It’s been a difficult few weeks for Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
Fresh off weeks of negative coverage and public outcry over their proposed tax changes—that equal a massive tax hike on the middle class—the Liberals are now scrambling to change the channel by… implementing the Conservative Party’s small business tax cut.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper lowered the small business tax rate from 12% to 11% and in 2015, he committed to lowering it even further to 9%.
During the election, Justin Trudeau first said he’d match our tax break for small businesses. The Liberals broke that promise in 2016, and reversed our planned cut. Now in 2017 the Liberals are planning to raise taxes on local businesses, family farms and essential professional services like doctors.
The reaction from the majority of Canadians has been loud and clear: This is just wrong.
Now, in a desperate effort to change the channel and stop the terrible headlines, Trudeau announced he is going re-promise to lower the small business tax rate to 9% after all. Justin Trudeau claims this was his plan all along but if that’s true why is he only mentioning it now, and why only in 2019?
That is how, in an ironic twist of fate, this past Monday—the first day of “Small Business Week”—the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister found themselves sitting in a family owned Italian restaurant in Stouffville, Ontario; mugging for the cameras in an attempt to appear sincere and interested in the plight of small business owners and their employees.
All went well until they took questions from the media, when reporters confronted the Finance Minister over SCI Mas des Morneau; a shell corporation that he created as a tax haven for his luxury villa in the south of France—an asset he chose not to declare to the Federal Ethics Commissioner when he took office. Oops.
With thinly veiled contempt and a snarky retort Trudeau attempted to stand in front of his Finance Minister but the damage was done.
Bill Morneau is not the first Liberal Cabinet Minister to run afoul of the Ethics Commissioner. Justin Trudeau himself is currently under investigation over his use of nearly a quarter million dollars of taxpayer funds for a luxury vacation and for charging foreign lobbyists cash for access (this is the first time in Canadian history that a sitting Prime Minister has been investigated by the Ethics Commissioner).
Canadians are waking up to the high-tax hypocrisy of this Liberal government. Middle class Canadians will be the hardest hit by these tax changes while Justin Trudeau’s self-proclaimed “family fortune” will be left untouched by his tax hikes. As will Bill Morneau’s company Morneau Shepell. In fact, numerous financial experts have pointed out that Morneau Shepell stands to benefit financially from these tax changes.
The Liberals claim to be helping the middle class but in reality they’re just helping themselves. There is nothing “fair” about that.
Justin Trudeau cannot be trusted. He broke his promise before. He’ll break it again. If we let our guard down, he’ll raise the small business tax rate again. That’s why Canadians cannot afford to give the Trudeau Liberals a second term.
Conservatives are the party of prosperity for all Canadians and Canada’s Conservatives are listening to you. We have been fighting Justin Trudeau’s high-tax agenda every step of the way and we will continue to do so.