In an interview with CBC’s Peter Mansbridge that took place on Sept. 8, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said that many small businesses in the country were used by wealthy people to save money on taxes, a move that has caused some backlash for Trudeau and his party’s platforms.
“I think small businesses should be paying less taxes, we just have to make sure that it’s done the right way,” said Trudeau during the CBC interview. “A large percentage of small businesses are actually just ways for wealthier Canadians to save on their taxes and we want to reward the people who are actually creating jobs and contributing in concrete ways,”
Among the Liberal opponents who took issue with his statements was Lakeland Conservative candidate Shannon Stubbs, who thinks the constituency’s voters should be especially wary of such points of view.
“I think those comments show him to be totally out of touch with economic reality and they should be concerning to the voters of Lakeland. Of course, 90 per cent of the jobs in Canada’s private sector are provided by small- and medium-sized businesses and the majority of businesses in Lakeland are small- and medium-sized, homegrown Alberta businesses,” she said. “Whether they are the services and supply and technology and contracting companies with the energy industry or whether they are businesses across all the sectors in the small and rural communities in Lakeland.”
Stubbs says 99.8 per cent of businesses in the province are small- and medium-sized businesses with less fewer than 500 employees. With this in mind she finds the Liberal position that small businesses are tax scams by the rich “astounding” but nonetheless in line with the beliefs of both Trudeau’s party and the NDP. She says that both parties want to hike payroll taxes and ramp up red tape and other regulatory burdens on businesses across the board.
In contrast, Stubbs says the federal Conservatives support small businesses and have initiated a number of measures that underscore the fact.
“In the most recent federal budget, including the largest small business tax cut in 25 years, we’ve recently committed to reduce payroll taxes significantly by 2017, so that would allow both workers to have more take-home pay, but also to allow businesses to continue to invest and expand and to invest further in their current employees and to provide more jobs.”
Stubbs says she would make it her mission to advocate to other members of parliament who represent other areas of the country so they understand the scale of contributions that businesses in the Lakeland riding provide.
“Here’s an example, in Ontario there are 1,162 businesses that do direct business with Alberta’s oilsands. So there are Ontario companies paying Ontario employees who pay Ontario taxes and if the NDP and Liberals were to follow through on their policy to eventually slow down or stop oilsands development, then those businesses will go under, not to mention all of the jobs that will be lost for people who come to Alberta for work or come to Alberta and fly back to their province for jobs.”