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.

Just Posted

Lake Country approved rules for pot shops

District ready to deal with retail applications once pot becomes legal in Canada Oct. 17

Kelowna mayoral candidate’s sign set aflame

Bobby Kennedy’s sign was set on fire on Saturday morning

PHOTOS: Vernon Minor Football full of family fun

Three games against Kelowna Junior Sun Sunday, Sept. 23

Long awaited second power line in West Kelowna postponed

The power line was set to be completed in 2020 and will now be installed in 2025

Sunshine ahead for Kelowna

Your weekly forecast shows that the sun will shine again on Tuesday

Meet the Chef: Kai Koroll, executive chef at Block One restaurant

Koroll honours the terroir of the Okanagan in every dish he serves

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trans Canada now open west of Chase, ‘heavy delays’

Few details available about crash that closed Trans Canada Highway west of Chase Sunday, Sept. 23

Oliver to get new sheriff from graduating class

Oliver will be one of a number of B.C. communities to get a member of the recent graduating class

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read