Public consultations on some controversial business tax proposals are set to end on Monday, but that doesn’t mean small businesses and other incorporated individuals should stop their protest, says the chief economist of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“Our campaign will not end on October 2,” Hendrik Brakel, told a meeting of business people in Markham, Ontario Sept. 27. “In fact, now is the time to…fire up our campaign and let the government hear the voice of business. This is a campaign that will not be won in Ottawa but on Main Street.”

Contact MPs

He encouraged those at the meeting, put on by law firm Wilson Vukelich, to email or meet with their MPs and discuss their issues. They can also go through the Chamber’s online forum. But above all, said Brakel, he encouraged those at the meeting to keep up the pressure.

Robin MacKnight, a partner with the law firm, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the government introduces new legislation just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. But even if that did happen, he said, there are still other avenues that can be taken, he said. Most notably, the legislation must still go through the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, both of which are having hearings.

“If, as I expect, Finance will slam the door in our respective faces, what we have to do … is go after the politicians,” said MacKnight.

Curbing passive investment

Brakel said the Chamber’s biggest concern has to do with the government’s proposal to curb passive investment. He said many business owners keep some money aside to help them weather an economic slump or to take advantage of a business opportunity when it becomes available. “It’s really beneficial to the Canadian economy that every business has this cushion of assets. If that’s taken away, we’re concerned that there will be less investment and less of a cushion to make it through a downturn.”

For more on this topic, read this article from the August/September edition of The Insurance and Investment Journal.