Calgary small businesses speak out against Liberal government’s proposed tax reforms

Small business owners speak out against proposed federal tax changes
WATCH: On Monday night dozens of Calgarians gathered for a town hall hosted by Conservative MPs. Tracy Nagai reports.

The final touches are being put on Craft Beer Market in south Calgary. The grand opening is just days away.

It will be the business’ second location in Calgary, and it’s taken hard work and dedication to get to this point.

“A lot of hard work, we’re expanding across the country too,” founder P.J. L’Heureux said on Monday. “A lot of travel, a lot of time away from the family.”

But following L’Heureux’s good fortune, there’s also some uncertainty as October draws nearer. Oct. 2 marks the end of consultations for the federal government’s proposed tax reforms that have sparked backlash from small businesses, farmers and doctors across the country.

“It’s tough because you work really hard to become an entrepreneur and then what you’ve worked hard for is taken away.”

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READ MORE: Trudeau’s tax reforms: Here’s how the loopholes work

Brendan Miller is a Calgary lawyer with Walsh Law LLP has been following the process closely.

“Calgary, historically has been a thriving business community,” Miller said. “My colleagues, friends and family have corporations, and this is going to take a large affect on them, in a negative capacity.”

Those sentiments were echoed at a town hall on Monday night, hosted by Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel and Pierre Poilievre

“This I think is perceived as kicking Alberta while it’s down,” Rempel said. “People feel betrayed by the Trudeau Liberals.”

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been touring the country and said the government simply wants higher earners to pay more taxes.

READ MORE: Federal Finance Minister meets with Halifax business owners on tax reforms

“We’re concerned that our tax system right now encourages some wealthy people to incorporate themselves so they can pay a lower tax,” said Morneau in Halifax on Friday.

But for  L’Heureux, the changes just don’t make good business sense.

“When you work hard for a dollar and it’s chopped up so many ways, eventually something’s going to give.”

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