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Conservatives to vote against capital-gains tax increase, Poilievre says

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Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre says he and his party will vote against the Liberal government’s capital-gains tax increase when it is put to a vote Tuesday afternoon.

Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced the ways and means motion on Monday and it is scheduled to be voted on by MPs shortly after Question Period.

The NDP has pledged to support the motion, which means it will pass.

Mr. Poilievre issued a statement shortly before the vote, announcing that his party will oppose the motion. The statement criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s economic record and pledged that a Conservative government will name a tax reform task force to design a “Bring it Home Tax Cut.”

“Trudeau is hiking taxes on homebuilding during a housing shortage. He is raising taxes on doctors during a doctor shortage. He’s hiking taxes again on farmers during a food cost crisis. And he’s hiking taxes on small business while Canadians’ paycheques are shrinking. This job-killing Trudeau tax will drive billions of dollars of machines, technology, business and paycheques out of our country,” he said.

The ways and means motion has 56 numbered pages and is written in the form of draft legislation, providing tax practitioners with the details of the tax change. It will be followed up with further information in the summer and legislation in the fall.

The motion states that as of June 25, the capital gains inclusion rate – the portion on which tax is paid – will rise to two-thirds from one-half on capital gains realized by companies. The increase will also apply to individuals, but only on capital gains above $250,000.

The move has significant implications for Ottawa’s bottom line, with the government saying it will raise $19.4-billion over five years federally and a further $11.6-billion for the provinces and territories.

The tax change was first announced in Ms. Freeland’s April budget, but it was not included in Bill C-69, a government bill introduced last month to implement parts of the budget.

By introducing the capital gains change as a stand-alone motion, the government forced the Conservatives to take a clear position on that single issue.

In his statement, Mr. Poilievre said his proposed task force would include entrepreneurs, inventors, farmers and workers “but no lobbyists.”

He said the goals will include “lower taxes on work, hiring and making stuff,” reducing the share of taxes paid by the poor and middle class “while cutting tax-funded corporate welfare and cracking down on overseas tax havens.” A third element pledges to simplify tax rules.

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