September 19, 2017

Open letter to Canadian Mayors & elected officials regarding the proposed federal tax changes: CATA Innovation leader speaks out

Dan Wasserman
, member, CATA Innovation Leadership Council
 view video interview based on Milton, Ontario Townhall )

Open letter to Canadian Mayors

On Monday evening at the request of CATAAlliance, a recognized innovation leader,  I attended a Town Hall meeting in Milton about the “proposed” federal tax changes. It was an eye-opening event. Lisa Raitt, MP suggested writing all our elected officials, because “those guys talk, especially if they’re afraid of events that could adversely affect their re-election.”

This ill conceived tax grab is exactly one of those events.

The wide-ranging impact of the “proposals” affects every constituent under your jurisdiction, not just the so-called one-per-centers. These measures are so far reaching they affect farmers, small businesses, professionals, innovators, minimum wage earners, and yes, doctors.

To our mind the only reason we haven’t seen a precipitous spike in unemployment is a combination of timing and the poor job our press is doing getting out the REAL message. As for timing, announcing these measures on July 18th, in the middle of the summer, with consultations ending on October 2nd both ensures a reduced amount of discussion AND that the act can be passed by the December 31st deadline. Nothing like slipping one in under the radar. With respect to the press, they don’t want to see that these measures mean the very engines of our economy will have to cut back. And, where will they cut…at the lowest paid, most vulnerable, and in spite of our Prime Minister’s claim to be a a champion of diversity, mostly females.

Obviously, there was a lot of frustration at the Town Hall, but from the perspective,  as a serial entrepreneur, a past EIR at ventureLAB, and the Procurement Modernization Advocate for the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), our government is attacking the safety net of the economy – retained earnings. These are the very funds companies, professionals, farmers, etc., rely on in down-turns. They fuel growth and are the funds required to provide seamless transitions, and even cover death duties. Moreover, they are the pension funds for independents and entrepreneurs. Take this away and what is the incentive to succeed?

Coming back to the poor press coverage, and also why I put “proposal” in quotation marks, is because some of these changes have already come into force!!!

For example, the death taxes were effective on July 18th. Bottom line, we had no chance to discuss these changes before we face situations where a business owner dies and their family is unable to continue the operations even though government protected tax planning programs were followed so that sufficient funds were set-aside precisely for this eventuality. Talk about unfair…talk about not following best practices for consultation, as established by the Treasury Board of Canada.

On behalf of all members of the CATA Innovation Leadership Council, I strongly encourage you to speak out at the municipal level. There will be unintended consequences that will reduce your tax base, increase local welfare-related costs, and definitely adversely impact healthcare along with social services.


Dan Wasserman, member, CATA
Innovation Leadership Council


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