SEN. PERCY DOWNE: Canada Revenue Agency is failing to fight overseas tax evasion

The Canada Revenue Agency is up to its old tricks — misleading Canadians and not upholding its responsibilities to collect taxes by those hiding their money overseas. When tax cheats aren’t caught, charged and convicted, and money owed isn’t collected, we have fewer funds to invest in our priorities while the rest of us pay higher taxes to make up for the shortfall.

Why the federal government allows this to continue remains a mystery. The government talks tough, that “overseas tax evasion is a high priority” and that “we will catch you if you cheat.” But their results speak for themselves: They have none.

Recently, on the third anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers, we learned that other countries have recovered more than $1.2 billion in fines and back taxes. Australia has recouped $92.8 million, Spain $164.1 million and the U.K. $252.7 million. Even tiny Iceland recovered $25.5 million.

Some 894

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