moved for leave to introduce Bill C-577, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (hearing impairment).
Mr. Speaker, there are hundreds of thousands of hard of hearing Canadians and yet, because of the existing structure of the disability tax credit, many of those Canadians cannot access the disability tax credit. This came out very clearly from hearings that I have had over the last few years in my riding of Burnaby—New Westminster.
What my bill foresees is tax fairness. This would change the criteria that currently exists, which is people who are able to hear in a quiet setting with somebody familiar to them, to what would be a more realistic criteria, which means a normal setting with somebody who is unfamiliar to the person.
This bill has been endorsed by the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, the Canadian Academy of Audiology and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. Each of these organizations are supporting the bill because they believe in tax fairness for people who are hard of hearing.
This is for the hard of hearing, who are not treated fairly when they apply for a tax credit for people with disabilities. This bill would provide for equality, access to the tax credit, and fairness for hard of hearing Canadians.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)