Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas.—Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

MP hears loud and clear opposition to federal tax change plan

Conservative MP Dan Albas vows to keep up the fight against small business tax changes

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas found himself “preaching to the choir” Thursday night at a town hall meeting that focused on the federal Liberal government’s planned changes to small business taxes.

About 30 people turned out for the meeting on the campus of Okanagan College in Kelowna, virtually all of them opposed to what the Liberals are planning.

“Your are preaching to the choir here,” said one woman. “But what can we do about it.”

Albas, the Conservative Party’s small business critic, said Canadians have to speak up, make their voices heard and he, along with other MPs, will bring their concerns to both the prime minster and the finance minster.

The Liberal government has introduced plans to change the tax rules for small Canadian-owned corporations that critics say will result in small business owners paying much more in tax and adversely affect their businesses.

In the face of fierce opposition across he country, the government has already said it will “tweak” the proposals but has not given specifics on what changes would be made.

The government says the new rules are needed to close loopholes that allow wealthy Canadians to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and would only affect those Canadians earning more than $150,000 per year .

Following the introduction of the tax proposals July 18, the government allowed 75 days for public consultation, a time period far too short for proper consultation said Albas. Despite that, he said the government received more than 22,000 submissions, most opposing the changes.

“I have never seen this level of opposition or the intensity of opposition,” said Albas following the meeting.

He said everywhere he goes in his sprawling riding, he is hearing from small business owners who say they are not only opposed to what has been tabled by the government, but they are worried about the future of their businesses if the rules are brought in. Many say they do not plan on expanding or hiring more employees because of the expected impact of the changes, said Albas.

The local Conservative MP said for a government that ran in the 2015 election campaign on a promise to help the middle class, the Liberals tax changes will do exactly the opposite.

“Small business is the middle class,” he said.

Locally, several groups, including the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, have come out strongly against proposed tax changes.

And even Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr—who came in for a fair amount of criticism at the town hall meeting Thursday night—has expressed concern about the government’s tax plan.

He held a local round table meeting in Kelowna in August, prior the the full Liberal caucus meeting in Kelowna and said it was clear there were real concerns here. At the time, he vowed to take those concerns to the full caucus when it met in Kelowna in September.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

Criminality not suspected in Ellison trailer fire death

The body was discovered after crews responded to reports of a house fire

Kelowna’s Stuart Park ice rink closes to public on Wednesday

The city said warmer temperatures are to blame for rink’s closure

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released with conditions

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Kelowna rescue team comes back home from Australian mission

Brad Pattison’s team spent 33 days rescuing wildlife

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Salmon Arm boy is only Para-Nordic athlete at BC Winter games

Thirteen-year-old Kaden Baum competed in three races on his sit-ski at the games.

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

North Okanagan ultra athlete ‘hearts’ ice baths

Shanda Hill and father carve stunning creations into ice at Ellison Lake

Most Read