moved for leave to introduce Bill C-202, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (death benefit).
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to introduce a bill today that would address a longstanding grievance for widowed Canadians. In short, it would make the CPP death benefit tax-free.
As it stands now, receiving this benefit can have disastrous financial implications for the surviving spouse. Most obviously, of course, it reduces the amount of money available to cover funeral expenses. More importantly, however, it may push the survivor's income into a higher tax bracket thereby potentially having a negative impact on eligibility for social assistance or the GST/HST tax credit. At $2,500 the CPP death benefit is already inadequate, but by making it a taxable benefit the government is adding insult to injury.
Instead of imposing a financial penalty on grieving spouses, I call on all members of the House to do the right thing, the fair thing and the compassionate thing by passing my bill at the earliest opportunity so that we can support families as they mourn the loss of their loved one.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)