• Liberals hatch plan to stop Trumpism: fix income inequality

    Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland… has penned an article about how Canada plans to battle global trends toward nationalism and protectionism. She calls it “progressive internationalism” and describes how Canada will be pursuing this idea in 2018 on two tracks: internationally, in the realms of human rights, immigration and freer trade; and domestically, with fairer taxation and improved labour standards here in Canada… Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is also in the midst of a large-scale effort to battle economic inequality

  • Canada needs tax reform. Here’s where Ottawa should look to improve the system

    So what should be the focus of tax reform? … corporate-personal income tax integration… The Carter Royal Commission… “comprehensive limits” proposal [re. retirement savings]… “A buck is a buck is a buck.” … Major improvements in enforcement against tax evasion… and even in detecting serious tax avoidance strategies… But tax cuts themselves are not tax reform… base broadening would be… a logical complement to a reduction in tax rates.

  • Liberals’ passive-income tax changes could bring in $6-billion a year: watchdog

    The PBO numbers… showed that 1.3 per cent of CCPCs hold between $1-million and $2-million in passive investment assets and 1.6 per cent hold over $2-million. Yet those two categories represent nearly 90 per cent of all passive income earned by CCPCs… 60 per cent of all passive income – representing about $11-billion – is earned by CCPCs with no active business income, “suggesting they were set up solely for the purpose of generating income.”

  • Canadian tax hypocrisy that favours the rich must end: Broadbent

    Tax avoidance and evasion by the rich ultimately undermines democracy: it starves social programs and public services, increases after tax income and wealth inequality, and further concentrates economic resources in the hands of a few… Ordinary Canadians have a right to be angry that the very rich are being pampered by our political elites. The response should be broad-based, progressive tax reform to make the system much fairer and more transparent.

  • Paradise Papers show Ottawa must crack down on offshore tax havens

    … these revelations promise to deepen the longstanding problems of distrust and cynicism that inhibit needed tax reform and corrode our democracy… more than 3,000 Canadians are among those who made use of byzantine tax-avoidance schemes chronicled in the leaked documents. Most of these schemes are ethically dubious, some possibly illegal, and many might have been avoided had the government listened to the experts.

  • Supreme court ruling clears way for B.C. ski resort on sacred Indigenous land

    The Supreme Court ruled the approval of the ski resort did not violate section 2(a) of the Charter, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion. “The Ktunaxa’s claim does not fall within the scope of s. 2(a) because neither the Ktunaxa’s freedom to hold their beliefs nor their freedom to manifest those beliefs is infringed by the Minister’s decision to approve the project,” said the decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Malcolm Rowe.

  • The era of big government isn’t over. It may be about to start

    The mystery is why anyone ever thought private companies were the way to cover huge costs like health or pensions. It’s costly and patchwork; public programs make far more sense. They’re stabler, better funded and include some democratic oversight. But before the economy got financialized, and mighty companies turned into hedgies’ playthings, they could at least pretend to fill the need. Public programs, however, mean you need revenues to fund them.

  • Liberals need to get back on track to tax reform

    While the economy is booming the government can afford to have it both ways – increase benefits for the middle class and working poor, while sweetening the pot for small business. But the economy will inevitably hit bumps in the road (starting with the Trump threat to NAFTA) and to make its vision sustainable over the long run the government must produce a plan to shore up its finances with true tax reform.

  • Why the CRA thought it could take a bite of your free lunch

    The idea of taxing income equally is at the heart of any idea of tax fairness. Unless we want to encourage the creation of tax loopholes, our tax system has to try to respect it… [but] It comes down to a question of proportionality and reasonableness. There’s an old Latin expression: De minimis non curat lex. The law should not concern itself with trifles.

  • How do governments come up with good public policy when an issue has polarized the public? There are some basic guidelines that can help.

    In a post-fact era, when reasoned arguments are not always sufficient to secure support, the perception of a government’s presumed motive is critical and sensitive policy changes must be presented without an overtly political agenda. Voters do not always have the time or inclination to study complicated policy frameworks; if they believe the government is acting for good reason, or has good intentions, that trust can provide an effective shortcut to policy acceptance.