Federal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau was in Fredericton speaking to an audience of chambers of commerce from across the country, Saturday.
Morneau heard a lot about proposed changes to the tax system as the business community made it clear they want the Trudeau liberals to back down.
“We’ve been hearing from members of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce on a daily basis on this issue, the response is unlike any we have seen at our local chamber in recent memory,” said Krista Ross of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.
At the annual general meeting of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Morneau was asked if the federal government was looking at delaying the changes from happening, so more consultation could happen.
“We need to get on this, and we’re moving forward, but we’re moving forward taking other people’s considerations into account,” Morneau said.
Morneau also said he couldn’t consult with the business community about the changes beforehand because it wouldn’t have been fair.
“I could not be consulting with you right now on a potential tax change that could happen in a month or two months because that would influence people’s behavior,” he said. “If we were going to change taxes, people’s behavior changes, you have to have a fair process.”
Chamber members from across the country have said the changes are too big and happening too quickly.
“For several years the chamber has taken the position that we do a full review of the tax system and simplification, to ensure the system is fair,” said member, Perrin Beatty.
“The government of the day has a particular mission and they’re going to get it done come hell or high water and I think that’s a disservice to the men and women who have invested in their future of their company, communities, families and businesses,” said Steve McLellan from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
“If these things come into effect I will likely have less people working at my business, I will likely do less charitable work because you’ll have less money to do it, it will all go to Ottawa,” said vehicle dealership owner, John Clark Jr.
Morneau’s cross-country tour will continue into early October.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.