A possible win for farmers, another blow for Bill Morneau

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Morneau announce changes to the small business tax rate at Pastaggio Italian Eatery in Stouffville. October 16, 2017. (Source: PMO)

This was probably not the scenario Bill Morneau envisioned when he decided to leave his Bay Street executive position and run for the Liberals in the 2015 federal election.

The finance minister has quickly fallen from star candidate status to liability, as underlined by Prime Minister Trudeau’s awkward attempts to block reporters from questioning him while making an announcement aimed at mending the government’s relationship with small businesses.

“While Prime Minister Trudeau wanted to appear he was trying to get things back on track, it just raised more questions about his confidence in his finance minister and where they’re at in this whole mess,” says Kelsey Johnson, Ottawa-based agriculture reporter for iPolitics (on Twitter @johnsonthree), discussing the latest developments in the federal tax policy saga.

After months of criticism from the small business community, including farmers, the heat has been turned up on Morneau in recent weeks with the bungled plan to tax employee benefits and conflict-of-interest and ethics-related questions about his ties to Morneau Shepell and a villa in France.

Here’s our chat about the tax announcement made on Monday, whether it’s a ‘win’ for farmers, and why Bill Morneau is still the point-person for the Liberals as they wade through their own tax mess:

(We also chatted about another mess — NAFTA negotiations. Listen to that discussion here.)

 

Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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