Hon. Wayne Easter, M.P.
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
September 4, 2017
Less than two months ago, the Finance Minister released draft legislation to raise taxes on our middle class farmers and local business owners. He has allowed just over two months for discussion before the consultation closes October 2, 2017.
The backlash against this tax increase has been immense. Associations representing farmers, plumbers, doctors, local business, and others have condemned it. Indeed, some Liberal Members of Parliament are hearing the same thing. “I don’t know at this stage how locked-in the government is on their proposals, but I do know there is significant outrage among a relatively influential group of people,” Liberal MP John McKay told Global News.
Canadians are also concerned that these changes will reduce the number of accessible family doctors. As you know, when governments introduce policies that make it more expensive to operate a business, businesses either cut jobs or close altogether. This is no different for family doctors who have clinics all over the country.
One respected accounting firm with years of experience described Minister Morneau’s discussion paper on the proposals as: “Very complex material—some of the most complex and pervasive we have ever seen.” (Moodys Gartner, Tax Law) Yet somehow, the minister expects all affected parties to offer feedback on these sweeping changes by October 2, 2017, less than a month away.
Parliament is the final authority on taxation. The government cannot tax what the House of Commons has not approved. The House delegates the study of such matters to the Finance Committee. Yet at present, there are no meetings scheduled to even discuss this particular tax increase. The committee will only return to resume its work a few weeks before the consultation cut-off, making it impossible to even produce a report by the deadline. Neglecting to hear from representatives of millions of affected taxpayers would be an abdication of the committee’s responsibility.
Therefore, I am asking you to reconvene the House of Commons Finance Committee early for daily three-hour hearings from September 11 to September 15 (inclusive) to hear witnesses on Minister Morneau’s proposed tax increases on middle class local business owners.
Pierre Poilievre P.C., M.P.
Conservative Finance Shadow Minister