Canadian Manufacturing

N.S. election: NDP leader promises to raise taxes on large companies

Former Liberal leader Stephen McNeil announced a corporate tax cut from 16 per cent to 14 per cent during a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce in 2020.

July 21, 2021  The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia’s NDP leader says if elected he would get rid of a tax break for corporations introduced in the last provincial budget.

Garry Burill held a news conference on Jul. 21 outside a downtown barbershop and promised that after he ends what he called a $70.5-million tax break, he would reallocate the money to small businesses.

He is also proposing tax incentives to small tourism operators for innovations that would extend their seasons, and is pledging to create programs that would help small businesses pay employee benefits.

Former Liberal leader Stephen McNeil announced a corporate tax cut from 16 per cent to 14 per cent during a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 12, 2020, saying the tax rate in the province was higher than other jurisdictions.

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The NDP has opposed the measure since it was announced, saying there are larger priorities for the post-pandemic recovery.

Burill has so far focused his campaign on social issues, including housing shortages and ambulance fees.

The NDP leader also criticized the Liberal government’s Economic Growth Council, which he says is mostly made up of “people who speak for the large business sector,” saying his government would give small, local businesses a greater voice in the development of economic policy.