Canadians for Tax Fairness Study Suggests Changes Needed at Canada Revenue Agency
A study from Canadians for Tax Fairness suggests that the effectiveness of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is being undermined by a lack of resources and by political interference.
According to the study, politicians and lobbyists are able to influence the CRA. That includes lobbying CRA not to prosecute corporations for tax evasion. At the same time, $700 million in funding cuts between 2011 and 2015 reduced the ability of the CRA to deal with large-scale tax avoidance schemes.
Offshore tax schemes estimated to cost federal and provincial governments $10 billion a year
Among the consequences of staff and funding cuts outlined in the report is that the CRA is not able to deal with the abuse of tax havens by large businesses or wealthy individuals. Most reports suggest that there is $199 billion of Canadian money in tax havens. Canadians for Tax Fairness has estimated that failing to deal with tax avoidance involving tax havens means Canadian governments are losing $10 billion a year in tax revenue.
SOME CALL CINDY BLACKSTOCK THE "RELENTLESS AND MORAL VOICE" FOR FIRST NATION'S EQUALITY, a “rock star social worker”, and even “Canada’s Martin Luther King”. She may be all that. But what Cindy Blackstock is most is a tenacious and victorious leader in the fight for, and defender of, the rights of our 163,000 indigenous children.
Cindy leads that fight as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is determined to have our indigenous children come to know how very much they matter in a world that tells them they don’t. Her basic premise is simple: First Nation’s children deserve to be treated the same as all other Canadian children.
Everest College shutdown raises questions about regulation of private colleges
The recent shutdown of 13 Everest College campuses in Ontario by the provincial government raises questions about the effectiveness of regulations intended to protect students at private colleges.
It was known for some time that Everest College’s US parent company was facing both financial issues and investigations for falsifying data on job placements, grades and attendance. When Canadian Press obtained information on complaints against private colleges in Ontario through freedom of information legislation, 36 per cent were about Everest College.
Yet, in spite of these problems, Everest College was able to continue operating until a sudden shut down became unavoidable.
Ontario’s Auditor General has already raised concerns about the level of oversight for private colleges. In the 2011 Auditor General’s report, it was pointed out that even though there were serious concerns about 180 campuses, only 30 were inspected. Steps taken by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities since then provide little grounds for optimism. It can still take up to three months before high risk campuses are inspected, while for medium risk ones it can take up to two years.
For students and the public this is worrying. Much of the income private colleges receive comes from student loans and other public funding. The public funding private colleges receive will increase as the federal government implements its Canada Job Grant program. When private colleges fail to deliver the education or training they promised, students are left with loans that will be difficult for them to ever repay.
As with other privatized services, proper oversight of private colleges comes at a cost. Ensuring colleges are inspected in a timely fashion, and that complaints from students receive a thorough response, would require more staff and resources assigned to monitoring private colleges. The larger question this raises is whether the funds proper enforcement requires would be better spent on improving the public community college system so students are not forced to turn to private colleges for jobs training.
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