Union Representing Federal Auditors Calls on Ottawa to Set Up Specialized Teams to Investigate Canadians Named in Paradise Papers

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, November 20, 2017 – The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has concluded its 98th annual general meeting by calling on the federal government to set up specialized teams to investigate the 3,300 Canadian names reportedly involved in the Paradise Papers.

“The Paradise Papers have once again exposed how many wealthy Canadians are able to use offshore tax havens to avoid paying tax and leave middle-class Canadians to shoulder the burden of funding vital public programs,” said PIPSC President Debi Daviau.

“We need to confront this issue immediately while continuing to meet our ongoing responsibilities,” added Doug Mason, President of the AFS Group, which represents Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) auditors. “The Liberal government has made sizable investments in recent budgets. But those investments need to be measured against recent cuts. The CRA’s forecasted spending is still $400 million below what it was five years ago.”

A list of 3,300 Canadian names have been implicated in the Paradise Papers, which means there is a legitimate and justifiable reason to suspect unlawful or questionable behaviour. Investigating this type of malfeasance is an onerous operation. Those named are, in many if not most cases, powerful individuals and entities whose activities combine complexity and legal ambiguity with an immense amount of resources.

“This is about basic fairness,” added Daviau. “The average Canadian hasn’t the inclination or the means to participate in these types of schemes. They fund the public programs on which we all depend. When illegal behaviour is suspected on such a large scale, the government needs to send a message that nobody is above the law.”

Tax professionals at the Canada Revenue Agency want to make sure every single name on this list receives careful and diligent scrutiny in a timely manner.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents approximately 55,000 public service professionals across Canada, including 12,000 federal government auditors.

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For further information:

Johanne Fillion

613-228-6310, ext 4953 or 613-883-4900 (cell)