Kevin O’Leary proposes plan to ensure corporations reinvest capital in Canadian businesses

Click to play video: 'Don’t paint the walls of 24 Sussex until my wife has seen the colours: O’Leary'
Don’t paint the walls of 24 Sussex until my wife has seen the colours: O’Leary
WATCH ABOVE: Conservative leadership contender Kevin O’Leary tells Vassy Kapelos he is working to expand the conservative party and get new members as part of his plan to become the next prime minister in 2019 – Jan 22, 2017

Kevin O’Leary’s plan begin with winning the Conservative leadership vote in May. Next, becoming prime minister in a majority government in 2019 and then, finally, unwinding everything Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did.

“There will be no carbon tax. I will completely erase that. That’s the first thing I’ll do,” he said in an interview on The West Block.

READ MORE: Team Trudeau meeting with Team Trump as inauguration, doubts over trade, loom

Next on the list is taxes.

“I’ll be … waiting, obviously, to see what [U.S. President Donald] Trump’s going to do in terms of corporate taxes. We need to be competitive.”
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Among Trump’s many promises is a major reduction of the U.S. corporate tax rate and the creation of a border adjustment tax.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau was asked earlier this month whether he intended to decrease Canada’s corporate tax rate if Trump came through on his promise to do so in the U.S. He replied saying the country’s rate is already competitive.

 READ MORE: Canada must stay nimble in Donald Trump era: economic adviser

And some economists including Craig Alexander of the Conference Board of Canada, have said Trump’s stated plan to increase infrastructure investments while cutting corporate taxes could boost growth in the States, indirectly helping Canada.

On the other hand, however, the Bank of Canada highlighted in 2014 the potential for corporations to sit on capital if their taxes are decreased.

To that end, O’Leary said he would offer an incentive to redeploy capital.

READ MORE: Trudeau’s greatest challenge in 2017? Engaging with US while protecting Canada, Baird says 

To illustrate his plan, O’Leary described a company based in Quebec that pays provincial and federal taxes, and has 51 per cent of its employees in a local office.

“You allow investors to put money in that business. If they’re successful and they sell their shares later, they get 30 days to redeploy the capital into another Canadian company, and they’ll pay no capital gains tax,” he said.

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“That’s how you attract capital, that’s how you redeploy capital, that’s how you create jobs.”

 READ MORE: Canada’s big banks say Donald Trump administration could boost business growth in U.S.

There was one question O’Leary was less direct about – where he’ll be spending the four months between now and the May 27 Conservative leadership convention.

O’Leary owns property in Toronto and Boston – and in a 2013 interview with Boston Magazine said, “Boston is home.”

Asked whether he’ll be spending more time in Canada in the run up to the vote, he skirted the question, saying, “I’m a global investor, I travel all around the world.”

With a file from The Canadian Press

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