Ethics, Finance critic roles keep Cullen busy in Ottawa this week
October 17th, 2017 - 6:09pm
SMITHERS – MP Nathan Cullen has his hands full in Ottawa this week as his dual critic roles have him squaring off daily against the Liberals for serious conflict allegations levelled at their Finance Minister, and also for the government’s mishandling of its controversial small business tax reform proposals.
“The appearance of conflict of interest with Minister Morneau in the face of substantial evidence he may be personally profiting from decisions he’s made at the cabinet table is shocking and worrisome,” NDP Ethics critic Cullen said alongside Parliamentary Leader Guy Caron in Ottawa today.
Cullen yesterday sent a letter to Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson requesting a formal investigation into Morneau's holdings. The letter follows media reports Morneau has not put his assets into a blind trust.
Cullen, also NDP Deputy Finance Critic, took on the Liberals yesterday as well for changes they unveiled in an attempt to quell widespread backlash against their proposed small business tax reforms.
Cullen dismissed the tax tweaking as “damage control rather than a genuine move to fix a mess of the government’s own making that has thrown small business owners across Canada into turmoil.”
The Liberals announced plans Monday to cut the small business tax rate from 10.5 per cent to nine per cent by 2019, dusting off a pledge the party made before the 2015 federal election. Cullen noted he and the NDP have been pushing for such a cut for over a decade.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday also backed away from his controversial proposal to limit access to the lifetime capital gains exemption for small businesses. This limitation would make selling a family farm or business to adult children virtually unaffordable.
Cullen has been meeting with business owners and hosting town halls on the government’s proposed tax reforms that have had business owners, doctors, lawyers, accountants, farmers, Premiers and Liberal backbenchers up in arms since the potential changes were announced in July.
Cullen and the Terrace Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a tax reform roundtable on Friday at noon.
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