Opinion column by MP Kevin Sorenson. FILE PHOTO

Standing up to liberal taxes on self-employed Canadians

How can we grow a strong economy if skilled and talented Canadians would rather simply get a job?

The topic of this news column is a concern that was raised by constituents at every one of my eight recent Satellite Constituency Office meetings. Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced his plan to raise taxes on self-employed Canadians, including small business owners, farm operations, doctors’, dentists, and virtually all professionals who are not paid wages as an employee. Estimates are that this will raise about a quarter of a billion dollars in tax revenue every year for the Liberals to spend.

The Liberals say that these entrepreneurs are not paying their “fair share” of taxes. Prime Minister Trudeau complained about successful entrepreneurs and called their businesses “tax shelters” on the election campaign trail. Minister Morneau talks about farms that are “incorporated” and medical practitioners “sprinkling” profits to “family members,” including their spouse.

In free-market economies, entrepreneurs are taxed differently than employees. They try to establish businesses based on their skill or talent to meet market demands for their products or services. In turn, they hire employees and help build local, provincial, and national economic growth.

These small- and medium-sized businesses hire workers and expand their operations when there is demand for their products and services – not when it’s “fair.” They take the risks and try to achieve a profit margin – and maintain profits. The lower tax rate helps enable them to expand their business, hire staff, help finance benefits and pensions. They do not receive the health benefits and pension plans that their employees receive. Their profits either go toward growing their business or paying for their own health services and pensions. Many family-run businesses struggle to maintain profits and have very little left over to invest in pensions.

How can we grow a strong economy if skilled and talented Canadians would rather simply ‘get a job’ and be paid wages with benefits and a pension plan, rather than risk their own and their family’s livelihood by establishing a small business? Even today in our area of Alberta during tough economic times, we see, for example, farmers and members of their family taking on side-jobs that pay by the hour with benefits. They do this to keep the ‘incorporated’ farm with a thin profit margin afloat and pay for day to day living expenses or get extra revenues to pay for a family member fallen ill. Too often, we see aging self-employed folks take on jobs that are ‘off the farm’ to try and quickly create a pension because the farm has not been profitable enough over the time-span of their careers.

It is not “fair” for the Liberals to describe this arrangement as a “tax loophole.” The Finance Minister’s plan amounts to changing the rules in the middle of the game. The “tax and spend” (and “go deeply into debt”) Trudeau government is cash-strapped with interest payments mounting on the billions of dollars they have borrowed in a very short time frame. They are now going after the small firms in Canada that employ 80 per cent or more of Canada’s workforce to raise revenues, trying to make it sound as if they are being “fair.”

Just Posted

Donalda District Museum hosting first toy show

Donalda Coulee Friendship Club hosts whist night

UPDATED Stettler secondhand charity looks for new home

UPDATED Superfluity lease not being renewed; will move by Sept., 2018

2018 Stettler Farmer/Farmerette Bonspiel Winners

Tournament held from January 18th to the 21st at the Stettler Curling Rink

2018 Stettler Farmer/Farmerette Bonspiel Winners

Tournament held from January 18th to the 21st at the Stettler Curling Rink

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.