KPMG tax amnesties, sexist restaurant dress codes & Donald Trump: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP

From an exposé on rich Canadians hiding their taxes, to the latest developments around sexist outfits at restaurants, we brought you stories you can't get anywhere else this week. The CBC's Jacqueline Hansen gets you caught up on everything you need to know.
What happens if you don't pay the tax man his share? The answer, it seems, depends on how rich you are.

That's the conclusion of a groundbreaking series we brought you this week, focusing on clients of consulting firm KPMG who were allegedly given sweetheart deals by the Canada Revenue Agency after having been caught evading taxes by holding assets in the Isle of Man.

The multi-millionaire clients had to pay the tax they owed, but otherwise had no further punishment for their role in a multi-year scheme that had sheltered at least $130 million, CBC journalists Harvey Cashore, Dave Seglins, Frederic Zalac and Kimberly Ivany reported.

Many people who aren't as wealthy wouldn't get such a deal, which has raised allegations the rich are getting preferential treatment. Now there are mounting calls for a further investigation. And one Toronto tax lawyer says the CRA often backs down when facing wealthy taxpayers and their high-priced lawyers.

"There's a lot more money at stake in these bigger cases, and it's going to cost them more to be able to fight them," Jonathan Garbutt said. "So the CRA will gladly say,'thank you very much for the money' and move on."

Sexist outfits

​Another major story we brought you this week was an update on a previous Marketplace investigation about rampant sexism in the restaurant industry by female servers who are pushed to wear revealing outfits.

In the first week of March we told you about servers at four major national chains where staff had complained. And this week one of them — Earls — decided to change its policy.

A series of stories we brought you about revealing clothes at restaurant chains really resonated with our readers. (Associated Press)

Starting now, servers at the Vancouver-based chain will be able to wear a skirt or pants, and have more choices of footwear. It's all part of a plan the chain says has been in place for a while to soon see male and female staff have identical outfits.

The stories got a real response from readers, and even prompted a report from Ontario Human Rights Commission who warned such practices may run afoul of the law in some cases.

"Excellent customer service doesn't have a cup size," the executive director of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre Kathy Laird said. "I hope women will call us for legal help if cleavage is deemed an essential skill in their workplace."

Our series is well worth your time, so if you missed it this week, check out all three stories here, here and here.

The Trump Bump

And finally, it may be tough to tear your eyes away from Donald Trump lately, but some Americans are trying to. 

They're looking north to Canada for a getaway plan, and eyeing the east coast, in particular.

It started with a man in Cape Breton who made a website to promote the island as a refuge if Trump wins.

Next thing you know, U.S. media were all over it: CNN, Fox News, and The Washington Post, all reported on the peace and quiet of Canada. And thanks to the free publicity, local tourism offices have been flooded with requests, the CBC's Sophia Harris reported.

"I feel quite confident that this added boost of this 'Trump bump' ... will have a significant impact on our visitation over the coming months," Tourism Nova Scotia's acting CEO Martha Stevens said.

Other stuff

Those were just a few of our most read stories this week. Check out our landing page for more, and be sure and follow us on Twitter here to always stay up to date. And in the meantime, here's a day by day list of our most read stories of the week.







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