Dear prime minister

Mr. Prime Minister,

I would like welcome you and the Liberal caucus to Kelowna.

I trust your caucus retreat will be constructive and I hope you have some time to visit some of our nearby amenities and attractions. 

I also hope you will have the opportunity to meet with local small business owners and I will explain why.
During my time as a member of Parliament, I have not encountered any single issue that has more angered small business owners than the current tax proposals you are contemplating.

I believe it is important you understand why this anger exists.
You might recall during the last election, your Liberal platform promised to, and I quote directly; “reduce the small business tax rate to nine per cent from 11 per cent."

Flash forward to today and not only have you reneged on this promise, but many small business owners feel that you have labelled them as tax cheats.

Your Liberal government is implying that the amount of tax they pay is unfair and paying more tax to Ottawa will create fairness for those who are not self-employed.

Many small business owners find this offensive from a government who promised something very different during election time. 
Throughout this discussion, I have repeatedly heard your finance minister talk about “misinformation” as if to imply that somehow small business owners do not understand what paying more in taxes really means.

This also offends many small business owners.

On the topic of misinformation, it is also very important to explain that when a small business owner pays themselves a wage, they do so at the exact same income tax rates that any other Canadian citizen does.
That is an important distinction.

In essence, the small business owner pays taxes twice.

The first time is when the small business owner pays tax on any profit, assuming there is some. All small businesses pay lower taxes on business income than personal income taxes.

However, don't overlook that all net income, once paid out in wages, is taxed again at the same personal income rates as all other Canadians.
It is also important to keep in mind that a small business owner has no:

  • Employment Insurance
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • taxpayer financed public sector pension or related benefits
  • maternity leave benefits
  • formal vacation pay system.

All of these expenses must be covered by the small business profits, again assuming there are some.

I mention all of these things to hopefully better illustrate why so many small business owners are taking such strong opposition to your proposed changes.
As I believe it is important to propose and not just oppose, I would like to offer a few observations.

Canadians understand we must live within our means.

Likewise, Canadians also understand your Liberal government is running significantly larger deficits than promised and currently has no plan to return to the promised 2019 date for balanced budgets.

Canadians further understand either spending has to be reduced or taxes increased to pay for all of your spending.
Your Liberal government has clearly decided increasing taxes is the solution. Rather than demonize small business owners under the guise of tax fairness, why not at least admit that your Liberal proposal is a tax increase? Recognize that small business owners are being asked to pay for this heavy burden.

Mr. Prime Minister, you often talk of recognition and respect and in my view, it is time for you to show some for Canada’s small business owners.

Here's my question for Canadians: 

  • What are your thoughts on raising small business taxes?

I can be reached at dan.albas@parl.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-665-8711.

More Dan in Ottawa articles

About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola which include the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton and Merritt.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best. For his work on child safety and awareness, Dan was the recipient Penticton’s ‘2005 Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award. Dan served as campaign chair for the United Way of the South Okanagan-Similkameen in 2006-7 and 2010-11, both times surpassing their fundraising goals.

On June 28 of 2012 Dan became one of the first MP’s in recent history to have a Private Members Bill (Bill 311) C-311 become law with the unanimous all party support of both the House of Commons and the Canadian Senate.  Bill C-311 “An Act to amend the importation of intoxicating liquors Act” amended a prohibition era law to prevented the free trade of wine over provincial borders.

Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of only five Members of Parliament in Canada with a 100% voting attendance record.  Locally in British Columbia,  MP Dan Albas has been consistently one of the lowest spending Members of Parliament on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

 MP Dan Albas is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top ten most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

In October of 2015 MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola.  Dan is currently the Deputy Finance Critic, serving with Finance Critic, MP Gerard Deltell and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

Dan is honoured to serve the residents of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola as their Member of Parliament.

MP Dan Albas welcomes your input, so please contact him by e-mail, phone or mail.

He can be reached at:

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola's MP office
2562-B Main Street
West Kelowna, B.C. V4T 2N5
Email: dan.albas@parl.gc.ca
Phone toll free: 1.800.665.8711
Fax: 250.707.2153

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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