Make Canada poor again?

I know the federal Liberals will be legalizing marijuana next year. But after learning about their proposed punitive tax changes affecting small business owners, I can only assume that they’ve been “product testing” for a long, long time.

I started Graphic Arts Magazine, a small family business, over 20 years ago. Like most of you, I poured my heart and soul into it and still do, working 12 hour days, getting family members to help out, and so on. Today we’re holding our own while providing income to employees. Now, most of you know that I’m not a political person. But I do keep a close eye on government decisions that impact my family and my business.

That’s why I was stunned to hear of proposed tax changes from the federal Liberals introduced July 18 that flew under the radar. These changes would, if implemented, cost many business owners tens of thousands of dollars. For example, some of the changes will reduce my ability to split income, save money for retirement, reduce my lifetime capital gains exemption (LCGE) to just one family shareholder, add another level of tax (over 30%) on investment income earned through my company, and on and on.

I guess Finance Minister Bill Morneau doesn’t understand that penalizing small business owners for their success is NOT the way to build a strong middle class; which was their core promise when elected. News flash, Bill:  we’re not the top 1% – we’re the drivers of this economy, providing jobs to millions of Canadians every year. We’ve always been the primary driver of job creation in Canada. Tim Cestnick’s incisive article in the Globe and Mail, August 18, has more details (www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/taxes/proposed-tax-changes-will-shake-the-small-business-world/article35754872/).

If these changes are implemented, business owners will indeed be massively effected. As Diefenbaker once proclaimed: “Capitalism is the uneven distribution of wealth – and socialism is the even distribution of poverty.” Is that the direction in which we’re headed? It’s time for business owners to take a stand and call their local MP. In the meantime, let’s still stay positive and stay focused.

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Joe Mulcahy Publisher, Graphic Arts Magazine joe@graphicartsmag.com