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From the desk of the President – our continuing work on tax reform

As we examine the latest proposal of the Federal Finance Minister pertaining to tax rules impacting private corporations, it is clear to us that the federal government has acknowledged that the first version of their tax reform proposal was not workable. 

While we will have to wait for the legislation to fully understand all the implications of the proposal, we continue to be concerned that the measures under consideration will have a major impact on doctors, in particular early career physicians, the ones we are trying so hard to recruit to New Brunswick. We are also concerned that the information being made available to Canadians on the reform is superficial and raises more questions than it answers.

In the meantime, our advocacy work on this file will continue in partnership with small business stakeholder groups and the Canadian Medical Association.

Last week, I was in Ottawa and had the opportunity to meet with two New Brunswick senators – Senator Percy Mockler and Senator Paul McIntyre.  I also met with Minister Jane Philpott as well as the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition, Lisa Raitt.  I took the opportunity to share the ongoing concerns of New Brunswick doctors relative to Minister Morneau’s proposal, in particular the impact of the proposal on the ability of physicians to save for retirement.

On November 22nd, I will be appearing before the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance.  This Committee, chaired by Senator Mockler, has been tasked with studying the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations. I plan to use this forum to reiterate our concerns.

New Brunswick physicians are in favor of tax fairness.  However, we do not believe that the federal government proposal will address the tax fairness issues that may exist with the Canadian tax system.

If tax fairness in Canada is the objective, the best approach, in our view, would be for the federal government to undertake a broad and comprehensive reform of Canada’s tax system. The best path forward is for the federal government to completely withdraw its remaining two proposals and press the reset button.

Dr. Dharm Singh, MD, FACS 

President, New Brunswick Medical Society