Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) is calling on the federal government to back and pass a private member’s bill that would allow tradespeople and indentured apprentices to deduct travel expenses from their income if they work on a job located at least 80 kilometres away from their ordinary place of residence.

The goal of the legislation, known as Bill C-275 An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, is to make it easier for tradespeople to go to where there is work available without having to bear a financial burden to do so.

CBTU executive director Sean Strickland says a tax deduction has long been a priority for the building trades, but as result of the pandemic the idea is even more important as it would enable the trades to seek work in another region or province where they are needed, and also help to address labour supply shortages.

“Simply put,” he notes, “the nature of construction work requires members to go where the work is and the cost of travelling to the jobs, many times, comes out of a worker’s pocket. Unlike other professionals, a skilled trades worker can not deduct their out-of-pocket expenses for the temporary relocation.”

If travel, accommodation, food and other costs are not covered by an employer, and they are simply too much for a worker to shoulder, it becomes a barrier for tradespeople to relocate for work, says Strickland.

“We have pockets of high unemployment in certain regions and an abundance of work in others. We need to remove the cost barrier that makes it prohibitive for workers to travel for work to address labour shortages.”

Flexibility and mobility are common requirements of construction workers. 

According to Strickland, passage of the provisions of the legislation would allow construction workers to travel to where the work is, increasing job opportunities for them and meeting labour market demands.

COVID-19 has increased the strain on the economy, including decreasing work opportunities for skilled trades workers in many areas, and government has a responsibility to ensure a system of tax fairness is in place for Canadians who belong to a mobile workforce and may work for more than one employer during a tax year, he says.

The legislation was introduced by NDP MPs Scott Duvall (Hamilton Mountain) and Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie). It is proposed that the skilled trades workforce mobility tax deduction would be legislated into the Income Tax Act (Canada). To be eligible, employees must have been required under the contract of employment to pay expenses on their own and not be reimbursed by an employer.

The CBTU recognizes that Bill C-275 is unlikely to come to a vote in this session of Parliament and is therefore asking the federal government to take up the cause to get it passed.

“This has long been an unfair tax consequence for workers,” Strickland says. “There is an opportunity to fix it now to help in our economic recovery caused by the pandemic. It would address labour supply shortages

The Daily Beast

Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos via GettyA confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months of the Trump presidency claims that he and close associate Rep. Matt Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women—as well as a girl who was 17 at the time.“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote in reference to the 17-year-old.“From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18. I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman.”The letter, which The Daily Beast recently obtained, was written after Greenberg—who was under federal indictment—asked Roger Stone to help him secure a pardon from then-President Donald Trump.A series of private messages starting in late 2020—also recently obtained by The Daily Beast—shows a number of exchanges between Greenberg and Stone conducted over the encrypted messaging app Signal, with communications set to disappear. However, Greenberg appears to have taken screenshots of a number of their conversations.“If I get you $250k in Bitcoin would that help or is this not a financial matter,” Greenberg wrote to Stone, one message shows.“I understand all of this and have taken it into consideration,” Stone replied. “I will know more in the next 24 hours I cannot push too hard because of the nonsense surrounding pardons.”“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident,” Stone wrote to Greenberg on Jan. 13.In a text message to The Daily Beast, Stone said that Greenberg had tried to hire him to assist with a pardon, but he denied asking for or receiving payment or interceding on his behalf. He did, however, confirm he had Greenberg prepare “a document explaining his prosecution.”In the private text messages to Stone, Greenberg described his activities with Gaetz, repeatedly referring to the Republican congressman by his initials, “MG,” or as “Matt.”“My lawyers that I fired, know the whole story about MG’s involvement,” Greenberg wrote to Stone on Dec. 21. “They know he paid me to pay the girls and that he and I both had sex with the girl who was underage.”As part of the effort to obtain a pardon, Greenberg wrote multiple drafts of his confession letter. The Daily Beast obtained two typed versions and an earlier handwritten one. Certified forensic document examiner and handwriting expert Wendy Carlson compared the letter to writing samples obtained through two public records requests. She said it was her professional expert opinion that the person who authored a 2019 financial disclosure for Joel Greenberg, as well as Greenberg’s 2020 Board of Elections form, was the same as the author of the letter.“The person who authored the