Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed the door on the Quebec government administering a single tax return on Tuesday morning.
“We are not aligned with the Quebec government on the idea of a single provincial report,” he said.
He argued that the Legault government’s request, backed by Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives in Ottawa, threatens a host of jobs in the Jonquière and Shawinigan tax centers.
On Monday, the government announced that a new tax center would be built in Shawinigan to replace the existing one.
Several Quebec federal ministers defended Mr. Trudeau’s position when they entered a cabinet meeting.
“We do it for the right reasons. It’s very complicated, much more complicated than people might think, “said Transport Minister Marc Garneau on the single tax return. In particular, he mentioned the issue of the fight against tax evasion.
The Conservatives tabled, about an hour later, a motion to establish a single tax return for Quebeckers.
“We are the only party that can realize this request from the Government of Quebec,” said the Quebec lieutenant for the conservatives, Alain Rayes. At the same time, he accused the Trudeau government of “derailing the debate” by demonstrating a “paternalistic and centralizing attitude”.
The Conservatives, however, were unable to explain exactly how they were going to fix the two types of tax reports that currently exist.
During the debate on the motion, Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, replied that the government was investing in job preservation.
“We are ready to make life easier for Quebeckers, but not at any price and with the visor down,” she said.
The New Democrats, who initially said they were open to the idea of a single tax return, confirmed that they were changing their minds for the same reason.
The member for Rosemont Alexandre Boulerice called “chimera” the idea that it would be possible to implement a single tax return managed by Quebec without job losses.
A vote on this motion will take place on Wednesday in the federal parliament.