Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The amendment I'm proposing obviously deals with the topic we were just discussing, media support, but in this case, it has to do with qualifying journalism organizations.
The amendment seeks to remove all references to the famous “body” appearing at the end of subclause 43(2) on page 36. This body came up a number of times during the committee's study of the bill, and, as we speak, the term has still not been defined. Last week, we heard from the panel of experts that may clarify the nature of the body as well as the eligibility criteria.
I don't think the body is needed, plain and simple, so the amendment would remove that provision and retain only the objective criteria already contained in the bill. Therefore, a Canadian corporation, partnership or trust would be eligible if it met the following criteria: it was resident in Canada; a certain value of the interest was held by individuals; it published a certain type of content; and it was not a Crown corporation, municipal corporation or government agency.
Those are very objective criteria based on which, the minister responsible for enforcing the Income Tax Act, the Minister of National Revenue, is entirely capable and fit to determine the eligibility of an organization. The minister would merely have to check whether an organization met the criteria to determine whether it qualified for support under the program. Since the Minister of National Revenue is entirely capable of making that determination, it isn't necessary to establish an undefined body. Doing so would be akin to giving the government carte blanche to determine who would evaluate the applications submitted by organizations and their eligibility for tax credits.
Hence, the amendment seeks to remove the reference to the body to streamline the process and get right to the point. In other words, the Income Tax Act sets out criteria and the Minister of National Revenue is responsible for determining whether they are met. It's as simple as that.