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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Canada and the $1 trillion scam

Harper promised to clamp down on corruption. But right after his Chief of Staff paid off a corrupt Senator, the PM is getting set to protect the biggest tax cheats in Canada. In 24 hours the world's biggest economies meet to devise a deal to tackle global tax evasion, but Canada is pushing to kill the agreement. Let's flood Harper and his negotiators with messages to stop blocking. Send an urgent message now and tell everyone -- let´s save $1 trillion in global tax dollars:

Send a message
Stephen Harper promised us he’d clamp down on financial corruption. But right after his own Chief of Staff gets caught paying off a corrupt Senator,Harper is getting set to shield the biggest tax cheats in Canada from paying their fair share, inflating taxes for the rest of us – unless we act fast to stop him.

In 24 hours the world's biggest economies will try to get an agreement to tackle the global menace of tax evasion for the G8 summit in June. Canada is pushing to kill the deal, but with the Conservatives rocked by corruption controversies they'll want to stay as far away from more scandals as possible. If thousands of us join together to pressure Harper and his negotiating team we can get them to support a real deal against tax evaders.

$1 trillion is being lost that could be invested in schools, hospitals and public services and this is the best shot we’ve had in decades to stop this scam. Let's flood Harper and his negotiators with thousands of messages before Thursday’s meeting and turn Canada from blocker to backer. Click below to send a message and get Canada to save the global tax deal:

It’s been all over the front pages -- leaks have exposed CEOs, bankers and politicians around the world and across Canada using every trick in the book to pay as little tax as possible. Finally, world leaders know they have to act before public outrage boils over. But in Canada a Conservative-dominated Parliamentary committee just issued a toothless report that makes it clear the government just isn’t serious about tackling this issue. They’d rather protect the big banks that stash away their clients’ cash in the Caymans.

The current system lets thousands of companies and individuals hide huge profits in tax havens, and facilitates money laundering and even organised crime. Internet giant Google dodged $2 billion in taxes in 2011 by siphoning off profits to a Bermuda shell company. And they’re not alone -- while the income of ordinary taxpayers gets automatically reported to the tax authorities, Apple -- the biggest company in the world -- moves a large part of its income to subsidiaries that claim to not exist anywhere to avoid taxation.

To stop this, the G8 is discussing a public registry to prevent individuals or corporations hiding their income or profits behind shell companies. But to implement this crucial issue, the G8 needs unanimity -- Canada can either be the reason it fails, dooming us all to billions in extra taxes, or it can be the champion that ensures the deal passes.

This is Harper’s chance to show he doesn’t just protect crooked Senators and tax-dodging companies like SNC Lavelin. Let’s make sure he and his representatives at this week’s meeting know they’ll be condemned and isolated unless they sign up to global reform. We only have 1 day to influence the plan -- send your message now:

Together we’ve stood up against unjust economic policies, from demanding transparency around omnibus budget bills at home, to helping make the EU clamp down on bankers’ bonuses and force banks to publish more financial information. Now we have a real chance to fix the holes in the global tax system. If Canada agrees now, the G8 can pass this deal!

With hope,

Alex, Jeremy, Christoph, Marie, Paul, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team

PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: 


Europe's push against tax fraud gains momentum (BBC)

Canada years behind allies in global tax investigation (CBC News)

The Corrosive Effect of Apple’s Tax Avoidance (New York Times)

Factbox: Apple, Amazon, Google and tax avoidance schemes (Reuters)

Tax havens are entrenching poverty in developing countries (The Guardian)
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