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Michael Ignatieff tells Canada’s CEOs: now is not the time to cut corporate taxes again

Posted on January 18, 2011

TORONTO – In a speech to the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Canada can’t afford $6 billion in corporate tax breaks because of Stephen Harper’s record $56-billion deficit.

“The Liberal Party believes in competitive corporate tax rates,” said Mr. Ignatieff.  “Liberal governments brought the corporate tax rate down from 28% to 19%, when we were in surplus.  Mr. Harper drove Canada into deficit even before the recession, and with a record $56-billion deficit, we can’t afford to borrow billions more for additional tax breaks to Canada’s largest corporations.”

Mr. Ignatieff’s speech focused on the Liberal Party’s plan to make targeted, forward-looking investments in the future of the Canadian economy.

“Learning and innovation, foreign investment, energy efficiency, environmental innovation, better Canada-US relations and a credible approach to deficit reduction are key elements of our plan for Canada’s economy,” said Mr. Ignatieff.  “Our economic priorities begin and end with helping ease the economic burden on middle-class Canadian families when it comes to family care, pensions, learning and jobs.”

The Liberal Leader was joined at the CCCE lunch by members of the Liberal economic team, including Deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale, Liberal Finance Critic Scott Brison and Liberal International Trade Critic Martha Hall Findlay.

“After five years of Mr. Harper, Canadian families are no better off – and Mr. Harper’s $21-billion untendered stealth fighters, super prisons and corporate tax cuts won’t help them,” said Mr. Ignatieff.

The Liberal Party recently released Five Years of Harper, highlighting the Conservative record that has left Canadians – especially Canadian families – worse off today than they were five years ago.

“Stephen Harper is taking our country in the wrong direction and only the Liberal Party has the combination of policies, values and team to turn our country around and get it back on track,” concluded Mr. Ignatieff.   “After five years, there is only one alternative to Stephen Harper and his Conservative government, and that is the Liberal Party of Canada.”


Corporate Tax Rate, 2000-20

The Liberal approach to the deficit will be credible and effective, by:

  • Committing to a deficit-to-GDP target of 1% within the first two years of a Liberal government, and further declining every year thereafter until the budget is balanced;
  • Restoring a fiscal prudence reserve to our budgeting, to provide a buffer to achieve our targets; and
  • Controlling spending, by working with the public service to find targeted, sustainable savings in government, and not proposing anything in our next platform that can’t be financed without adding to the deficit.

The Liberal Party aims to create equal opportunity for middle-class families through:

  • The Liberal Family Care Plan, to ensure that family caregivers aren’t forced to leave the workforce to care for their loved ones;
  • Making post-secondary education and skills training more affordable, so Canadians can compete for well-paid, full-time, highly-skilled jobs in a competitive global market;
  • Creating more early learning and childcare spaces, to give every parent the ability to remain in the workforce while their child receives world-class care; and
  • An optional supplement to the Canada Pension Plan, to give the 75% of private-sector workers with no pension coverage access to a simple, low-cost option.
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