moved for leave to introduce Bill C-210, An Act to amend the Canada Revenue Agency Act (organ and tissue donors).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to reintroduce my private member's bill that I had originally introduced in the previous parliamentary session.
Last year, the bill passed unanimously through all stages in the House in just 25 sitting days. Unfortunately, it died on the Order Paper at second reading in the Senate when the election was called. I am here, once again, to introduce this bill.
There are approximately 4,600 Canadians currently awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. While 90% of Canadians approve of organ and tissue donation, only about 20% of Canadians actually have registered consent with their provincial or territorial registries. This is an absolutely unacceptable number, and this is where we can help as parliamentarians.
My bill would assist Canadian provinces and territories in growing and maintaining their organ and tissue donor registries. The bill is simple. It would ask Canadians on their annual income tax return if they consent to having their provincial or territorial government be informed of their desire to be added to their organ and tissue donor registry. It is that simple: a question of consent on the income tax form.
Currently, the Canada Revenue Agency prohibits the use of the income tax form for any purpose other than the administration of taxes. In order to allow for a question regarding organ and tissue donation on the tax form, a legal exemption must be created.
This was done once before on the tax form so that Elections Canada could ask Canadians for updated contact information. Again, what I am proposing is that a simple question of organ and tissue donation be placed on the tax form alongside of the Elections Canada question.
I want to thank the hon. member for Calgary Shepard for seconding my bill, and also the 20 members of Parliament from all the parties in the House who have officially seconded my bill in a remarkable display of parliamentary co-operation.
I ask all members of the House to pick up the torch and consider passing this bill again with the same amount of enthusiasm, so that we can help save the lives of hundreds of Canadians.