Editor’s note: Today, March 30, Alex Arseneau, President of the Student Federation at the Université de Moncton (FÉÉCUM), sent a letter to New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs calling on the province to adequately fund the province’s public universities by addressing the province’s corporate tax avoidance problem.
Arseneau argues that the province can fund education if it collected more revenue from corporations, such as the Irving group of companies, that avoid paying a fair share of corporate taxes.
“It is not a question of imposing a disproportionate burden on large companies, but of ensuring that these companies contribute what is expected of them,” wrote Arseneau, “A responsible government should put measures in place to ensure that its expectations are met, especially where gaps exist and the delivery of quality services to the public depends on it.”
According to Arseneau, “In 2020 alone, the use of tax havens would have deprived the treasury of about $25 billion in taxes, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Irving Oil, one of the province’s largest employers, has been sheltering its assets from taxation since the 1970s, using tactics that are no secret. It is estimated that these tactics cost Canada approximately $141 million in tax revenues by 2004. Little has changed since then, except that the number of companies housing the company’s assets has multiplied. There are now more than 250 of them, located in numerous tax havens, with a combined value of $10 billion.”
The letter can be read here.