Letters to the Editor for April 20, 2016

Who really needs the Cayman Islands, when we can shelter cash in Canada

Editor:

Is Canada a tax haven?

The UK based Tax Justice network thinks so, based on its country by country analysis of ‘secrecy jurisdictions’ contained in its 2015 Financial Secrecy Index.

Its reasoning is based on Canada’s extremely low effective corporation tax that has now fallen from 38 per cent in 1981 to 15 per cent; the lowest in the G7 nations.

Three quarters of the worlds extractive industries are headquartered in Canada because we offer a ‘regulatory haven’.

Historically we have had close financial ties to Caribbean countries. According to the IMF Canada now accounts for 60 per cent of ‘banking system assets’ in that area.

Along with the US we are considered to be the most lax in allowing incorporation of anonymous shell companies with no record of their beneficial owners and no publicly available record of ownership or financial accounts.

We promote something called ‘Tax Information Exchange Agreements’, that sound as if they regulate corporate financial flows but, according to the Tax Justice Network, merely allow companies to declare income in jurisdictions where taxes are close to zero and then bring those funds into Canada as dividends without paying additional tax.

The effect can be seen on the Tax Justice website showing several corporations apparently paying  minus amounts of tax, implying that we even gave them refunds on before tax profits in the billions.

The Trudeau Government has promised to crack down on this behavior that  burdens all citizens who have to pay more tax to make up for those who successfully evade their responsibilities with the help of high priced accountants and lawyers. It will be interesting to see if they live up to our expectations.

Liz FoxLantzville

Bus schedule to BC Ferries missing a link

Recently I travelled from Vancouver to Duncan to be with my wife, family and her terminally ill father in the Cowichan District Hospital.

I caught the 8:30 a.m. ferry to Departure Bay and had reserved a spot on the Island Link bus to take me to Duncan.

My ferry arrived on time at 10:10 a.m. and I was the first out the door to catch the Island Link bus by 10:20 a.m.  Unfortunately the bus left without me; apparently it is scheduled to leave the terminal at 10 a.m.

When one looks at the Island Link schedule, it appears that their south-bound buses line up with the Horseshoe Bay/Departure Bay ferry schedule four times a day.  In fact, each of the buses leaves 20 minutes before passengers can get to the bus. It is a three-and-a-half-hour wait for the next one.

I don’t understand why Island Link cannot change their schedule to accommodate south-bound travelers by leaving 20 minutes later. Do they not want these potential passengers? Why does BC Ferries list Island Link as one of the connections to the ferry, to travel up or down island, when there is actually no connection, at least going south.

My wife had to leave the hospital to pick me up from the terminal. Island Link refused to refund my ticket.

Island Link is a misnomer, as there is no reasonable link that provides service to BC Ferry passengers travelling south.  Rather, I would say it’s a missing link!

Greg GreenVancouver