Atamanenko pushing bill for conscientious objectors’ tax dollars

Nobody likes to see their tax dollars go towards something they have philosophical differences with.

Nobody likes to pay taxes.

And nobody likes to see their tax dollars go towards something they have philosophical differences with.

A new Private Members Bill came before the House of Commons Monday that would give conscientious objectors an official sanction to spend their taxes on nonviolent alternatives to war.

Brought forward by Alex Atamanenko, MP (BC Southern Interior-Trail), Bill C-363, would allow people who object to paying taxes for military purposes — on conscientious or religious grounds — to divert an amount equal to the military portion of their income tax to a special account that could only be allocated to non-military peace-building purposes.

“Having the ability to register with Canada Revenue as a conscientious objector to war and direct some of your tax money directly towards promoting peace in the world lies at the very heart of what democracy is all about,” he said in a press release.

“For those who believe we are all responsible for our nation’s military actions and role in the world, this right is fundamental.”

The regulations would be developed in consultation with Conscience Canada Inc., Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Central Committee of Canada and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Canada, Atamanenko said.