Justin Trudeau and his top fundraiser Stephen Bronfman have gotten themselves caught up in the recent “paradise papers” leak, and the opposition in Ottawa isn’t holding any punches.
After Bronfman was named in the leak, the CRA announced an investigation into his involvement in offshore trusts, but while speaking to reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam, Trudeau said he accepts Bronfman’s statement that he had “never funded nor used offshore trusts”.
“We have received assurances that all rules were followed, indeed the same assurances made in the public statement released by the family, and we are satisfied with those assurances,” Trudeau told reporters during a news conference.
Many in the house of commons still have serious concerns about the prime minister’s close ties to Bronfman.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer says he has concerns that Trudeau is attempting to exonerate Bronfman in the public eye.
“we had the Canada Revenue Agency indicate that they were going to review these files and take it seriously. And then a day later, just on the word of his friend and chief fundraiser, the prime minister is basically saying that he’s satisfied that there’s no wrongdoing”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expressed how Canadians want a fair and just tax system that doesn’t disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
“the prime minister says that he is satisfied with the explanation provided by Mr. Bronfman, The reality is Canadians are not satisfied. Canadians expect a just and fair taxation system that – that doesn’t just target everyday working Canadians , but that makes sure that everyone pays or contributes their fair share, that ensures that the wealthy, the well-connected, the powerful also contribute their fair share and that’s not what Canadians feel like right now and that’s why this motion is so important.”
Many are questioning the independence of the CRA after an independent watchdog group found the amount of taxable income offshore is almost double than what was previously disclosed by the organization.