Opinion Column

Fair and equitable for all should be the approach

Alex Nuttall

Alex Nuttall

On the eve of his election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau boldly stated that, “if Canadians are to trust their government, their government needs to trust Canadians.”

 

Fast-forward almost two years, and the outlook is not quite as sunny.

The Liberal government seems to be under the impression that hard-working, risk-taking and often indebted Canadian business owners are not to be trusted, because in fact, they are cheating our tax system, and using a loophole in the law to avoid higher tax brackets.

There is no doubt that having a conversation about tax fairness for all Canadians is important and the tax system should be fair and equitable for all.

Yet even with tremendous political backlash and voiced concerns from farmers, doctors, and small-business owners across our country, this government appears to be forging ahead with a plan that many professionals have come forward to say will cause serious damage to our economy and critical services.

I have hosted two town-hall sessions with members of our community in Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte to discuss what impacts these changes will have on their local businesses and families.

The concerns were numerous and shared by all.

People are worried, and people are feeling frustrated and confused.

Opening or expanding a business is a risk that only an entrepreneur and their families shoulder together.

These are the people who operate the businesses that are the life blood of our communities, creating jobs and stimulating our economy. They work each and every day to build up their businesses for many years, without safety nets for their income like maternity/parental leave, Employment Insurance, sick leave, paid vacations or opportunities for severance pay, to name a few.

They sacrifice, they work hard, and at the end of the day, the risk is real that their business may not flourish as they had hoped.

They may be forced to close, and they may lose everything they had worked so hard to establish.

We know that this Liberal government’s increases on small-business tax rates, increased payroll taxes and a new carbon tax are already making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to maintain and grow their businesses.

We need to consider that a one-size-fits-all approach is not the answer to making our tax system fair and equitable for all.

We don’t need policies that make Canadian businesses uncompetitive and drive away foreign investors, or discourage young Canadians from starting their own businesses. We need to focus on reducing the tax burden for small and medium sized business, reduce government red tape, allow our entrepreneurs to create jobs in our communities, and make the legislative changes that benefit all types of tax-paying Canadians.

Alex Nuttall is the MP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.  



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