Source: X

After weeks of speculation, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre laid down his opposition to the Liberals’ capital gains tax hike.

Poilievre narrated a detailed video pledging within 60 days of becoming prime minister to strike a “tax reform task force” composed of entrepreneurs, inventors, farmers and workers while excluding lobbyists.

In the 15-minute video, Poilievre explained how Canada’s poor economic growth in the past, present, and future was caused by declining labour productivity relative to the United States as capital investment flees from the Canadian economy.

Poilievre said that an increase to the capital gains inclusion rate from 55% to 66.6% for gains above $250,000 will exacerbate the problem of businesses being hesitant to invest in Canada and instead move to countries with a friendlier business climate like the United States. 

“Running out of money, and worried about a debt-downgrade from rating agencies, Finance Minister (Chrystia) Freeland has announced a job-killing tax on healthcare, homebuilding, small business, and farmers,” said Poilievre.

“Businesses, jobs, doctors, and food production will leave Canada.”

The Conservative leader also criticized Freeland for announcing the tax hike months before the government planned on implementing the change, allowing rich Canadians to sell their gains at a lower rate while giving the government a revenue stimulus from collecting taxes on those gains.

“Freeland gave billionaires an escape hatch,” said Poilievre.

“She waited two months after she announced the tax hike before it took effect, giving billionaires plenty of time to sell their holdings without paying the higher rate, and move their money to lower tax foreign countries where it will build businesses, factories, mines, railroads and other job creating investments over there.” 

Poilievre said his proposed tax reform task force would help develop a plan to lower taxes on work, hiring and production, reduce the share of taxes paid by the poor and middle class while cutting corporate welfare, and simplify the tax code to produce 20% less paperwork. 

At a press conference on Monday, Freeland insisted that the capital gains tax hike is a multi-partisan measure and that more Canadians will benefit from the tax hike than will be affected.

“Three percent of Canadians with an average annual income of $1.4 million will be affected by this change in any given year,” said Freeland. “But millions more, especially younger Canadians will benefit from it.”

Federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Franco Terrazzano applauded Poilievre’s announcement but said that the key to tax reform is slashing tax rates and cutting government spending.

“Poilievre and the Conservatives deserve credit for standing up for taxpayers and fighting Trudeau’s capital gains tax hike. If Poilievre becomes prime minister he must reverse Trudeau’s capital gains tax hike,” said Terrazzano.

“It’s fine to study tax reform, but the key is to actually cut taxes and wasteful spending ASAP. For example, we want to see the carbon tax scrapped by lunch time on his first day.”

The Conservatives were the sole party to vote against a Liberal government motion to introduce the capital gains tax change legislation onto the floor of the House of Commons, with the NDP, Bloc Québécois, and Green Party voting in favour.