‘Rendezvous with reality’ for Morneau
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been receiving a lot of criticism online and across the airwaves. No doubt his inbox and mailbox are filling up too. Canadian entrepreneurs and business owners are upset with his proposed changes to corporate taxes.
And now he’s learned this up-close and personal.
On Friday, Morneau took a drubbing at a consultation session in Oakville. He was there to listen to people’s thoughts on the proposed changes. And boy they were sure not afraid to belt it out.
The meeting “boiled over more than once into a shouting match”, as the Canadian Press reported. No one should be surprised at that. Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have consistently said this is about fairness. But to many Canadian business people, it’s far from fair.
We fully support going after tax cheats and scammers. If the Canada Revenue Agency needs to hire a few more hands to ensure compliance, then go for it.
What we don’t get is why Morneau needs to do away with income sprinkling and the rules around passive investment income. It’s never been fully explained.
The Liberals have managed to pit Canadians against each other, having them believe professionals like doctors are somehow cheats.
Meanwhile, the truth is that many people who own their own corporations just operate in a different landscape than salaried workers.
They don’t have company pensions or parental leave top ups, to cite just two well-known differences.
Even Canadians not directly affected by these changes are beginning to realize there could be unintended consequences.
“The medical profession is specifically targeted by this measure as we cannot pass on our increased costs to our patients; fees are set by the government,” Ontario doctor Mark D’Souza wrote in a recent Postmedia Network op-ed.
“A substantial portion of physician billings go towards overhead. Therefore, how can patient care remain unaffected by these measures?”
Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre observed that Friday morning’s heated meeting was Morneau’s “rendezvous with reality”. No kidding.
Now that Morneau’s hearing directly from Canadians, will he listen to them? When the Liberals finally put forward draft legislation, they’d be wise to listen to the many affected Canadians.