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Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie–Mackenzie and Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition, condemned planned changes by the Liberal government to hike taxes on Canadian job creators.

“The Liberal government is so desperate to hide their massive deficits from Canadians that they’re hiking taxes on the very businesses whose growth Canadians’ prosperity depends on,” Warkentin said. “Prime Minister Trudeau and his Finance Minister Morneau, are sacrificing the long-term health of Canadian small business to try and escape the mess they’ve made.”

On July 18, the Minister of Finance announced his intention to eliminate certain tax measures that allow Canadian business owners and job creators to avoid higher tax rates. The proposed measures include ending the practice of business owners sharing their total income among family members and limiting the use of private corporations as a savings and investment vehicle for their business. Entrepreneurs, contractors, farmers, and doctors all stand to lose big under this new regime.

“This is just one more way to discourage entrepreneurship, on top of all the tax increases in the past two years,” said Jack M. Mintz, President’s Fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

“I believe taxes should be lower for Canadians: for businesses, families and individuals,” Warkentin said. “This is the core of our positive Conservative vision to create prosperity and opportunity for everyone.”

“When the Liberal government rolls out unfair and destructive changes to the tax code, they lose sight of the importance of small businesses in our communities,” Warkentin said. “Changes like this will make it harder for Canadians to find a family doctor and increase wait times; make life harder for farmers; make Canadian businesses even less competitive on the international stage; and discourage young Canadians from starting their own businesses.”

“What the govErnment will do here is stifle entrepreneurs who have been the backbone of Canada’s growth,” said Kim Moody, director of Canadian tax advisory at Moodys Gartner Tax Law in Calgary.

“Our communities can’t afford layoffs, fewer working hours, and reduced health insurance and other benefits that will result from these changes to the tax code,” Warkentin said. “The Liberal government continues to make Canadian businesses uncompetitive and drive away foreign investors.”

According to Statistics Canada, there are 1.17 million employer businesses in Canada and of these, 1.14 million – 98 per cent – are small businesses. A small business, as defined by StatsCan, has from one to 99 employees. Of the 11.6 million Canadians employed in the private sector, 8.2 million are employed by small businesses.

The government’s 75-day public consultation ends on October 2nd