For Immediate Release
March 12, 2021
IBEW Canada’s IVP Tom Reid’s response to NDP MP Scott Duvall’s Private Members Bill C-275
IBEW International Vice President Tom Reid issued the following statement on the tabling of NDP Member of Parliament, Scott Duvall’s, Private Members Bill C-275 “An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (travel expenses deduction for tradespersons)”:
“Yesterday’s introduction of Private Members Bill C-275 has my full support and that of the 70,000 IBEW members across the country. For too long, our skilled trades workers and apprentices in the construction industry have been unfairly discriminated against under the Income Tax Act and this Private Members Bill corrects that injustice and offers fairness to these workers.”
“Not every construction jobsite is within driving distance of a workers home. Many workers in the construction industry need to maintain a primary residence and travel long distances to obtain work and cover those expenses out of pocket. Too often, workers find that at the end of the month, they are behind because they are paying to maintain their primary residence and the temporary travel and accommodations needed to go to work. If these workers put on a suit and tie, and sold goods to the jobsite, the Income Tax Act would allow them to deduct their travel expenses, but as soon as they put on their safety boots, hard hats and personal protective equipment, the Income Tax Act discriminates against them. Bill C-275 addresses this and finally brings fairness construction workers with the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act.”
The IBEW, along with the Building Trades, have been advocating for this change for almost four decades, and versions of Bill C-275 have been tabled in the previous seven sessions of Parliament. During the 41st Parliament, this legislation was debated and came to a vote that saw all members from the NDP, Liberal, Bloc and Green caucus vote in support of the legislation. Only the governing Conservative Party voted against this, once again disappointing Canada’s skilled trades workers. A recent study undertaken by the Canada’s Building Trades Unions projects that the implications of the measures in this bill would result in a net savings of $347 million for the Federal government.
“The IBEW stands committed to supporting this legislation and we will continue to advocate for these changes to be made to the Income Tax Act. I firmly believe that the Federal Government has an opportunity to address this issue in their upcoming Budget and give the workers who build this country the fairness they deserve”.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents approximately 70,000 members in Canada and 775,000 members and retirees in North America who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.