Suggested Text for Letter to Your Member of Parliament

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[Insert Date]
[Insert MP Address]
Dear [insert MP name],

As a Canadian taxpayer, I am deeply concerned about the private company tax proposals released by the Department of Finance on July 18, 2017. These proposals will have a significant negative impact on small businesses operating in Canada, and on entrepreneurship and the economy as a whole.

The government suggests the proposals are necessary in order to close “loopholes” available to private corporations that are “only available to some (often the very wealthy or the highest income earners), at the expense of others.” This position is ill-informed and quite offensive to the business community.

Many experts have concluded that the proposals will impact a wide swath of Canadians, including those who are considered to be “middle class” – a group that the Liberal government promised to support during their election campaign.

In addition, it is incorrect to say these strategies have provided business owners with an advantage over employed individuals. Rather, they have levelled the playing field. Employees do not face the same risks faced by business owners and the proposals do not take into account the unique challenges of operating a small business in Canada. For example:

  • Business owners take on risk that employees do not, including securing borrowed funds against personal assets, such as the family home;
  • Business owners do not have many benefits that are often available to employees, such as pension plans and extended health coverage, and business owners often establish pension plans and benefit packages for their own employees, at their own expense;
  • Business owners do not enjoy paid vacation, sick leave, or EI in the event of business failure, and parental leave is subject to significant restrictions, while employees are entitled to these benefits under Canadian law;
  • Employees have financial stability since they do not experience the peaks and valleys of running a business;
  • Business owners pay into CPP as both the owner and the employee, while also contributing the employer’s share of CPP and EI for their other employees.

Business owners have for decades used strategies targeted by the proposals as a way to grow their businesses, support communities, provide for their children’s education and plan for retirement. I am fearful that these tax proposals will detrimentally impact the established business, financial and estate planning of hundreds of thousands (or more) Canadians, result in the closure or relocation to other countries of many Canadian businesses, cause a decline in the creation of new businesses in Canada and ultimately be a significant setback to our country. The proposals amount to broad tax reform and a great deal of care and attention is required in order to get this right.

Please express my concerns to the Minister of Finance and request that the government abandon these proposals or, at the very least, undertake a much more extensive consultation so that any changes to our tax system can be implemented carefully, with the goals of promoting economic growth and achieving fairness for all Canadians.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and I will look forward to your reply.

[insert name]