Windsor-West NDP MP Brian Masse, September 9, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Finance Minister Scolds, Masse Is Unrepentent

If the federal finance minister is attempting to put the squeeze on Windsor-Essex MPs for opposing his proposed tax reforms, Windsor West MP Brian Masse is not feeling it.

Bill Morneau has singled out Masse, along with Windsor-Tecumseh MP Cheryl Hardcastle and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey over a letter they wrote earlier this month urging him to reconsider tax changes that target small business owners, including doctors. Instead, area MPs want the finance minister to focus on those who hoard money in illegal offshore accounts.

An estimated $6-billion in those accounts which would otherwise be in federal coffers.

“The truth hurts,” responds Masse. “His neglect of taking care of off-shore taxation havens, versus his strategy to attack small business and healthcare professionals is a lazy approach to economics.”

Without those tax advantages, he fears the changes could discourage family doctors from setting up shop.

“We need a policy based upon what it takes to run an office and what it takes to have an income coming in,” says Masse. “The approach the minister is taking here has not considered those factors, versus that of a general income coming in.”

Morneau says he was surprised because his changes are supported by organizations like the Canadian Labour Congress, Canadians for Tax Fairness, even the Broadbent Institute, all groups the New Democrats usually are aligned with philosophically.

“We all want tax fairness, but that doesn’t mean taking a sledgehammer to hit a fly,” says Masse explaining he does not answer to those organizations, only his constituents.

Morneau contends his proposals will “ensure a level playing field for the middle class.”