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Iqaluit mayor wants land tax exemption on churches removed over residential schools

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Iqaluit mayor wants land tax exemption on churches removed over residential schools

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT —
Iqaluit’s mayor says he plans to accept a motion to resolve on away a land tax exemption for churches in Nunavut’s capital metropolis.

Kenny Bell says he made up our minds to defend out so after the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan announced Thursday that 751 unmarked graves had been detected at its aged residential faculty, which used to be urge by the Catholic Church.

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“We want to face up and conflict for Indigenous other folks all the method in which via the nation,” Bell acknowledged Friday. “If Inuit, First Nations and Metis are thriving all the method in which via the nation, Canada will be thriving. We must level-headed be dart that happens.”

As in plenty of varied components of Canada, non secular institutions in Iqaluit usually are not required to pay taxes on the land they elevate.

Money from land taxes is feeble to pay for municipal companies including boulevard clearing and maintenance.

“Right now, they don’t pay something else for their residence,” Bell acknowledged.

Bell acknowledged as a consequence of there’s no tax class for churches in Iqaluit, the motion will be to reveal workers to resolve on away the land tax exemption on churches. Then, a brand contemporary tax class will doubtless must level-headed be created.

“As a non-Indigenous man, I consider it be my obligation to abet the put I will and stand with Indigenous other folks,” Bell acknowledged.

Bell is encouraging municipalities all the method in which via the nation to resolve on away their land tax exemptions for churches. He additionally acknowledged the Catholic Church must level-headed narrate regret for its function in residential schools.

“If they don’t desire to narrate regret, then the only thing we can operate is tax them. I consider we want to defend out that as a nation.”

Many churches and non secular organizations in Canada are additionally exempt from paying federal taxes below the Income Tax Act.

Bell acknowledged as a consequence of there’s no tax class for churches, it be sophisticated to convey how worthy the churches would perchance well be required to pay if the exemption used to be dropped.

“Right here’s a diminutive symbolic step. The tax on them isn’t very going to abolish the church by any method. It be not meant to. It be meant to demonstrate that we desire the apology. We desire the church to acknowledge what they did and tear forward.”

Bell acknowledged he hasn’t heard from any of the metropolis’s churches and plans to accept the motion on the subsequent metropolis council assembly on July 13.

“I’m not anti-religion. I’m not anti-church. What I’m anti is burying children in unmarked graves a long way off from their families and not even telling their families,” he acknowledged.

Bell additionally known as on all non-Indigenous Canadians to read the Fact and Reconciliation Document and its 94 calls to action.

“Confer with your mayors, your councils, your MPs. Save a question to them to make dart they observe via with these calls to action.”

This content by The Canadian Press used to be first printed June 25, 2021

This legend used to be produced with the financial help of the Facebook and Canadian Press Information Fellowship.

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Iqaluit mayor wants land tax exemption on churches removed over residential schools