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

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Drowning incidents increase in Okanagan as summer picks up

There are now 23 drownings in the province to date, with four from the Okanagan

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

New team focuses on troublesome Kelowna properties

Recently, a property owner was handed six tickets amounting to over $2,500

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read