Sunday, June 26, 2016
The Harper Legacy and the Canada Revenue Agency
As we all know Stephen Harper used the Canada Revenue Agency for his own foul purposes.
To try to intimidate his enemies, and harass environmentalists, and even humble birdwatchers.
But although Harper has left the building, it seems the CRA is still haunted by his foul legacy.
For it's still harassing the humble, and still protecting the rich and the powerful.
The Canada Revenue Agency claims at least nine people have been convicted of offshore tax evasion over the last two years, receiving $4 million in fines and 84 months of jail time, but it is keeping the names of these tax cheats secret.
Yet there are dozens of people — carpenters, hairdressers, farmers, plumbers, foresters, realtors, architects — who are named and shamed on the CRA’s website for not paying small amounts of tax.
This is outrageous.
This double standard means that small business owners who fall behind on tax payments, or servers who don’t declare their tips, are publicly outed for their relatively paltry offences, while wealthy individuals and businesses caught hiding millions in offshore tax havens are guaranteed anonymity.
And this explanation makes absolutely no sense.
“Although the CRA can provide aggregate statistics on the convictions with links to money or assets held offshore, we are not able to give the names and case numbers of the people convicted as this may contravene taxpayer confidentiality,” wrote CRA spokesperson David Walters in an email to the Star.
For if those who stash their money offshore have the right to hide their names, how can we be sure that the big tax criminals are being caught and properly punished?
Or for that matter deterred from doing it again.
So let me suggest that the CRA should employ a double standard. But one that serves the interests of justice and decency.
By singling out the big offenders, instead of going after the smaller ones so aggressively.
And running full page ads in the newspapers similar to this one...
So they can be properly shamed.
For after the way it behaved during the Harper years, the CRA badly needs to improve it's own image.
It is still tainted by that Con hog's foul legacy.
And enough is ENOUGH...
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