Mr. Speaker, I understand where the member is coming from. We all should be trying to encourage athletic participation as best we can but I believe the amendment would create a lot of problems.
The bill is completely confined to $300 per month for room and board. It is also restricted to organizations where the participants are all under the age of 21. If we are to use the Laval football team as an example, which is an excellent team with a top notch program and it won the Vanier Cup, most of the players are over age 21 and therefore would not be eligible for this.
Second, the junior teams got into difficulty because the tax department said that was an employer-employee relationship. If a university were providing room and board to a student, which I doubt is happening right now, but even if it were, that would not be an employer-employee relationship. There would be no tax consequences for the room and board at a university level. If it is happening, it is being done by a third party, in the case of Laval by a very wealthy person who supports the program.
However, as best as I can understand, if he is helping students with their room and board it is not subject to taxation under current law. It is a different category altogether and it diverts away from the main attempt to get the 140 junior A teams across Canada, many of them in Quebec, and the junior B teams to bring the tax relief to them so they can have the same benefit that maybe the Laval football players have at present.
This is a catch 22. It does not really lean anywhere. If there were some way the Bloc member could withdraw the motion, it would keep us focused on the main issue, which is to help midget hockey, junior B hockey and junior A hockey which are really suffering a great deal right now because of current tax rules. The university people do not experience this problem.