math is simple. More tradespeople working equals a lower unemployment rate.

It is true. There are roughly 1.6 million construction workers in the country and 10% of them move every year. At an average cost of $3,500 per worker per year, a 15% tax credit would cost the government $525 per worker per year, for a total cost of $84 million a year. For the same number of tradespeople receiving on average $393 in EI benefits a week for an unemployment period of four weeks, the government would pay $251 million in EI benefits a year, or nearly two and a half times more than under the bill, if it were passed.

The tax credit proposed in Bill C-201 would translate into a net savings of $167 million a year. That is not insignificant. This solution has been advocated by a number of experts. The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities made two similar recommendations in 2008 as part of a study on employability.

Last year, the committee addressed the issue of labour shortages again and made the following recommendation:

Recommendation 30.

The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada study the anticipated cost of introducing new fiscal measures that would help people who find jobs far away from where they live, for example a tax credit for travel and lodging if a person must work more than 80 kilometres from his or her residence, and that it study the potential impact of such measures on labour mobility and labour shortages.

After eight Conservative budgets, there still is no measure to correct this problem, which this government does not seem to take very seriously. Conservative members have said they support labour mobility, which is inconsistent. This is true of the member for Fort McMurray—Athabasca and the member for Prince Albert. Liberal members should also support this bill, given that it affects the entire country and there are construction workers in all ridings.

I hope that the bill introduced by my colleague from Hamilton Mountain, Bill C-201, passes. Tradespersons need to be supported across Canada, and they need to be treated with respect, like all workers in Canada.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2008 / 3:20 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table two petitions today, both of which call on the House to pass Bill C-390. The bill amends the Income Tax Act to allow tradespeople and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income so they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

This time, the petitions have come from British Columbia's lower mainland and the greater Sudbury area in northern Ontario. I particularly want to thank Bruce McNamara of IBEW Local 1687, Jim LaJeunesse of the Iron Workers, Local 786, Roger Michaud of the Sheet Metal Workers and roofers, Local Union 504, and Andy Holder of the Boilermakers Local 128, all from Sudbury, for their support of Bill C-390 and for circulating this petition among their memberships. It is a privilege to table the petition in the House of Commons on their behalf.

The EconomyOral Questions

May 6th, 2008 / 3 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's economy is showing the importance of a mobile workforce. Many tradespeople are out of work in one area of the country while another area is desperately in need of those workers.

For 30 years, the building trades have been lobbying successive governments for changes to tax policy that would allow them to move with fewer economic restrictions. For 30 years, they have been receiving empty promises.

Will the Minister of Finance abandon his predecessor's empty rhetoric and commit today to act on Bill C-390?

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 3rd, 2008 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

The other petition, Mr. Speaker, that I am pleased to table today is yet again on the urgent need for the House to adopt BillC-390. The bill would allow tradespeople and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income so that they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

This time the petitions have come from St. John's, Glace Bay, Sydney, Fredericton, Timmins, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Val Caron, Sudbury, North Bay, Owen Sound, Windsor, Chatham, Port Elgin, Cambridge, Kitchener, London, Sarnia, Toronto, Brandon, Winnipeg, Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Kamloops, Nelson, Castlegar, Victoria, Whitehorse, and of course the Golden Horseshoe, in an expression of support that is truly national in scope.

Unfortunately, another budget implementation bill that is before the House today ignores yet again this modest request by Canada's building trades. All they have been asking for is some basic fairness. I will continue to represent their issues in the House and will gladly introduce all of their petitions until the government finally lives up to its commitment to act.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 10th, 2008 / 3:10 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table two petitions today.

The first petition is yet again on the urgent need for this House to pass Bill C-390. The bill would allow tradespeople and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income so they could secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

This time the petitions have come from Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Guelph, Whitby, Oshawa, Orillia, Barrie, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Laval, Dorval, Moncton, Shediac and River View in an expression of support that is truly national in scope. Unfortunately, another federal budget is now behind us and once again the building trades were ignored. All they have been asking for is some basic fairness.

I will continue to represent their issues in this House and will gladly introduce all of their petitions until the government finally lives up to its commitment to act.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 5th, 2008 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am rising yet again to table more petitions on the urgent need for this House to pass Bill C-390, a bill that would allow tradespeople and indentured apprentices to be able to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable incomes, so they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

This time the petitions are signed by members and friends of the building trades throughout Ontario and Nova Scotia. With another federal budget just around the corner, the petitioners are hoping that this time they will get the same treatment that long haul truckers got in the government's last budget. All they are asking for is some basic fairness. Surely, they deserve at least that.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2007 / 10:20 a.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Finally, Mr. Speaker, as we find ourselves in another round of pre-budget consultations, I am pleased to present another petition on behalf of members and supporters of the building trades. This time the petitioners are from Sudbury and the Nickel Belt area in Ontario.

Building trades across the country have lobbied successive governments for over 30 years to achieve some basic fairness for their members. They want trades persons and indentured apprentices to be able to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable incomes, so that they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres away from their homes.

It makes no sense for trades persons to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled trade shortages, simply because the cost of travelling is too high.

To that end they have gathered hundreds of signatures in support of my private member's bill, Bill C-390, which would allow for precisely the kind of deductions that their members have been asking for.

I am pleased to table this petition on their behalf and share their disappointment that this item was not addressed in the government's mini-budget this fall.

Income Tax ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 19th, 2007 / 10:15 a.m.
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NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is from petitioners also from across the country who say that many tradespeople can be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled labour shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high, and that out of work tradespeople currently have to finance their own travel and accommodation should they wish to move to another region where there are jobs available.

Therefore, these petitioners are asking us to support Bill C-390, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, which would allow tradespeople to deduct travel and accommodation expenses should they need to move to a new region for employment.

Income Tax ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 11th, 2007 / 5:15 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am starting to get embarrassed by having to rise yet again to table three more petitions on the urgent need for this House to pass my bill, Bill C-390, which would allow tradespeople and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable incomes so they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

At a time when communities like Hamilton have lost over 11,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, it is essential that the government take concrete action to assist workers in securing decent-paying jobs.

It makes no sense for tradespeople to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled labour shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high.

Hundreds of workers from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia have signed these petitions. All they are asking for from their government is a little bit of fairness. Surely they deserve that much.

Tradespersons Travel and Accommodation DeductionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 7th, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.
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NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, as well, I have a petition signed by many people from the Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam areas. They point out that many tradespersons can be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers temporary skilled labour shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high.

The petitioners call on Parliament to support Bill C-390, tabled by the member for Hamilton Mountain, which would allow tradespersons and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income so they could secure and maintain employment at a construction site that is more than 80 kilometres from their home.

Tradespersons Travel and Accommodation DeductionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 7th, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two more petitions, both of which were circulated by members and supporters of the building trades. The petitioners are from Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Building trades across the country have lobbied successive governments for over 30 years to achieve some basic fairness for their members. They want tradespersons and indentured apprentices to be able to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable incomes so that they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes. It makes no sense for tradespersons to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled trade shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high. To that end, they have gathered hundreds of signatures in support of my bill, Bill C-390, which would allow for precisely the kind of deductions that their members have been asking for.

I am pleased to table these petitions on their behalf and share their disappointment that this item was not addressed in the government's budget in March.

Tradespersons Travel and Accommodation DeductionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 23rd, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions today, both of which were circulated by members and supporters of the building trades, the first in the golden horseshoe and the second in and around British Columbia.

Building trades across the country have lobbied successive governments for over 30 years to achieve some basic fairness for their members. They want tradespersons and indentured apprentices to be able to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable incomes so they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes. It makes no sense for tradespersons to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled trade shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high.

To that end, they have gathered hundreds of signatures in support of my bill, Bill C-390, which allows for precisely the kind of deductions that their members have been asking for. I am pleased to table the petition on their behalf and share their disappointment that this item was not addressed in the government's budget in March.

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

March 20th, 2007 / 4:15 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the member for Acadie—Bathurst.

I am delighted to participate in this debate today, both as the NDP critic for seniors and pensions, but more importantly, as the member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain.

During the last two weeks that the House was not sitting, I spent every day talking to people at their doors and in my community office, meeting with groups and attending community functions. Everywhere the message was the same. People are increasingly recognizing the existence of a prosperity gap in Canada. They do not feel that they are benefiting from the economic growth they keep hearing about, and they are right. The numbers back them up.

Not only is there a growing gap between the rich and the poor, there is also an alarming erosion of economic security for middle class Canadians. I stood in the House yesterday, before the budget was tabled, and relayed what ordinary Hamiltonians told me that their priorities were for achieving some fairness. Now that we have the budget in hand, I would like to evaluate it in that context.

Did the budget close the prosperity gap for people on Hamilton Mountain who are working hard and playing by the rules but who are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet? Let us look at each of the items I raised yesterday in turn.

I spoke about the desire among my constituents to see some significant property tax relief through federal investments in urban infrastructure. In a community where our aging infrastructure is leading to regular flooding, poorly maintained roads and constant struggles to expand public transit while keeping fares down, Hamiltonians had hoped for a serious investment in our city. Ratepayers cannot afford to shoulder the additional burden of these essential investments solely on their property taxes.

These are precisely the hard-working families that the government says that it wants to support, but instead of making the infrastructure investments that would relieve our local tax burden, the infrastructure spending that the budget actually entails is money that will flow to the provinces, not directly to the municipalities, and it must be spent on public-private partnerships.

For anyone not familiar with the significance of the P3 stipulation, let me just remind them of Highway 407 where a public asset was turned into a toll road to satisfy the voracious revenue appetite of the private sector. That arrangement is costing Hamiltonians dearly and the last thing we need are more such infrastructure investments that end up costing us over and over again.

On public transit, the budget is virtually silent. There is absolutely no new dedicated money for transit. In short, the most basic needs of our municipality have gone unmet.

Second, I called yesterday for a manufacturing sector strategy. Hamilton has lost thousands of decent paying jobs as a result of restructuring and plant closures. Not only is the budget silent on strategic investments to Canada's industrial heartland, but it ignores the plight of displaced workers as well.

This budget offers no support to older and laid off workers. It is silent on employment insurance. It fails to protect the wages and pensions of workers in cases of commercial bankruptcies. To add insult to injury, it keeps in place almost $9 billion in corporate tax cuts over the next four years. Clearly, this budget was written more for those at the boardroom table than for hard-working families around the kitchen table.

Equally galling is the fact that this budget fails to address the needs of transient workers. We have significant labour shortages in parts of our country with decent paying jobs beckoning workers from other regions but this budget does nothing to remove the barriers to accessing those jobs.

This is particularly true for workers in the building trades who often go to job sites for a limited amount of time until a project is complete. The building trades have been lobbying for over 30 years to be able to deduct their accommodation and meal expenses from their income taxes when they work at a job site that is more than 80 kilometres away from their homes. They and I had hoped that this issue would be addressed in this budget.

I have a private member's bill, Bill C-390, on the floor of this House that would do precisely that. I had indicated to the Minister of Finance that I would be happy to see progress on this issue regardless of whether it was through the passage of my bill or through a government initiative. In the end, the government sat on its hands. Again, it could not help but add insult to injury by increasing the meal allowance for long haul truckers from 50% to 80%.

All the building trades have asked for is a little bit of fairness. The government's inaction comes as a slap in the face.

The third issue my constituents raised with me was the gouging that has been happening at the pumps. For people who require a vehicle to get to and from work each and every day, nothing has had a more direct inflationary impact on their household budgets than the price of gasoline.

Where is the federal watchdog to ensure that hard-working families are not being hosed? Where is the relief? Instead, ordinary Canadians learned yesterday that they do not rate. Instead of helping them make ends meet, the government continued its billion dollar subsidies to the oil and gas industries for the next three years, with a complete phase-out not even in the picture until five years after that.

Again, the rich are getting richer while hard-working Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. The budget did nothing to close the prosperity gap.

What about those who are living at or near the poverty line? Yesterday's budget created the working income tax benefit, purportedly to help the lowest income earner. In fact, it does nothing to help those who are making the minimum wage. While serious initiatives to help the most vulnerable in our communities are always welcome, the government should have sent a resounding message that in a country as wealthy as Canada it is completely unacceptable that someone who is working 40 hours a week at minimum wage is still living below the poverty line.

In the absence of showing a willingness to move toward a living wage by setting the federal minimum wage at $10 immediately, the budget has done little to close the prosperity gap.

I also called yesterday for investments in post-secondary education. Again, the government would want hard-working Canadians to believe that it has moved aggressively on this file but let us take a closer look. These investments create scholarships for graduate students, but do nothing for those who are working on their first degree. These are precisely the students who are weighing whether they can afford to get the education they need to participate in the knowledge based economy against a potential average student debt of more than $24,000.

A budget that does not address student debt and student loans does nothing to enhance access to post-secondary education for children in modest and middle income families.

With respect to yet another key priority for residents on Hamilton Mountain, it is good to see that the government is at least taking baby steps forward with respect to the environment. However, it is obvious that the government has not spent a great deal of time thinking about this issue and is offering little more than the symbolic gesture that the Liberal leader gave Canadians when he named his dog Kyoto. There is no serious commitment in the budget to the Kyoto accord, to mandatory fuel efficiency standards or short, medium and long term targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The following is perhaps the biggest missed opportunity in the budget. The Conservatives are offering a $2,000 tax credit on the purchase of green cars, but sadly the vast majority of these vehicles are being built in Japan and in the United States. Indirectly they are subsidizing foreign car manufacturers. Instead what they should have been doing is investing in the environment and in Canadian jobs by supporting the production of green cars right here in Canada, but nowhere in the budget do we find an auto sector strategy.

Moreover, the carbon tax that is going to be imposed on vehicles that are not fuel efficient is going to impact the very middle class families that the government says it wants to help. Parents who are driving their kids to hockey, soccer and baseball games are buying the minivans. Neither the $310 child tax credit nor the $500 children's fitness tax credit will compensate for the up to $4,000 surtax on their minivans.

I have one last point on the environment. I was pleased to see the cleanup of Hamilton Harbour get at least a cursory mention in the budget, but an $11 million allocation for cleaning up contaminated sediment in Hamilton Harbour as well as the Niagara River, the Detroit River, St. Marys River, Thunder Bay, Peninsula Harbour, St. Clair River and Bay of Quinte is clearly wholly inadequate. The city of Hamilton alone had asked the federal government to contribute $30 million toward the cleanup of Randle Reef.

Equally inadequate is the government's investment in health care. While some new initiatives are being funded, the top of mind concerns of families in Hamilton are not being addressed. There is no mention in the budget of training and hiring new health care professionals to deal with the doctor shortage. There is no investment in pharmacare to help people with their drug costs. There is no investments in home care to allow seniors to live independently in their own homes longer and to take some of the burden off their children who all too often are becoming primary caregivers by default. There is no investment in long term care despite the fact that many acute care beds in our hospitals are tied up needlessly because chronic care beds are not available.

The seniors whose tax dollars built our health care system deserve to have it be there for them at a time in their lives when they need it most. The same is true with respect to their retirement income. The budget is a disgrace when it comes to its treatment of seniors. It brags about the fact that it allows seniors to work longer when in reality most seniors only continue to work because they cannot afford to retire. In Hamilton 25% of seniors live in poverty and 36% of single women over the age of 75 live in poverty, none of whom I might point out can benefit from pension splitting because they either never had or no longer have a partner or a spouse.

Announcing through the budget that seniors should now count themselves lucky because the government will allow them to be Wal-Mart greeters is hardly a strategy for allowing seniors to retire with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Seniors had hoped for increases to the OAS and GIS. They had hoped that the tax rate for the lowest income bracket would be dropped from 15.5% to 15%, where it was before the budget of the Conservatives of last year. They had hoped for new affordable housing and expanded public transit. They had hoped to reimbursed for all the full amount that the government shortchanged them as a result of Statistic Canada's mistake in calculating the consumer price index. None of these things were delivered in the budget.

By definition, seniors cannot wait forever. For a government that supported my seniors charter in June last year, it has shown itself contemptuous of both the will of the House and the very real needs of seniors.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 20th, 2007 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table two petitions today. Let me begin with one from the building trades. This petition was circulated by two community leaders in my riding of Hamilton Mountain: Joe Beattie, who is the business manager for the Hamilton-Brantford Ontario Building and Construction Trades Council, and Geoff Roman, the chair of the Political Action Committee of UA Local 67.

They have lobbied successive governments for over 30 years to achieve some basic fairness for their members. They want trades persons and indentured apprentices to be able to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable incomes so they can secure and maintain employment at construction sites that are more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

It makes no sense for trades persons to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled labour shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high. To that end they have gathered hundreds of signatures in support of my bill, Bill C-390, which allows for precisely the kind of deductions that their members have been asking for.

I am pleased to table the petition on their behalf and share their disappointment that this item was not addressed in yesterday's budget.

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

December 4th, 2006 / 3:10 p.m.
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NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-390, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (travel and accommodation deduction for tradespersons).

Mr. Speaker, it is my great privilege today to introduce this bill that will at long last allow tradespersons and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income so they can secure and maintain employment at a construction site that is more than 80 kilometres from their home. It makes no sense for tradespersons to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from temporary skilled labour shortages simply because the cost of travelling is too high.

I want to thank the PAC of UA Local 67 as well as Joe Beattie and affiliated locals of the Hamilton-Brantford Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario for encouraging me to bring this legislation forward and for their ongoing support for this important initiative. I am confident that all members of the House will want to work with me to ensure that this bill receives the speedy passage that it deserves through the remaining stages of the legislative process.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)