Question Period: Thursday, October 17, 2013
National Revenue – Tax Evasion
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I am very pleased to have questions and answers in French. It is a refreshing change.
In the report presented to G20 participants in Saint Petersburg, Russia, last September, where Prime Minister Harper was in attendance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development stated:
. . . governments’ efforts . . . to combat tax evasion, improve tax compliance . . . combat corruption and money- laundering, is increasingly central to a host of policy discussions.
As we know, the former Governor of the Bank of Canada is one of the major players best able to address the recovery of these matters. I would add that the OECD documents also state:
The additional revenues collected will give governments greater flexibility in supporting economic recovery.
If everyone paid their taxes, we would all have less to pay, or at least we could pay back our debts faster.
In the hodgepodge of measures presented in yesterday’s Speech from the Throne, I did not once hear the government say anything about making money laundering and tax evasion a priority. It seems to me that Mr. Harper would rather freeze federal budgets, cap wages and limit benefits for public service employees instead of fighting tax evasion, which would bring in additional revenue and boost our economic recovery.
An organization called Canadians for Tax Fairness has pointed out that, according to Statistics Canada, in 2012, Canadian funds stashed away in the 12 main tax havens exceeded $170 billion, which represents at least one-quarter of our national budget.
Could the leader tell us when his government will be fair to the middle class — the families who pay these taxes — and create teams at Revenue Canada that can collect this $170 billion from rich Canadian taxpayers who are not paying taxes? (more…)