Tax EvasionPublished on 3 May 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Serge Joyal (retired)
Hon. Serge Joyal:
Welcome, Mr. Minister. I would like to quote Ms. Christine Lagarde, since you seem to know her. The International Monetary Fund declared that Canada “played a significant part in the development of tax havens, notably in the Caribbean.” In fact, Canada has signed 92 tax treaties, 9 of which are with Caribbean countries that show they are used by Canadian taxpayers expecting to channel the money there to avoid paying taxes: the Cayman Islands, $13 billion; Barbados, $10 billion; and the Bahamas, $9 billion.
Is it your intention to reopen tax agreements with the countries I just mentioned in order to make sure that each Canadian assumes a fair share of the tax burden?
The Hon. the Speaker: Minister, the time for Question Period has expired, but if you wish to take a minute and give a brief answer or respond in writing, it’s entirely up to you. Do you have a minute to respond briefly?
Hon. William Morneau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Finance: As I said before, our absolute intent is to work together internationally to ensure that countries comply with the common reporting standard to see where money flows around the world. We will work together to ensure that there’s no base erosion profit- shifting activity so that companies aren’t evading tax inappropriately.
To the extent we find that we need to take further actions we will consider them because we want to ensure that Canadians pay their fair share of tax. That will be an ongoing effort of this government.
I’d like to say thank you very much. It was a pleasure to be here with you today. I look forward to being invited back.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!