Canadian business leaders meet to form conclusions on stance against proposed taxation changes for private corporations and shareholders

STEP Canada Special Symposium explores potential impact and
forms framework for submission to Department of Finance

TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2017 /CNW/ - As opposition to the federal government's proposed tax changes of July 18 grows, the STEP Canada Special Symposium regarding the taxation of private corporations and shareholders was held in Toronto yesterday, bringing together leaders from industries such as legal, accounting, economics, wealth management, education, real estate, insurance, and agriculture to discuss and form conclusions regarding the proposals. The full-day discussions ended with a summary of conclusions that will form the framework of multiple submissions to the Department of Finance.

Attendees agreed that if legislated, this dramatic tax policy change could fuel uncertainty and bring unintended consequences including very significant tax increases that negatively affect entrepreneurs – ultimately harming the Canadian economy with a decrease in capital and taxpaying jobs.

"Yesterday was an important step in examining the fairness and appropriateness of proposed tax changes, and their potential to damage Canadian entrepreneurial spirit, including business owners who take great personal risk and contribute significantly to the Canadian economy," said Michael Cadesky, co-chair of the STEP Canada Public Policy Committee and Managing Partner at Cadesky Tax. "Our group of more than 70 interested, passionate and concerned business leaders, economists, academics, and professionals formulated solid conclusions regarding the proposed legislation yesterday, including key examples that serve to reinforce why the rules need to be rethought."

Pamela Cross, National Deputy Chair of STEP Canada, co-chair of the Public Policy Committee, and Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais added, "What will be surprising to many Canadians is the far-reaching nature of these proposals. The Government has framed this issue as simply closing loopholes for the very wealthy and ensuring the tax system is "fair". In fact, these proposals will adversely impact many business owners and their families who consider themselves squarely in the middle-class and who do not have the financial safety net available to employees. Far from addressing loopholes, these proposals constitute a significant change in tax policy that has been in place for forty years. Any significant change in tax policy should be made in a considered and thoughtful manner, with a full understanding of the impact on the hard-working Canadian entrepreneurs that drive our economy." 

Symposium attendees included senior members from Advocis, C.D. Howe Institute, Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting, Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Canadian Real Estate Association, the Canadian Tax Foundation, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Family Enterprise Xchange, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, and STEP Canada.

About STEP Canada

STEP Canada is part of STEP Worldwide, the leading international organization for trust and estate professionals. The trust and estate practitioner (TEP) designation formally identifies qualified practitioners and distinguishes them from non-specialists who occasionally deal with trusts and estates. STEP subjects its members to rigorous training and requires them to meet strict educational standards on an ongoing basis. STEP's mandate is to provide a forum for discussion and to advance practitioners' knowledge of tax, accounting, administrative, statute, and case law through regular branch seminars, symposia, and an annual national conference. STEP Canada also makes representations of a technical nature to government, policymakers, and related professional bodies, with the goal of promoting better understanding of trusts and estates, and improving related law and policy. There are 20,000 members worldwide and over 2,500 members in Canada, operating not only as financial advisers but also as professionals in the accounting, trust, legal, and insurance industries.


For further information: or to arrange an interview to talk about conclusions from the Symposium, please contact: Janis Armstrong, Director of Business Development, STEP Canada,, 1-877-991-4949 ext. 228

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