The federal government’s shortfall peaks at 220 million
OTTAWA | Ottawa continues to deprive itself of hundreds of millions of dollars because it is unable to recover the amount of unpaid federal fines, which are reaching record highs.
No less than $ 220 million is currently missing from the public purse, as it fails to recover the fines imposed on late taxpayers, the defaulters of taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, those who illegally fish or have committed a crime. crime.
This is a $ 13 million jump from last year, according to data from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC).
Since 2007, this independent federal agency has been responsible for collecting money from bad payers. Since that time, unpaid amounts to the federal government have tripled.
Last year, Ottawa fetched a paltry $ 3.5 million of the $ 223.5 million late, a fraction of the sums that are missing from the public purse.
The PPSC is still struggling to charge offenders, despite the hiring of a private firm in 2016 at a cost of $ 7.5 million. In the last two years, Partners in Credit Inc., the collection firm whose contract ends in 2019, has recovered a total of $ 5.5 million.
If the trend continues, the federal government will barely get its money, deplores New Democrat Pierre-Luc Dusseault.
“It’s more than worrying, it’s ridiculous, cowardly elected Sherbrooke. It is absolutely necessary to question this contract. “
According to him, instead of “seeming to give up”, the federal government must send a clear signal that it intends to recover the unpaid amounts.
The same goes for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, for whom it is essential to deter bad payers.
“It is absurd that the government leaves as much money on the table when we have a deficit of $ 18 billion,” says a spokesman, Renaud Brossard.
The Journal was unable to reach the PPSC yesterday because of the holiday in the federal capital.
Last year, the agency said the increase in overdue amounts was justified by “more accurate” data that includes old unpaid fines that had never been recorded to date.
But, in any case, Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus says it is “unacceptable that the Liberals are not following up on these unpaid fines.”