Canada's NDP


March 26th, 2024

Letter: Crackdown on Tax Havens and Support The UN International Tax Framework

Dear Minister Freeland

It’s tax season in Canada, so let’s look at your government’s record on cracking down on tax avoidance and tax-shelters. Experts and economists agree, international tax-cooperation is necessary to combat the rising tide of race to the bottom tax avoidance.

Despite your government’s vote to obstruct the creation of a UN Framework on International tax Cooperation, I am pleased to see that the UN came together to negotiate the terms of reference for a New Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation.

It was shameful that in November of 2023, while 120 predominantly developing countries supported the convention, This Liberal government chose to side with tax havens and billionaires. Your government going forward should not work to obstruct the will of the international community to fight against tax avoidance and tax havens.

According to Katrina Miller executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness “every year, countries lose $480 billion to global tax abuse.” By voting against the resolution in November, and the continued obstruction at the U.N. your government effectively helped tax havens to rob Canadians of critical tax revenue. A UN Convention on Tax is a central tool to fix the loopholes in the global tax system and stop the bleeding of financial resources.

Even though Liberals like to talk about their commitment to multilateralism and tax-fairness, this government's actions at the UN show they do not care about either, instead siding with the interests of the billionaire class. Canada’s actions to exclude legally binding language from the negotiations, opposition to simple majority voting, and prevents work towards global tax justice.

In my role as the Tax Fairness Critic for the NDP, I am calling on your government to stop protecting corporate tax cheats, and to commit in good faith to working towards a substantive international UN tax framework. By cracking down on international tax avoidance, we would be able to fund affordable housing projects and infrastructure in first nation communities.

Instead of being a global leader on international tax cooperation. Why has your Liberal government decided to adopt the Conservative party playbook and undermine the work of the United Nations?

Going forward Canada must stand with tax justice and take concrete steps in strengthening the rules for international tax cooperation. Tax policy cannot just be the responsibility of the rich and OECD nations. This government must step up, engage with the UN, fight tax evasion, and stop catering to billionaires.