Standing Senate Committee on National Finance
Senate completes Western Canada leg of study of Income Tax Act
November 14, 2017
Ottawa – The Senate Committee on National Finance has completed the second stage of its study of the government’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act.
From Monday, November 6 through Thursday, November 9, committee members went to Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to hear the cross-sectoral views of business owners, entrepreneurs, provincial governments, investors, chambers of commerce, academics, tax experts, doctors, farmers and representatives of corporations.
Many witnesses expressed concern that the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act have added to the anxiety Canadians are already feeling about their financial security, especially with current uncertainty over North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the intentions of the U.S. Administration regarding trade with Canada.
While some praised the government for listening to Canadians and revising or eliminating some of its proposals — notably reducing instead of increasing the small business tax rate — many said they were still unclear about what the Department of Finance plans to do next. The consultation time should have been longer, others argued.
Most witnesses suggested that the Finance Minister might consider an overhaul of the Income Tax Act.
The committee, which has already held hearings in Ottawa, will visit Atlantic Canada beginning November 20.
The committee plans to release its report by Friday, December 15, 2017.
“During the last week, the Senate national finance committee has continued its special study on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act. Witnesses came as individual entrepreneurs and representatives of businesses and corporations to discuss the impact the proposals would have on them. We look forward to hearing the views of more Canadians when we travel to Atlantic Canada the week of November 20.”
- Senator Percy Mockler, Chair of the Committee
“Canadians have concerns about taxation. Clearly, there is great anxiety in Western Canada about these proposals and the future steps the government will take. Most people know little about the complexities of taxation, and rhetoric around the issue has only added to their apprehension. We have heard from farmers, business owners and other professionals. We are making great progress towards producing a thorough and valuable report.”
- Senator Anne Cools, Deputy Chair of the Committee
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