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November 20th, 2018

NDP: AG Report Shows Liberals Continue to Maintain a System that Puts the Rich First

OTTAWA – In his 2018 Fall Reports, the Auditor General once again highlighted serious problems that the Liberal government is not addressing quickly and effectively. On compliance activities of the Canada Revenue Agency, the report indicated that the Liberal government failed to go after the richest corporations and instead targeted everyday Canadians.

“It’s shocking to see that under the Liberal government, the CRA is favouring large businesses, over individuals and small and medium sized businesses in its compliance activities. The Liberal government is failing to tackle tax havens and offshore transactions while making regular people jump through hoops. This is wrong,” said the NDP’s National Revenue Critic Pierre-Luc Dusseault. “International and rich corporations, and those with offshore transactions, are given more leeway than everyday Canadians trying to pay their taxes. Instead of helping these Canadians, the Liberal government continues to maintain a two way fiscal framework that puts the richest first.”

The report also indicated that inappropriate sexual behaviour remains a serious problem in the Canadian Armed Forces, and despite the many reports on this problem, the Forces failed to focus on victim support. The increase in third-party reports and mandatory investigations by the Military Police has had the unintended consequence of discouraging victims from coming forward. The Forces have acknowledged that they need external, independent advice to resolve this problem, and the Liberal government must act.

“It’s important to feel safe at work, and feel supported when we need help. The AG is telling us is that this is not the case in our Military and that we need to do more to tackle the threat of sexual harassment and violence,” said NDP Critic for Women's Equality, Sheila Malcolmson. “The Liberals must take immediate action to ensure that the Forces get the expert advice it needs to end inappropriate sexual behaviour in our military.”

Among other serious matters, the AG report has also indicated major concerns in the government’s approach to fighter jets. The delayed procurement competition to replace Canada’s aging fighter jets, a shortage in the number of fighter pilots and technicians, insufficient combat capability means the government has failed to meet NATO and NORAD requirements.

“A long-overdue open and fair competition to replace our aging fighter fleet should have already been under way, over three years after the election. It is completely unacceptable that the government is saying new jets will be available only in 2032, with some jets to be used for 30 more years than their expected life,” said the NDP’s Vice-Chair for the Standing Committee on Public Accounts David Christopherson. “The Liberal government must be fully transparent on this and other military procurement processes. They owe it to our military and to Canadians.”