One week after the Federal Budget, the Finance Minister seems to be MIA while the rich make themselves comfortable. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has loopholes so big you could drive an armoured truck through. That’s exactly what many Canadian companies are doing, and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.
As reported, there are now over 1,200 complaints to the Canada Revenue Agency of abuse of CEWS and total of zero fines laid. Some of the financial transactions are simply inconceivable without the help of a open tap of taxpayers’ dollars with zero accountability. Here’s just a few:
The Yellow Pages collected $7.3 million in CEWS last year, then paid out $8.8 million in dividends—the first time they’ve paid a dividend in years.
Or there’s Montreal’s TFI International who cranked up its dividend twice last year to pay out over $67 million to shareholders—they also got $52.3 million in CEWS. Surely a coincidence…
And let’s not forget Bell Canada who got $122 million tax dollars, laid off hundreds of workers and increased dividends for shareholders.
And the list goes on and on. Regardless, Chrystia Freeland herself proclaimed she would act:
“There are penalties for misuse of the wage subsidy. It is an additional 25% penalty and potentially imprisonment, in cases of fraud…we do take abuses seriously.” Finance Committee, March 11, 2021
So, what happened to the Minister’s promise of penalties? Her commitment to “taking abuses seriously”? If a snitch line gets set up and no one answers the calls, did they even happen? Where is the accountability?
While ordinary Canadians struggle with their families, their jobs and their health, Liberals continue to provide safe haven to their wealthy friends making record profits off this pandemic.
Canadians deserve better.