There is "mass public opposition to corporate tax avoidance."
The Liberals failed to take any meaningful action on closing tax loopholes or leveling the digital playing field. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer.
It is outrageous enough that wealthy clients got off with a slight reprimand. KPMG has, so far, paid no price for their role. The committee let Canadians down by not recommending a full investigation into this case and laying charges against KPMG if the evidence warrants it. And Canadians are right to keep demanding one.
Dear Minister Michael De Jong, perhaps it was a good thing that I was not available for your call because I have a feeling you don't really want to hear what I have to say about your government's fiscal management record.
According to recent media reports based on the Panama Papers, some see Canada as a tax haven. It may seem unlikely when you are reviewing how much tax you paid to the government in 2016 but evidently, our reputation and economy is a good venue for hiding wealth.
There is no doubt that fighting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance will mean confronting very powerful interests who will push back with a large arsenal of resources, from public relations to lawsuits. We, as parliamentarians, cannot be intimidated.
In regards to tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) should be part of the solution. At the moment, it rather seems to be part of the problem. Over the last few years, we have seen that the CRA institutionalized various practices, eroding the trust that Canadians place in it.
In the past, Google's actual overseas tax rate has been as low as 2.4% -- across many countries where normal tax rates would be over 20%. Even Ireland charges a measly 12.5%. Google has maintained that these arrangements are entirely legal. Many countries have disagreed.
The money that pour into tax havens does not stay there, but is invested in various countries. However, any financial flow through a tax haven makes it tax-free, and any return on it tax-free as well. Corporations and wealthy individuals invest their finances through tax havens to avoid paying taxes or reduce their tax burden. Canada is no more immune to it than any other country.
Last April, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed the "Panama Papers" scandal, a database of