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Carpenters’ Union: “$ 3.1 billion embezzled from government: no to tax fraud”

TORONTO – The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDCO) is relaunching its campaign against tax fraud, which began Monday and runs until April 16. “The government is estimated to lose between 1.8 billion and 3.1 billion due to tax fraud in the construction sector – explains Mike Yorke (in the pic above, from https://canada.constructconnect.com), president and director of the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario. 

“The past two years – he says – have shown us more than ever how important it is for everyone to pay their fair share. With the growing pressure on hospitals due to Covid-19, it is important that all levels of government are adequately financed to build critical infrastructures such as hospitals but also schools, roads and bridges. Imagine: What could we build with $ 3.1 billion? Let’s fight the underground economy and tax fraud “. To support the campaign, the CDCO released a document signed by Mike Yorke himself and the association’s executive secretary, Tony Iannuzzi. Here it is.

“Every year – reads the document, the original version is here: Tax Fraud Days of Action Media Release Apr-2022 – Canadians contribute to their communities by paying their taxes. The money we pay builds the neighbourhoods we live in and takes care of the people around us. However, every year many construction contractors and builders selfishly and criminally refuse to pay their fair share. According to the Ontario Construction Secretariat, our governments lose up to $3.1billion dollars in revenue each year due to construction contractors not paying their fair share of taxes. For Canadian District Vice­ President, UBC, Jason Rowe, this is unacceptable. ‘There are contractors out there every day stealing tax dollars, lining their pockets, on the back of Canadians’. For governments at every level, finding the required financial resources is key to our ongoing ability to deliver much-needed healthcare, education and infrastructure investments. Stamping out tax fraud in construction is a crucial tool in enabling us to collect such financial resources. Tax fraud within the construction industry often comes from the intentional misclassification of workers as ‘independent contractors’, lower ing the general contractor’s’ income and payroll tax responsibilities and allowing them to avoid certain CPP, El, and WSIB contributions. By cheating the system, employers that improperly avoid paying taxes can gain an unfair advantage over industry competitors. This goes on with every trade across the entire industry and detrimentally grows the underground economy. It is sometimes assumed that practices like misclassifying workers or paying cash for home renovations are ‘victimless crimes’ but workers vanishing into the ‘grey economy’ has led, in the worst cases, to human trafficking and serious disregard for the basic health and safety of workers. They can often be cheated out of their pay and forced to work long hours, under horrendous conditions, at jobsites that simply are not safe. The Carpenters’ Union believes the implementation and enforcement of a ‘fair wage’ policy by both the Ontario and the federal government should be the first step intackling this problem. The City of Toronto adopted this policy over 100 years ago to ensure their workers were not discriminated against by contractors failing to pay fair hourly wages, vacation and holiday pay, a long with certain basic benefits”.

“We need to consult and work with government”, says Tony Iannuzzi (in the pic above, from https://thecarpentersunion.ca/), Executive Secretary Treasurer, COCO. “I truly believe this is the time to really focus on tax fraud”.

“The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario is leading the way against Tax Fraud in the construction industry and will be promoting Tax Fraud Days of Action from April 11-16, 2022. With a long economic recovery ahead, it is important that contractors pay their fair share, to ensure critical infrastructure continues to be built, and our economy comes back stronger”.

For more information, visit www.notaxfraud.com and www.stoptaxfraud.netto see the campaign poster, click here: UBC National TFDOA 22

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