National Newswatch

Government of Canada freezes toll on Confederation Bridge

Dec 23 2022 — Percy Downe —  The Government of Canada has announced they will be freezing the toll on Confederation Bridge. This is wonderful news and the first acknowledgement from the Government of Canada that the high tolls are an unfair burden on Prince Edward Islanders. However, this announcement is a far cry from addressing the significant discrepancy in how the […]

Language, history and the new Governor General

Mar 22 2022 — Percy Downe — There is a bill currently before the Senate regarding language requirements for governors general that would still allow Julie Payette to be appointed, but not Indigenous leader and current Gov. General Mary May Simon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deserves credit for appointing Simon, notwithstanding the criticism that he knew he would be facing. He recognized […]

Overseas tax evasion, money laundering and increased housing prices in Canada

Oct 28 2021 — Percy Downe — After years of talk, talk, talk (or as environmental activist Greta Thunberg might put it, “blah, blah, blah”) and very little action, Canadians are finally seeing positive developments in the fight against overseas tax evasion. Under the international leadership of American President Joe Biden, with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland leading the charge here in Canada, […]

Time to go hard on overseas tax evasion

May 5 2021 — Percy Downe — It is time to put overseas tax evaders in jail. Canada is facing the worst financial situation since the end of the Second World War, and thousands of Canadians are continuing to hide their money overseas to avoid paying taxes. In the immortal words of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, “there are hundreds of millions, if […]

Failure to serve: CBC’s disappointing decision

Mar 24 2020 — Percy Downe — The English-language service of the CBC made the surprise announcement this week that during a pandemic, they were going to cancel local dinner time newscasts across Canada. However, the French-language wing of the CBC decided to continue their country wide evening newscast. In Prince Edward Island, this has created a major problem as in the […]

Why can’t the Canada Revenue Agency catch tax cheats?

May 16 2019 — Percy Downe — The federal government talks tough on overseas tax evasion, saying it is a high priority and it will catch you if you cheat. But the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a terrible track record of collecting from Canadians hiding their money overseas. It’s not catching, charging or convicting tax cheats the way other countries are […]

Prime Minister Trudeau’s Town Hall Flashback

Feb 2 2019 — Percy Downe — At a town hall meeting in January 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau responded to a question on the expensive toll to cross the federally-owned Confederation Bridge connecting Prince Edward Island to Canada by committing to “look at what can be done to make sure that people are able to travel freely, travel efficiently, and openly across […]

Many discrepancies in plans for toll-free Champlain Bridge

Oct 15 2018 — Percy Downe — During the last federal election, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced that, if elected, he would not proceed with the plan to charge tolls on Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge — a $4.2-billion project, now nearing completion. On May 29, 2018, the Auditor General of Canada reported that the decision to eliminate tolls on the federally owned […]

Finally CRA Obeys the Law

Apr 9 2018 — Percy Downe — Since 2012, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has been trying to fulfil my request to measure the tax gap, the difference between what is owed in taxes and what has actually been collected, but has been stonewalled by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and its refusal to release the required statistical data. Therefore, the announcement that […]

Holding the Canada Revenue Agency to Account

Dec 20 2017 — Percy Downe — The time has come for the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) to take the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to court in order to compel them to provide information necessary to calculate the tax gap, the difference between what is owed in taxes and what has actually been collected. The CRA is required, under the Parliament of Canada Act to […]

The Problem with Canada’s Revenue Agency

Dec 6 2017 — Percy Downe — Recent public leaks of tax information have once again put the spotlight on the growing, and never-ending problem of overseas tax evasion, where billions of dollars are hidden overseas to avoid paying Canadian taxes. As we know, it is not illegal to have a bank account overseas, but it is illegal not to report any proceeds from […]

Waiting For Results on Overseas Tax Evasion

May 15 2017 — Percy Downe — After years of trying to build public and media support, significant progress has been made with the last two federal budgets in the fight against overseas tax evasion. Finally, the federal government is providing the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) the resources it needs to take on those who hide their money in overseas tax havens. […]

The problem with $47 billion in unpaid taxes

Mar 7 2017 — Percy Downe — The Conference Board of Canada’s new report, Canadian Tax Avoidance: Examining the Potential Tax Gap, has concluded that up to $47 billion worth of taxes is not being collected by the Government of Canada. Think of what could be accomplished if that money was actually collected by the federal government; the programs it could fund, […]