For Immediate Release
Oct. 2, 2017
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade made a formal submission to the federal government today outlining its opposition to proposed tax changes for controlled private corporations.
In a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Board of Trade notes that the changes could have far-reaching unintended consequences for small businesses across the country. This is extremely troubling for the Board of Trade, given that 98% of businesses in B.C. are small or medium-sized enterprises.
“Over the past few weeks, we have been urging Ottawa to ‘hit the pause button’ and extend their consultations with the Canadian business community,” said Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “The outpouring of concern from business owners across the country should be reason enough for the government to pause. We need to take the time to get these changes right. We can’t afford to rush tax reform — the stakes are simply too high.”
The letter outlines the concerns of the Board of Trade’s 5,200+ Members, some of which were voiced during a special Members-only meeting on Sept. 15. That meeting was standing-room only, due to overwhelming demand and interest from local business owners.
In addition, the Board of Trade also created an online platform to help B.C. business owners easily email their concerns to MPs across British Columbia. In just four weeks, more than 25,000 emails have been sent through the platform at boardoftrade.com/taxchanges.
“This is unprecedented. Our organization hasn’t seen such a visceral reaction to any one issue in recent memory. Canadians from coast to coast are worried about the future of their business and their very livelihood. That’s not right, and it’s certainly not fair,” said Black.
Commentary in the letter is divided into four key areas of focus. They include the distinction between business owners and employees, the costs of compliance and uncertainty, the necessity of business flexibility, and the disproportionate effects of the proposed changes on women.
This letter concludes with recommendations, most notably that the federal government “hit the pause button” and extend the consultation period. In addition, the Board of Trade also recommends that the government review, strengthen, and simplify the current legislation to help businesses comply without increased burdens and risks.
For background information and more on the Board of Trade’s #HitThePauseButton campaign, visit boardoftrade.com/taxchanges.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.