MONTREAL, Feb. 2, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – The sectors of health, education, environment, unions, research, business, international co-operation, arts and culture, anti-poverty, youth and human rights advocacy rally to ask our governments to put an end to the tax haven era. Taxes are an essential pillar of our democratic society, but we must change the rules of this system to make sure everyone pays their fair share. To achieve this, we must have a strong mobilization of civil society.
A few days ago, Oxfam announced that 8 men own as much as half the world’s population. While economic inequalities have never been so great, an international network of tax havens allows multinationals and owners of large fortunes to circumvent the tax system, hence depriving public treasuries of funds they are owed.
In Canada and Québec, governments could reinvest by the billion in public services if they effectively tackled the problem of tax havens. By depriving governments of important resources, tax havens directly harm the ability states have to finance public infrastructure and social services the population needs and that businesses themselves benefit from.
To rally actors impacted by tax havens, Oxfam-Québec, in collaboration with the Collective Échec aux paradis fiscaux, launched the In Search of Lost Billions campaign in April 2016. As part of this campaign, men, women and youth as well as organizations and other society actors have asked the federal and provincial governments to take action and put an end to the tax haven era.
These are the concrete results from this campaign:
- A declaration signed by more than 100 organizations and public figures.
- A petition signed by over 24,000 citizens.
- A public consultation with over 2,500 people on the social cost of tax havens.
More specifically, we ask the Québec and Canadian governments to:
- Make the fight against tax havens an absolute priority and strongly tackle the use large companies and rich people make of them.
- Exercise all the powers their field of jurisdiction gives them to reinforce laws and regulations to make these unacceptable practices illegal.
- Play a leading role in international discussions and initiatives to stem the phenomenon of tax havens.
We invite organizations, businesses and public figures who have not signed and wish to do so to contact us by Friday, February 10, 2017.
We’re just few weeks away from tabling the budgets and over 100 organizations and public figures have joined forces to ask our governments to make these mechanisms – that are now completely legal and facilitate the use of tax havens – illegal. Solutions are within their reach. They must just make it a priority.
– Denise Byrnes, Executive Director at Oxfam-Québec.