Links “troubling” between Ottawa and the giants of the web, according to a former leader of the IMF

News 14 February, 2018
  • Pierre-Olivier Zappa

    Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 18:49

    Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 18:51

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    The american giants of the web such as Google and Facebook are sparing no effort to obtain the favors of Ottawa and maintain their privileges, such as exemption from paying taxes on their advertising revenue. In recent months, Google representatives have met with members of the Trudeau government, fifty times.

    According to the register of lobbyists, Google has had access to several big guns of the Trudeau government : the prime minister himself, the minister of economic Development, Navdeep Bains, and on five occasions, the minister of Heritage, Mélanie Joly.

    “I’m not surprised, and this remains troubling,” said Vito Tanzi, former director of taxation at international monetary Fund (IMF). Control specialist at tax avoidance, he urged the Trudeau government to harden the tone.

    “Companies like Google have a lot of power, he said. Canada must demand that these multinational corporations that they reveal their income in order to impose such as those based in Canada.” This would allow the federal government to recover about $ 700 million from the companies of Google and Facebook.

    An “admiration blissful”

    In another sign of the closeness between the giants digital and the federal government: the head of the cabinet of Mélanie Joly, Leslie Church, has held the office of director of public affairs for Google Canada between 2012 and 2015.

    “We are in a phase of admiration smug. Elected officials should take their responsibilities. These corporations have to give back here,” commented Michel Nadeau, executive director of the Institute on governance.

    Asked Tuesday on parliament hill, Heritage minister has indicated to have no concrete plan to put the american giants on the same footing as their canadian competitors. “The taxation of digital platforms is a complex issue that one wants to study. In the long term, we must have a careful approach on the issue,” said Mélanie Joly.

    For their part, the opposition parties are urging the government to reconsider its position. “The Trudeau government must be courageous and tell the giants that they must pay their fair share,” said the conservative mp Alupa Clarke.

    “It’s clear that the big lobbying of the government, it bears fruit,” said the néodémocrate Pierre Nantel.