• Top 10 List for Minister Morneau: Shadow Budget 2017

    To set a credible path to balance, hold the line on transfers to other levels of government, contain Ottawa’s own compensation costs and shrink or eliminate many tax expenditures, including the age credit, the LSVCC credit and some boutique credits; To encourage businesses to grow, replace preferential tax treatment for small businesses with temporary preferential treatment for young businesses…

  • Canada must make sure everyone pays fair share of taxes

    The Conference Board of Canada now estimates that the federal government is missing out on uncollected taxes that amount to at least $16 billion a year – and might even be as high as $47.8 billion… That’s enough, for example, to pay Canada’s entire defence budget more than twice over. It’s almost 10 times more than the estimated cost of a national childcare program.

  • Ottawa Should Reveal $16 billion in Hidden Spending

    Greater visibility in budgets, estimates and public accounts would not make such preferences disappear – plenty of programs that do show as spending in these documents have persisted for decades, and have expanded… changes to the reporting of tax preferences that show their spending equivalents would give Canadians a valuable tool to improve federal fiscal policy.

  • Don’t fear Trudeau’s proportional representation bogeymen

    It’s important not to exaggerate how much would change under PR. It’s possible to win now, in a riding with several candidates, with as little as 28 per cent of the vote, and quite common to do so with less than 33 per cent… If I think a party would be bad for Canada, it’s my responsibility to get out and persuade my fellow citizens not to vote for them — not rig the system so they can’t.

  • Canada’s role in ‘snow washing’ money to evade taxes

    In order to get hold of… Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) identification documents — you need to produce some evidence of apparent wrongdoing on the part of a target company to convince a magistrate to sign a disclosure order or warrant. But having gained access to a Canadian company’s records, you’ll often be faced with a total lack of UBO identifiers. Those UBO identifiers need to be made available: not only to frustrate tax evaders, fraudsters and money launderers, but potentially terrorists, who might use the anonymity associated with underregulated companies to fund their murderous activities.

  • Canada misses out on nearly $50 billion in tax each year

    “Offshore is really big dollars from a smaller number of entities, but the majority of the tax gap is actually small amounts from a large number of people” … Aggressive tax avoidance — techniques that comply with the letter of a law, but contravene its spirit — as well as simple mistakes on tax filings and nonpayment of taxes round out the causes of lost tax revenues in the tax gap, according to the report.

  • End this needless secrecy

    It can take so long to get records through the FOI process that they become irrelevant. The system stymies the ability of the public, usually through the news media, to know what quasi-judicial bodies like the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission are doing in some of the most controversial areas of public policy.

  • Bill Morneau pledges to spend — but first he has to cut

    If the government plans to spend any money in this budget, it will have to be funded from new revenue sources — and there is likely to be a political cost to tapping those streams… Having ruled out taxing health and dental benefits, he may opt to eliminate the deduction on meals and entertainment that make corporate boxes feasible at hockey games, or kill the age amount tax credit claimed by people aged 65 and over.

  • Proposed public sector wage hikes for execs are out of line

    … there’s no evidence that current salary levels, along with the other benefits of public-sector employment, are insufficient to retain top talent… Thibeault’s rationale for OPG could just as easily apply to hundreds of other public-sector executives who head up our health care networks and transit systems… Allowing huge increases for any category would likely set off out-of-control demands across the entire public service

  • A real job for the democratic institutions minister

    Don’t just make cash-for-access fundraisers more transparent; end them altogether… Beyond changing the rules… ensure that parliamentary watchdogs are better placed to enforce them… Fix our access-to-information laws – now… The danger of backtracking on electoral reform is that the government may have contributed to the malaise it purportedly sought to address.