"The motivation was simple: I don't want to pay tax."
That statement by a former KPMG tax-scheme client in a CBC Fifth Estate documentary, The Untouchables sums up why the wealthy go to expensive tax lawyers and buy their offshore schemes. They'd rather risk doing something sketchy and pay six-figure fees than pay their share of keeping Canada healthy, safe and prosperous.
Wealthy Canadians have more than $219Billion parked in the top ten tax havens - and that doesn't even count the Isle of Man where this KPMG tax scheme was created. So we know that former client is not alone. The CBC names several high profile Canadians in their documentary, including Order of Canada recipient and a Winnipeg confectionery giant.
But it also shows how Canada's Parliament let KPMG off the hook and failed to protect the interests of regular taxpayers. It also exposes the secret deals negotiated by KPMG with the Canada Revenue Agency so that none of its wealthy clients would face serious consequences for attempting to defraud the government.
Prime Minister Trudeau has said "Canada will have to do better" on fighting tax evasion. He can start by calling an independent investigation into the KPMG Isle of Man case.