moved for leave to introduce Bill C-411, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (removal of charge).
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in this House today, with my colleague from Nanaimo—Cowichan, to introduce a bill that I think all members of Parliament will find a very straightforward and agreeable bill.
It is a bill to amend the Income Tax Act, particularly where a charge, lien or priority on a binding interest on a property has been created, and where the minister has reason to believe it will be in the public interest to remove the lien on these buildings to allow for redevelopment, and that the minister may, in accordance with regulations, discharge the lien, priority or interest.
The bill refers to the problem that we are facing in many of our communities where buildings have been abandoned and liens have been put on them. At a certain point they become unsellable. The buildings are left to deteriorate. Nobody wants to assume the redevelopment of properties or brownfield sites because of the heavy liens on them. We end up with many buildings being left derelict and falling apart.
In 2006, the province of Ontario amended the income tax act to allow the province to discharge liens, to return them to the municipality so that properties could be redeveloped.
Support for this bill comes from a number of organizations. The National Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy for Canada has spoken about this. The Timmins Chamber of Commerce, in terms of the issue of redevelopment of downtowns, and the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy have all spoken of the need to have a plan so that the minister, when it is in the public interest, can discharge liens on abandoned brownfields and abandoned derelict buildings.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)