Canada’s Poilievre to Review Capital Gains Tax Hike If Elected

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is pledging to review the capital gains tax hike if elected prime minister – but he won’t commit to repealing the measure.

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Poilievre, whose party is leading Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the polls ahead of an expected 2025 election, said he would include the “job-killing” tax hike in a review of the tax system within 60 days of taking office.

However, he insisted on Thursday that it was too soon to say whether he’d roll back the capital gains move.

“I’m still not sure I would have to because I’m not sure the Liberals are actually going to have the spine to go ahead with this,” Poilievre said in an interview on BNN Bloomberg TV.

The leader voted against a motion in the House of Commons on Tuesday to begin the legislative process of hiking the capital gains tax inclusion rate to two-thirds from one-half previously. It passed without the Conservatives’ support, but Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has until the summer to unveil draft legislation.

Poilievre, who has pledged to advocate for workers rather than the corporate establishment, called business lobby groups including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Business Council of Canada “totally useless organizations” when it comes to advocating for their members against the tax hike.

But if affected Canadians fire their “useless lobbyists” and launch a pressure campaign, Freeland might be forced to back down, he said.

Poilievre’s promised tax review — which he’s calling a “tax reform task force” — will lead to income tax cuts for the working and middle classes and a crackdown on offshore tax havens, he said.

He also said he would boost Canada’s lagging productivity by cutting taxes, making the country a more attractive place to invest in everything from mines and pipelines to shopping centers and factories.

“We’re going to cut taxes, speed up permits, and unleash competition so that this is the best place on Earth to work, hire and make stuff,” Poilievre said.

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