August 16, 2018

Quotes & Videos to Support a 21st Century Tax Commission: CATAAlliance request to Community members (Updated)

21st Century Tax Commission

Dear Community members,

Could please help us advance CATA advocacy by providing a supportive quote regarding a new Campaign, entitled, “ Call for Creating Canada’s 21st Century Tax Commission: Help CATAAlliance advance this important advocacy!”

Details of the 21st Century Tax Commission Campaign are outlined at this URL:

Your quote ( i.e., a para of 3-4 sentences) would be part of a Community Comments Section, indicative of support for a 21st Century Tax Commission. We have provided some examples below to kickstart your thoughts.  

Much appreciated by the CATA Team,

John Reid, CATA CEO

Ps Read IT World Canada’s Coverage: CATA wants your help calling for a 21st century tax commission

Community Comments

” Globalization has created a dynamic marketplace where countries compete to attract capital and talent. Canada needs a competitive tax system to encourage investment and innovation in our economy. Since the Carter Commission study in the 1960’s, we’ve seen a significant evolution in the business landscape. Technological progress should only be expected to accelerate using avenues such as the blockchain, artificial intelligence, and automation. A comprehensive tax reform study, can lay the foundation for the next generation and return Canada to the principles of an effective tax system – simple, efficient, and fair.” (Jay Goodis, CEO & Co-Founder of Tax Templates Inc.)

“For Canada to succeed in this ever-changing economic climate, where past long-term relationships are destroyed and old enemies become new market opportunities, we need a tax system that is both fair, while encouraging our entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Canada and expand our economy.” (Dan Wasserman, Founder, Mammoth Health Innovation)

“As a committed member of CATA’s leadership council, I lend my voice to the Call for Creating Canada’s 21st Century Tax Commission. Every day, I am reminded that Canadian tax policy has emerged in both an incremental and somewhat retrospective way, whereas what we need, what the dramatically-changing nature of Canada’s role in the global economy needs, is … a wholesale reboot and soon. The present system is, to some degree, the legislative baggage of Confederation and does not anticipate the rise of crowdfunding, blockchain and the rise of digital currencies and finance for example.

Three things that could help, in my view, are a fresh understanding of money and the monetary system’s impact on taxation, how we think about and curate innovation with more contemporary fiscal levers and how we align and harmonize the business and corporate taxation spectrum from local to national. CATA is to be commended and supported in this quest for fairness, regional equity and the renewed drive towards an Innovation Nation.” (Gary Stairs, Stellar RHL & First Mobile Education)

“ Canada needs a competitive business environment to attract investment from both Canadian and foreign businesses. This is critical to the growth and success of the Canadian economy which is important to all Canadians. A modern and competitive tax system is an important part of an environment that encourages innovation, investment and growth. Other countries such as the United States have introduced tax reforms to create a more competitive business environment for their economies. Canada needs comprehensive tax reform to both simplify our tax rules, and to create a tax system that encourages investment into our economy, while being fair to all Canadians.” (David Walsh, CPA, CA (ON), CPA (IL), Partner, Tax Service Line Leader, Canada, BDO Canada LLP)

“ A 21st Century Tax Commission is super important for resolving economic  issues, as the economy is going to face a major transformation over the next few decades!  The availability of new products based on new technology will significantly increase the overall productivity while reducing the number of people needed to perform these tasks. Kudos to your team for taking on this for highly important advocacy.” (Eli Fathi, CEO, Mindbridge Ai)

“ Canada enjoys immense potential coming from our technology, innovation and entrepreneurial sectors. I have seen in many countries around the world how taxation policies can help these sectors flourish leading to greater tax revenues. Our government’s job is difficult. Balancing all of the interests and considering global best practices is complex. It is critical that we establish a Tax Commission to find the optimal path forward.” (Peter Aceto, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, eQuoshift, and former President & CEO, Tangerine (Scotiabank)

“ Advancing the development and adoption of tax reforms will spur the growth of innovative firms and boost Canada’s ROI (Return on Investment) on our investments in Research and Development. Having a 21st Century Tax Commission is a path forward to modernization.” (Russ Roberts, Sr. VP, Tax, Finance & Advocacy, CATAAlliance)

” As the President of the Ottawa and a small business entrepreneur I agree that it is time to look at and update our tax regime to give Canada a fighting chance to compete with the other G7 countries. How can I help the cause? ” (David Stein)

” This is a great initiative. I think we need to take a fundamental look at a system that has evolved through ‘exception-based’ taxation over a long period of time. I believe that we need to go back to fundamentals to determine whether the system is both fair and advances economic goals in an effective manner. As a researcher in the field of science-based innovation and as a CPA – CA, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I would enjoy an opportunity to volunteer to work with the commission, perhaps even by engaging in research that can address taxation impact questions in the innovation economy.” (Charles Plant, CPA, researcher, University of Toronto)

“21st Century Tax reform is not only required, but critical as we move to a human capital based economy that also struggles to get access to much needed capital.  Companies that provide services based on human output (i.e. consulting, integration, project management services) have struggled long and hard to get investment capital to grow.  The leadership teams have had to use personal financing alternatives to enable their firms to grow and survive, without the tax benefits being available for these alternate investment alternative.  As more and more innovative solutions involve not products, but services delivered by people, it imperative to change the rules to enable the tax benefits to match!”  (Roberta J. Fox-Lawson, Chair and Chief Innovation Officer, FOX GROUP Technology, and founding and Interim CEO and CTO, Canada Suicide Prevention Services.)

” With rapidly advancing technology reshaping the economy and the workforce, a tax regime drafted pre-Internet is not helpful. With the creation of a 21 Century tax Commission, we open the door to flexible new approaches and administrative models that will support a competitive approach for all businesses – and especially smaller businesses that continue to make up the backbone of the Canadian economy. I’m all in for that!” (Fawn M. Annan, President and CMO, ITWC, publisher of

” I could not hope to be a louder voice for this initiative! Canada has all the hallmarks of success for future, but, in my opinion sadly lacks a cohesive and collaborative dialogue on measures to build and sustain business success. It starts with taxation. I applaud CATA on its Tax Commission initiative and support it fervently.” (Mark Kealey, President of K&A Inc.)    

” While Canada remains strong in terms of the quality and impact of its scientific output, it is lagging farther and father behind in its ability to commercialize that output and generate wealth…Canada has much to be proud of, with world-class researchers in many domains of knowledge, but the rest of the world is not standing still and Canada will need to take notice as it determines how best to take action.” (Council of Canadian Acadamies)

” I am a proud Canadian startup, who is at the brink of releasing the results of the development of our Ultra Cyber Secure computer systems.  A large portion of my business plan is where I need to weigh the balance between what portion of manufacturing is to be done in Canada and what portion to other countries, where labor and tax rates are considerably more favorable. Head office will certainly be located in Canada.

In order to support the North American region of international sales, certain portions of engineering, software development, (manufacturing ?), distribution, support and accounting will most likely be located in Canada.

It would be favorable for Canadian employment statistics if there were favorable tax incentives, which would encourage a larger portion of the manufacturing and support of our Cyber Security products to be located in Canada.

As a proud Canadian, emotionally I very much favor Canada.  As a business person about to step up to the corporate starting gate, I need to make decisions which are best for the corporation.” (Ralph Kachur, President, ROATI Technologies Inc.)

“ Canada’s competitiveness and ultimately our standard of living is highly dependent on investment in innovation. In supporting this investment. tax policy plays a crucial role. Future tax reforms must include innovation investments and embrace a multi-level perspective including personal and corporate, as well as federal and provincial tax systems to eliminate overlap and complexity and focus on most efficient solutions.” (Jacek Warda, President and Managing Principal, JPW Innovation Associates Inc.)

” CATA is advocating a new tax commission for Canada. I would agree that the last 20 years or so have involved more stop gap measures rather than clear vision on tax policy. With the lowering of US corporate tax rates; trade tariffs; increased international competitiveness and the implementation of new technologies and innovation  in other countries, a review of our tax policies is overdue.

This review also goes hand in hand with the government’s focus on innovation. it is a big project but  a nonpartisan approach is essential.” (Brian Cookson, President, RDP)

“Department of Finance officials told the Senate Standing Committee on National Finances that they will not attempt tax reform again, given what they have gone through with this attempt (the July 18, 2017 proposals).  It is of concern that the Department of Finance considers these proposals to constitute tax reform.  They are merely specific measures targeted at specific concerns, rather than changes based on a comprehensive review of our tax system with a view to bringing it into the current century. Disappointing approach. ” (Peter Weissman, FCPA, FCA, TEP, Partner, Cadesky Tax)

” It’s been over 50 years since Canada had an independent and fulsome review of our taxing systems.  While the recommendations of the “Carter Commission” have withstood the test of time reasonably well – with many of the recommendations forming the very architecture of our current Income Tax Act – the simple fact is that our current taxing systems have become a patchwork quilt of changes that is beyond the comprehension of most people.  When the ability to comprehend tax laws is beyond the capability of the average person (including professionals), then compliance breaks down and inequities result.  Canadians deserve a taxing system that is updated for modern challenges and is dramatically less complex and easy to comply with.  Accordingly, I totally agree that the time for an independent review of Canada’s tax systems is overdue.  Such a review should be undertaken by a qualified panel of independent experts – not just academics and government bureaucrats – and include a wide spectrum of stakeholders including practitioners, business owners, non-profit executives and charitable representatives.  Let’s get it done!” (Kim Moody, FCA, TEP Director, Canadian Tax Advisory)

” As you have pointed out, debt is ballooning. But every dollar is “borrowed” into existence as interest-bearing debt. I highly support a 21st Century Tax Commission.

Most people speak as if money is still something tangible that can be physically deposited or borrowed, but money in the present system is basically credit; it is generated with a few clicks of a keyboard by making digital accounting entries. Legal tender notes and coins are merely tokens of credit.

As I’m sure you are aware, the financial institutions basically create money by extending our collective credit to us—but all of this money is created as interest-bearing debt. That’s where the real problem begins. Total aggregate debt, including principal and interest, is always more than the entire amount of money in existence.

Governments and banks depend on each other. The banks simply allocate some of our collective credit to government; this creates more money for politicians to spend. Governments have the option of letting their debts grow without any fear that the banks will step in and shut them down. The banks can keep providing additional money—as long as we keep paying the interest. Taxpayers, consumers and businesses in Canada are collectively spending billions each year in interest payments.

The present monetary system restricts legitimate economic activity, drives unsustainable economic growth, contributes to involuntary unemployment, and keeps us in a collective state of perpetual debt. Money nowadays is credit. We can take control of our credit to facilitate the exchange of our goods and services.

I highly recommend The End of Money and the Future of Civilization by Thomas Greco. He describes the problems with the monetary system and suggests some possible solutions, including mutual credit clearing. Chapter 19 outlines the role that governments could play in establishing economic and financial stability. “(James Clayton,BNK Advisory Ltd.)

“ Canada needs a tax system that is aligned with its economic and innovation policy objectives. A simpler tax system, designed to promote flexibility, improve compliance and reduce red tape is possible and would help allow small business owners to focus on growing the economy.  CFIB supports CATA’s call for a nonpartisan commission for a review of the country’s taxation structure.” (Dan Kelly, President & CEO, CFIB)

” Canada’s competitiveness and ultimately our standard of living is highly dependent on investment in innovation. In supporting this investment, tax policy plays a crucial role. Future tax reforms must include innovation investments and embrace a multi-level perspective including personal and corporate, as well as federal and provincial tax systems to eliminate overlap and complexity and focus on most efficient solutions.” (Jacek Warda, JPW Innovation Associates Inc.)

“ While I agree with the apparent need for reform, the major issue is not the tax act. It’s the way in which the govt of the particular day spends what is brought in via the tax act. When GST was originally brought in, we were told that employee source deductions would cease to be required. That never happened. We generate significant resources with all levels of taxation. What we lack is control over the egregious spending by our government of the day. In 38 years as a tax specialist, working in government and as a CPA in private practice, I’ve seen more, than I’d like to admit. Good luck with your commission.”(Thomas West, Managing Partner, Tax Partner, Smith & West CPA)

“The only thing that unites Canadians more than frustration with the weather is frustration with the tax system. No matter how much time one commits to preparing one’s tax return, there remains the nagging feeling that some meat was left on the bone.

Canada needs to simplify the tax system. It seems to me that with a correctly tuned consumer tax, personal income taxes could be eliminated. I suspect that the reason there was a surplus in the original GST account is that the chosen percentage was based on income tax records. Once introduced, people who were previously avoiding taxation started paying tax.

I say raise the GST and abolish personal income tax. Ensure that there is no GST on food, children’s clothing under a certain dollar value, and books. The people with money will pay tax, and the people without money won’t pay tax. You want to save for a rainy day, good… no tax until that day. You want to buy a luxury item, thank you… here’s your tax bill. You only have money for groceries and clothes for your kids, God bless you… no tax for you.

I’m no economist, but in all other aspects of life, it seems the simplest solutions are the best. Yes to a 21st Century Tax Commission.” (Waldo Rochow, Management Consultant)

“To prepare for the rainy days ahead, we need to pay down debt, allow new pipelines to ship oil to markets outside the United States and lower taxes for workers and businesses. These efforts would keep the ship’s bow above water and put wind in the sails of the Canadian economy. We need a new 21st Century model.” (Hon. Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P.)

“ No matter the politics, John Reid post is significant, putting emphasis on a new tax system/commission is what CANADA requires.” Jocelyn Legault, (Client Executive at IBM Canada.)

“Technology and innovation rapidly evolve and change the way the world works around us. Canada needs to better understand the implications of game changing technologies such as AI, and robotics for Canada’s workforce, economy and its citizens as it seeks to modernize its tax code. The 21st Century Tax Commission is a key step in the right direction and will help keep Canada at the forefront of global technology and innovation while maximizing its tax revenues in a changing economy and workforce.” (Charles Lim, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, IMAX Corporation)


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