In the quiet of summer, when they thought no one would notice, the Liberal government unveiled a suite of massive tax reforms, which pose a great risk to rural communities.
In spite of massive opposition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are plowing ahead with punitive tax changes, which will be devastating for small business owners, professionals, and according to tax experts across Canada, could wipe out the family farm.
These tax reforms will remove key tax strategies used by small business owners to save for their retirement, put money aside to grow their business, hire additional staff, or to cushion the financial blow during a down year. More than 80% of small business owners are opposed to these tax changes because of the detrimental impact it will have on their business.
In fact, at their AGM earlier this month the Canadian Chamber of Commerce delegates voted almost unanimously to oppose these tax changes and demanded additional consultation.
There has been a 72-day consultation period ending on October 2, but, the Prime Minister has vowed to go ahead with these changes despite overwhelming opposition from farmers, ranchers, small business owners, professionals, and even members of the Liberal caucus.
For our farmers and ranchers, it is another blow to their livelihood. Imposing a carbon tax, eliminating the deferral on cash grain tickets, and now with these proposed tax changes, the Liberals are removing every opportunity for our farm families to be successful.
These changes will also make it nearly financially
The proposed tax changes will also impact access to health care in our rural communities as it will be exceedingly more difficult to attract family physicians to our small townspeople they will be looking at other jurisdictions such as the United States. This would prove catastrophic to our rural communities if we cannot provide access to adequate health care.
The Liberals have shown they cannot manage their out of control spending and they are putting the burden of paying down their debt on the backs of rural Canadians.
It is disheartening as these small businesses support the minor hockey team, the local charities, and the community initiatives. Most importantly, they support one another, ensuring they all succeed. In our small rural communities our small businesses owners are the economy. If they cannot succeed, our rural communities will no longer be sustainable.
As the Official Opposition, we have asked the Prime Minister to at least extend the consultation period so everyone, including farmers, who are in the middle of harvest, will have an opportunity to provide feedback.
Over the last few weeks I have been inundated with calls, letters and emails from Foothills residents on this issue. I held a roundtable, and a town hall to discuss the tax changes. Southern Albertans are angry, frustrated, and they do not understand this attack on hardworking small business owners and Canadian farm families.
As Conservatives, we will continue to stand up for Canadian taxpayers, our small business owners, and our farm and ranch families by saying NO to these proposed tax changes.
- John Barlow in Parliament (video)