Mr. Speaker, on January 30, 1994, Deborah Starr-Stephan, a mother of 10 and beloved wife of Tony Stephan, took her life. In 1993 her husband, after exhausting all other options, was forced to declare bankruptcy. From that point forward his family was unceasingly harassed by overzealous Canada customs and revenue agents. With her family driven into extreme hardship, unable to cope with the immense stress she was under, Deborah Stephan committed suicide. This should never have happened.
In the fall of 1997 the official opposition proposed a taxpayers' bill of rights and an office for the taxpayers' protection. The government needs to adopt this proposal so Canadians such as the Stephan family are protected from the summary treatment and abusive actions of CCRA agents.
Without enacting a strong taxpayers' bill of rights, the CCRA could be plagued with the same accountability problems that makes the IRS the most hated agency in the United States.