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November 4th, 2022

Liberals stand with the Irvings instead of Canadian families

After reports reveal Irvings have used this insurance scam tax loophole for almost half a century, New Democrats call for it to end

While Canadian families struggle to put food on the table, the ultra-rich and powerful continue to hide their wealth and avoid paying what they owe. Following media reports that the Irving family has been relying on captive insurance scams for almost 50 years, NDP Critic for Tax Fairness and Inequality, Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski) called on the Liberals to immediately close these types of tax loopholes to ensure the ultra-wealthy pay what they owe.

“If Canadians could live on the empty words and broken promises of this government, they wouldn’t be struggling the way they are,” said Ashton. “But families are struggling and it’s because this government refuses to do anything about their billionaire friends refusing to pay what they owe to invest in services for the rest of us.”

For far too long, Liberals have made it their priority to stand with one of the richest families in the country, the Irvings, instead of Canadians who struggle to afford groceries. In fact, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has identified more than $76 million in taxes owed by the ultra-rich named in the Panama and Paradise Papers leaks of offshore accounts. This is money that could be invested in concrete help for Canadian families facing a rising cost of living crises and interest rate hikes making mortgages and credit debt more expensive. New Democrats have been calling on the Liberals to close tax loopholes that allow the ultra-rich to get away with avoiding their taxes so we can invest in help for Canadians.

“Canadians are doing everything right, and still cannot afford their most basic needs like housing and food. Meanwhile, the Liberals are letting the wealthy and powerful, like the Irvings, off the hook from paying their taxes,” added Ashton. “This cannot continue to happen. People deserve a government that protects their interests, not those protecting the profits of the very rich who are lining their pockets on the backs of people. New Democrats will continue to push the Liberals to close tax loopholes and change the law so our system works for everyday people, not the rich and powerful.”

After Question Period yesterday, Ashton put forward the following Unanimous Consent motion to all Parliamentarians, but it was voted down by Liberals and Conservatives:

That, given that,

i. billionaire companies like Irving have been using captive insurance scams for almost 50 years;

ii. the CRA recently identified more than $76 billion in unpaid taxes in the Panama and Paradise Papers including from Irving;

iii. out-of-control inflation is making it harder for Canadians to afford basic necessities;

iv. every billionaire tax cheat actively harms Canadians;

the House call on the government to stop catering to the ultra-wealthy and end these type of exploitive tax loopholes without delay.