Last week I voted in the House of Commons to extend the consultations on the proposed Liberal tax hikes for businesses and farm families. The Conservative Party introduced the motion to extend the consultation deadline to January 31, 2018; however the Trudeau Liberals refused and defeated the motion.
Since the proposals were announced in July, I have been a strong proponent of extending the consultations to provide more time for Westman entrepreneurs and farmers to send in their thoughts and concerns. I have been hearing for months of the very real threat these tax hikes pose to Westman businesses and farm families.
Many groups from across the country have publically denounced the government’s tax plan. In communities across the country, business owners and farmers have packed townhalls to express their frustration with the proposed Liberal tax hikes, such as the one I held recently in Brandon.
Numerous Westman constituents have sent letters and emails to voice their opposition. Many individuals feel the government has labeled them as tax cheats and are upset with the tone from the Finance Minister, particularly while large publicly traded companies will not be impacted.
Earlier in the month, I spoke in the House of Commons to ask the Liberals to give consideration to farmers who are still busy with harvest. In response, the Liberal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance ignored the question and relied on talking points rather than addressing the issue at hand.
The government needs to listen to those voices. That is why I was calling for the consultation period to be extended. There is simply too much on the line for so many hard-working Westman farmers and small business owners for the Liberals to get this wrong.
Given that these changes represent the most significant changes to corporate taxation in Canada since 1972, the Department of Finance has not allowed for proper consultation with taxpayers, academics, tax professionals (accountants and lawyers), and other stakeholders to ensure the changes accomplish the intentions of the government without causing significant hardships to farm families and small business owners.
Westman residents deserve better than this and I will fight the Liberal tax hikes every step of the way.