Statement on Fall Fiscal Update

October 24, 2017
(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May released the following statement:

“The fall fiscal update claims nothing but sunny skies for Canada’s economy. There are few surprises in a fall update that stresses the good news. Finance Minister Bill Morneau has pulled back from much of what was proposed over the summer for small business,” Ms. May said.

“The fall economic update makes no reference of the commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, a key Liberal platform promise. The Auditor General will soon release his assessment of this promise, but it is clear that LNG and oil sands subsidies, among others, remain in place. The update makes no mention of additional much-needed climate programs, such as enhanced east-west Eco-Energy Retrofit Programs, or rebates for fuel-efficient or electric vehicles, to reduce GHG emissions. In the wake of the failing grade for government action from Environmental Commissioner Julie Gelfand, this is a disappointment,” Ms. May said.

“The fall update promises to leave ‘income sprinkling’ alone if there are clear and reasonable services being provided by family members and spouses who receive funds through this mechanism. Further, it promises to leave taxation of passive investments alone other than above a certain income level, to target the one per cent. While we await more specific details, the overview appears very close to what I have advocated.

“It is baffling that the Liberals appear stubbornly opposed to raising the tax level on profitable transnational corporations. Running deficits while having clear needs to spend more to meet and reverse Conservative cuts, we need more tax revenue to invest in the rehiring of scientific personnel in the federal civil service; to rebuild capacity for environmental assessment and regulation; as well as to meet commitments to reduce the burden of poverty on Canadian society,” Ms May said.

“We are pleased to see that Canada’s economy has improved, that unemployment is down and that our growth rate is the highest in the G7. I welcome enhancing the Working Income Tax Benefit by $500 million starting in 2019, but an enhanced economic update could and should empower bolder action, such as bringing in Pharmacare,” Ms. May said.

“Minister Morneau’s promise to go after offshore tax cheats, money launderers, and aggressive tax avoiders would be more credible if he was announcing an increase in the capacity of the Canadian Revenue Agency to conduct the investigations. The previous Conservative government cut approximately 4,500 personnel from CRA. Knowledgeable estimates are that CRA needs an increased budget allocation of $400 million to go after the estimated $48 billion that is hidden offshore,” Ms. May concluded.