Are the proposed Liberal tax changes a tax on the rich or an attack on small business?

The Trudeau government is following up on its election promise to create a fairer tax system. But small-businesses say the proposed changes will hurt middle-class business owners and their families the most. What do you think?
Finance Minister Bill Morneau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept.28, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode1:52:57

Sunday on Cross Country Checkup: Taxing the rich.

It's been called the Great Incorporated Tax Kerfuffle of 2017 and it's one of the hottest topics in Ottawa this fall. 
Host of Cross Country Checkup, Duncan McCue.

Which, of course, we knew was was coming. Economic equality was one of the main planks of Justin Trudeau's election campaign. He promised his government would make sure poorer Canadians share in the wealth. 

So when Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced his proposed changes to the tax system this summer, it was all about fairness, he said. The Liberal government says it's time to crack down on tax strategies that allow wealthy Canadians to use private corporations to pay lower tax rates than middle class Canadians. The reforms would mean the wealthy could no longer use income sprinkling, passive investments and business capital gains breaks to reduce income tax.

Cue the howls of outrage, but not from folks we generally think of as very rich. People like doctors and farmers are fearful of losing various tax breaks. Small-businesses owners are angry too, saying the proposed changes will hurt middle-class business owners and their families the most.

What do you think? Some say the Liberals have demonized the wealthy ignited a class war. Others say its time the rich pay their fair share. Are these tax reforms the right way to do it? Do you think the tax changes will stifle entrepreneurial spirit, maybe push professionals and job creators to flee the country to more tax-friendly climes? Or are those crying "tax chaos" simply trying to preserve the perks that keep them comfy?

With breaking news from the NDP leadership race, we will also be taking your thoughts on new leader Jagmeet Singh and will be providing news updates on the Edmonton attack. 


Corinne Pohlmann
Senior vice-president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Dennis Howlett
Executive Director of Canadians for Tax Fairness

John Ivison​
Political columnist for the National Post, based in Ottawa

Paul Boothe
Fellow of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity at the Ivey School for Business

What we're reading

Globe and Mail

National Post 


Canadian Business

National Newswatch

Toronto Star 


Canadian Medical Association Journal