Justin Trudeau says he is ready to go after tax cheats -- corporate and individual. That's good news. But columnist Murray Dobbin argues tweaking the tax system is not enough. Now that we have a government that says it believes in governing, comprehensive progressive tax reform needs to be front and centre. It could make a $60 billion a year difference.
The first time it happened I was taken aback.
A Canada Revenue Agency employee approached me after I had given a talk to a community group in Charlottetown about tax havens. She shared her frustrations and concerns. Mismanagement and misplaced priorities, she said, were hobbling the capacity of the agency to do a good job on behalf of Canadians. Staff were being forced to throw the book at ordinary taxpayers who had simply made small errors in their tax returns. They were no longer able to exercise discretion or arrange for more flexible payment plans. Meanwhile, big time tax cheats were getting off lightly.
It already seems so long since Stephen Harper lorded over our nation. But before memories fade of this awful ordeal, there are some critical house-cleaning items to take care of. Perhaps the most pressing is the need to uncover whether the Canada Revenue Agency was improperly taking political direction from the Prime Minister’s Office. BC Journalist Mitchell Anderson explains why.
The economy has been a key issue in this campaign. And how – and who pays their taxes is an essential part of that discussion. So it would make sense that it would be a hot issue at Thursday’s leaders’ debate on the economy. But there’s a worrisome development. One of the world’s biggest tax avoiders is getting in on the election action. Google is partnering with the Globe and Mail to host a leaders’ debate on the economy.