Canada's NDP


December 8th, 2021

Liberals have one set of rules for low-income seniors and other for wealthy corporations

OTTAWA – On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Loblaws is following Canadian law by avoiding paying taxes in Canada thanks to offshore tax havens that the Liberal government allows. Decades of Conservative and Liberal governments have refused to change our laws to stop tax avoidance, allowing huge corporations like Loblaws to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Last week’s ruling made it clear that the government needs to rewrite the law in order to address the problem, so far, they have refused to do so. While the government protects corporate profits by refusing to change the law, they have cut the benefits of low-income seniors and families because they got support during the worst of the pandemic. Thousands of seniors lost their Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and families across the country are now trying to make ends meet without their Canada Child Benefit (CCB) thanks to clawbacks by the Liberal government.

"The Liberals are punishing people who have very little and letting the wealthiest corporations off the hook," said Niki Ashton, NDP Critic for Tax Fairness. "Everyone in Canada knows that hiding money offshore is wrong, but the Liberals seem content that it is legal. They have been in power for six years and have protected the profits of billionaires by refusing to close the huge tax loopholes used by the wealthiest corporations."

About 90,000 low-income seniors lost some or all of their GIS benefits because their incomes increased slightly last year by receiving the CERB or CRB. For this year, the PBO estimates that the GIS clawback will take $380 million out of the pockets of low-income seniors. This is about the same amount that Loblaw avoided paying in their share of taxes, about $400 million.

"Canadians know when things are unfair and unjust. And right now, the Liberal government is clearly showing that they’re on the side of big businesses and not Canadians," said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. "While seniors are wondering how they are going to pay for groceries and rent, one of the wealthiest corporations in the country faces no consequences for using a tax loophole to avoid paying its fair share. People work hard and are expected to pay their taxes; the Weston family should not get special privileges. It's time for the Liberals to do the right thing and close tax loopholes so that the wealthiest, not low-income seniors and families, fund an economic recovery and public services that benefit people."