STATEMENT: Taxation changes impacting thousands of Ontario farm families

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HANSARD – September 27, 2017

Member’s Statement: Taxation

Mr. John Vanthof: Recently, the federal government announced income tax changes for private corporations. These are companies that do not publicly trade shares

These changes impact thousands of family farms in Ontario. Many farms have incorporated in order to facilitate succession planning and intergenerational transfer of the family farm. These farm families, and many others caught up in these changes, are not tax evaders.

Farm businesses are built up over many years, and succession planning also takes many years. A successful plan needs to take many factors into account, including the income tax system. Sudden changes like the ones proposed by the federal government could have a domino effect and cause many unintended, tragic consequences.

It is within the government’s mandate to make changes to the tax system, but it is also their duty to truly consult and work with the stakeholders involved to develop a policy that will make sure that everyone pays their fair share for public services, but that does not destroy small businesses across the country.
In this case, the federal government did not fulfill that duty. I urge the Wynne government to contact their federal colleagues and request that these changes be put on hold until their full impact can be assessed with real consultation.

Farm families want to work with all levels of government to ensure that together they continue to grow quality food, provide employment and, yes, pay their fair share of taxes. It’s extremely frustrating that government continues to take that “We have all the answers” attitude at the expense of the people who are actually the long-term stewards of the land.