B.C. First Nations fishermen file class-action lawsuit against federal government over income taxes

Two First Nations fishermen from B.C. have filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal government, claiming they have been improperly taxed for nearly two decades.

Bill and Daniel Scow are suing the Attorney General and the Minister of National Revenue insisting they were wrongly denied income tax exemptions.

The Scows are members of the We Wai Kai Nation in Campbell River and claim their incomes haven’t been properly taxed since 2001.

Both fishermen are bringing the court action forward on behalf of all Aboriginal people who have had their personal property on a reserve unlawfully taxed.

Court documents filed in BC Supreme Court say the Scows didn’t file objection notices on time for their previous income taxes, but say their rights under the Indian Act override those time limitations.

Bill also claims the Canada Revenue Agency took action against him three years ago by garnishing all of his Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance payments, leaving him with no income that year while he was receiving treatment for late-stage liver cancer.

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Both federal ministries have not responded to our request for comment.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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