There has been surprisingly little critical commentary on the 2018 federal Budget legislative proposals regarding the taxation of passive investment income in private corporations. This sorry saga has now come to an end, but with very little progress made in terms of gains in public revenues and the promotion of greater tax fairness.
Gender Responsive Budgeting has been trumpeted as the focus of the Liberal government budget preparation for the past two years. But how deep does the analysis go and how does it affect outcomes, especially around touchy issues like fair taxation?
Ottawa – The federal budget missed an opportunity to recover up to $12 billion in tax revenue that could be invested in needed health and social programs, contends the Broadbent Institute.
“Tax loopholes used mainly by the very wealthy are costing us billions every year,” stated Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute. “A fairer tax system that sees these loopholes closed would help us fight the inequality that’s threatening many of our communities.”
In their 2015 election platform, the Trudeau Liberals identified a number of items related to Employment Insurance (EI) that they would change: reversing the Harper EI reforms defining ‘suitable work’; reducing the waiting period for EI benefits; reducing EI premiums; introducing more flexible parental leave; providing better access to compassionate care; and increasing funding for employment and training programs managed by provinces, territories and Aboriginal labour market organizations.
It’s safe to say that taxes aren’t everyone’s favourite subject. Canadians are usually confronted with the idea during tax season: as we frantically get our financial documents in order, while tempering our slight annoyance with the government for peering into our pockets. But we need to have more comprehensive conversations on how taxes affect our lives on a daily basis; because the fight for a fairer tax system is real and urgent.
Posted by Anne Levesque and Cindy Blackstock · February 01, 2018 10:48 AM
FOURTH NON-COMPLIANCE ORDER RENDERED BY THE CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL IN FIRST NATIONS CHILD WELFARE CASE
Two years after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) found Canada to be racially discriminating against over 165,000 First Nations children, the Tribunal has issued a fourth non-compliance order against the Federal government on February 1, 2018 (February 1, 2018 Order) or its failure to implement “immediate relief’ measures pending longer term reform. In its 2016 landmark ruling, the Tribunal found the Government of Canada in breach of the Canadian Human Rights Act for providing inequitable child welfare services to First Nations children and their families and for failing to implement Jordan’s Principle (Jordan’s Principle is a child-first initiative aiming to ensure that First Nations children has access to equitable and culturally appropriate services without delay). The Tribunal ordered a series of immediate measures to relieve the most egregious elements of the discrimination whilst longer term reform took place. It is astounding and unconscionable that two years and four non-compliance orders later, Canada has not complied even with the “immediate relief” measures let alone seriously engaged in long term reform.
Posted by Anne Levesque and Cindy Blackstock · January 16, 2018 9:24 AM
In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released a historic decision finding that the Government of Canada was racially discriminating against over 165,000 First Nations children. Leading up to the decision, the Government of Canada spent more than 8 million dollars in legal fees trying to have the complaint dismissed on technical grounds. After the decision was issued, the Government of Canada tried to evade human rights scrutiny by arguing that reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples would best be achieved through consultations, rather than orders from the Tribunal. The authors argue that this distorted version of reconciliation is in fact incompatible with the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and domestic and international human rights law.
This blog post is part of a series of posts that will be focusing on the tax avoidance by Canada’s most wealthy. This series was sparked by findings in the Paradise Papers — the latest leak that revealed the offshore tax haven activities of former Canadian elected officials and political insiders. Tax avoidance is wrong. It robs the Canadian government from paying for and maintaining our health and social programs; ones that work to improve the lives of all Canadians. A government crackdown on offshore tax havens is urgent and necessary.
“Tax Fairness” is a phrase being bandied about more and more lately. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard Liberals say “tax fairness” over the past 6 months, I would be very wealthy indeed. But for all the talk, where’s the action in addressing this terrible problem? A recent Environics poll shows that 90% of Canadians agree that using tax havens to avoid paying taxes is morally wrong, even if it’s legal. And almost all agree that the law should be changed to make the use of tax havens illegal.
In last month's Fall Economic Statement, the federal government promised to enhance the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) through additional annual funding of $500 Million starting in 2019. Canadians were invited to provide input on how the additional funding should be used, with the details to be announced in the 2018 federal budget.