Campaign News

Mixed news from federal government on tax fairness - 02 Nov 2016

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) report on tax avoidance and tax evasion provided mixed news for Canadians concerned about tax fairness. Many of the recommendations in the report, The Canada Revenue Agency, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion: Recommended Actions, have the potential to improve how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) responds to tax evasion. On the other hand, comments from the Minister of National Revenue and CRA officials have led to concerns that the way the government will implement the recommendations will render them meaningless.

Birthday message to Google - 28 Sep 2016

Dear Google,

Happy 18th Birthday! You've become an intrinsic part of our lives - from finding recipes, settling arguments, getting places - and even fact-checking tax fairness issues.

But here's the thing. It is time to grow up and start paying your taxes(link is external). Don't be that entitled kid who raids the refrigerator, empties the gas tank, tears up the roads and expects everyone else to pay the bills.

Stephen Harper “affiliates” with privatization industry firm - 12 Sep 2016

Internation law firm Dentons describes itself as having leading P3 privatization scheme lawyers. It is a sponsor member of the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships. And now, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be working for them.

One of Stephen Harper’s qualifications in the eyes of Dentons is that Stephen Harper’s government “made critical investment in infrastructure.” That doesn’t sound like a problem — until you remember that Harper’s government used federal infrastructure funding to push other levels of government to use P3s.

The wealthy can afford higher taxes - 07 Sep 2016

If anyone doubts that the wealthy can afford to pay their share in income tax, consider these numbers. According to this year’s Canada’s Private School Guide, it costs up to $72,000 per year to send one child to a private school. The median income in Canada is $31,900.

A wealthy family with two kids that chooses to send their kids to private schools is paying up to $144,000 a year. That’s 4.5 times as much as most Canadians earn.

International Monetary Fund economists question austerity - 14 Jun 2016

A recent article by economists with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that even those who are ideologically committed to austerity are starting to question it.

In an article entitled, Neoliberalism: Oversold? three IMF economists concluded that austerity is causing serious problems. They pointed to evidence that the increase in income inequality caused by austerity is harming economic growth.

CBC reports: IBM wins $32M Ontario government contract despite delivering problem-riddled software - 02 May 2016

by Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News

"Union representing Ontario social assistance workers fuming over decision to award another IT contract to IBM.

Despite 18 months of problems associated with the software responsible for tracking Ontarians on social assistance, the Ontario government has awarded a two-year $32-million IT contract aimed at servicing the software to the same company that created it.

The union representing workers using SAMS — short for "social assistance management system" — is not happy that the contract has been awarded to IBM."

Owner of privatized Ontario highway involved in unsafe P3 schools - 25 Apr 2016

It's not just the fact that Highway 407 and 17 schools in Edinburgh, Scotland recently closed for safety reasons were privatized that links them together. It's the fact that in both privatization schemes, Ferrovial, a multinational company involved in the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of transport, urban and services infrastructure is a key player.

In Ontario, Ferrovial has a 99-year lease for Highway 407 north of Toronto. Since privatization, tolls have increased rapidly.

Panama papers reveal depths of worldwide tax avoidance crisis - 06 Apr 2016

The recent leak of files from a Panama law firm that helped wealthy individuals shows why cracking down on tax havens needs to be a priority. As the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJI) discovered in its investigation, over the last 40 years, the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca has helped set up over 210,000 companies in 21 jurisdictions to help the wealthy avoid paying their share in taxes.

And that’s just one law firm.

First, business or economy inequality - 30 Mar 2016

When we talk about income inequality, often we use something called the Gini coefficient that measures inequality in terms of income distribution. 

To see where countries rank, the Gini coefficient has maximum and minimum values: a Gini of 0 is exact equality and a Gini of 1 is exact inequality. The 0 value means that everyone has the same share of income; the 1 value means that only one person has all the income and the rest have none. Countries fall in between. Canada's Gini coefficient as of 2011 is 0.32.  The U.S. Gini coefficient is 0.41. 

Federal government's SIB project spends more on overhead and profit than on skills training - 21 Mar 2016

Based on figures from the intermediary group running the first Social Impact Bond project funded by the Canadian government, 60 per cent of the funds are being spent on overhead and investor profits. Only 40% of government funding going to skills training.