Hon. Serge Joyal:
My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.
Senator Harder, there was a report today in the Toronto Star. My question is in the context of the budget of February 27. The article reported that, in Canada, 60 of the biggest companies on the TSX have more than 1,000 subsidies in tax havens. It states:
A Toronto Star/Corporate Knights investigation shows that Canada’s 102 biggest companies avoid $10.5 billion in tax each year.
As you will understand, there is no doubt that the credibility of the government to help the middle class is strongly attached to the effort that the government will make to fight tax evasion through those tax havens that Canadians keep being told about fairly regularly.
Will the Government Representative take upon himself to convey to the government the urgency and leadership that it has to take on this to reassure the Canadian taxpayer that everybody will have their fair share of the tax burden in this country?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for raising this important matter. I’m happy to give him that assurance, but in providing that assurance, I want to underscore how consistent that is with the determination of this government to ensure broader tax fairness across the tax regimes we have in Canada.