OTTAWA – Yesterday, the finance committee passed an NDP motion which demands that the government begin a public inquiry into the offshore tax schemes that defrauded some Canadians of their retirement savings. For years, people who lost tens of thousands of dollars were told that there was very little the police or government could do to recover their money. New Democrats have been fighting for accountability for these victims and reforms to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“No criminal charges have been laid against those involved in the Panama Papers, the Bahamas Papers, the Paradise Papers, or the Isle of Man Scam. The federal government has not taken the necessary action to crack down on these offshore tax havens or gotten any justice for Canadians who have been defrauded of their hard-earned money,” said NDP finance critic Peter Julian. “Now that the committee has voted for a public inquiry, Canadians can finally get answers about why the government continues to let huge corporations and the ultra-rich hide money offshore.”
Julian brought forward the motion which passed unanimously on behalf of Canadians like Ms. Janet Watson who lost all her savings after being defrauded by a company using offshore tax havens on the Isle of Man. He says it is crucial that the government sheds light on these frauds and delivers justice to the victims.
In 2016, the finance committee had begun investigating offshore tax schemes where many people were defrauded when the Liberal government abruptly ended the study. Julian says a full public inquiry is the best way to finally deliver accountability for Canadians without political interference.
“Now, regardless of when the election is called or which party forms government, this public inquiry can provide important information about how corporations have been hiding money offshore. The Liberals have shown time and time again that they don’t really have the political will to thoroughly investigate tax fraud or bring criminal charges against those who defraud Canadians. This inquiry will bring to light what has happened offshore and how the government has to address it moving forward,” said Julian. “People across the country pay their taxes and they expect huge corporations and the ultra-rich to do the same. This inquiry is a step toward making our tax system fairer and Canadians’ savings safer from fraudsters.”
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