Rebellion brewing in N.B. against Prime Minister Trudeau’s proposed tax changes
Published Wednesday, September 20, 2017 10:38PM ADT
Coalitions of business are aggressively targeting Liberal MPs, trying to convince them to choose their community interests over party interests.
Chartered accountant Chris Neal built his Saint John firm from the ground up with five people.
He now has clients across New Brunswick, but fears they could seriously be affected by the federal proposed tax changes.
“The message from the government is highly insulting,” Neal says. “To call these loopholes is insulting to somebody like me and to my clients. They are not tax cheats, neither is my firm."
Neal is just one business owner behind a coalition of over 50 New Brunswick businesses urging MPs to speak out in opposition to the federal government. They've launched a website called Choose Your Community. So far, MPs Wayne Long and Serge Cormier are supporting the coalition.
The opposition isn't just coming from New Brunswick. More than 40 organizations in Nova Scotia representing thousands of businesses are calling on Premier Stephen McNeil to oppose the tax changes.
Claudine Sweeney started Simply for Life in Saint John with her husband. They have since expanded to 35 locations across Canada.
“We've built this business and it finally took 16 years to get the point where we are really successful,” Sweeney says. “It becomes almost a punch in the gut to have more taxes and more changes."
Chris Neal agrees Canada's 45-year-old tax code needs to be changed, but feels a proper consultation period should be established.
"The way the proposed rules were presented and the speed the rapidness of it was shocking,” he says. “The income tax code that we currently practice under was enacted in 1972 after five years of consultation that began in 1967."
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Neal says they simply want fairness and feel the negative consequences to these tax changes are not understood at the federal level.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston.