Photo: Justin Tang, The canadian Press
The canadian minister of Finance, Bill Morneau
Ottawa — The conservatives have opened up a new front in the pitched battle that they have been conducting for weeks against Bill Morneau : now they have the minister of Finance have sold shares just a week before the announcement of a new public policy that could have been for him to lose $ 500,000.
During the question period, Monday, the conservative mps have shot Mr. Morneau, questions about the precise moment that he had chosen to sell 10 million shares of the family business in human resources Morneau Shepell, which also administers pension plans and collective insurance.
The spokesperson for the conservative in matters of finance, Pierre Poilievre, has argued in the House of commons that the stock market had experienced a decline when Mr. Morneau was filed in December, 2015, a motion warning that the government would raise the tax on the income of the most affluent.
During the question period, Monday, Mr. Poilievre was asked relentlessly to the minister Morneau if he had “coincidentally” sold 680 000 shares of Morneau Shepell a week prior to this announcement. The minister has avoided answering directly to the allegations, repeating that he had absolutely nothing to hide.
A spokesman for the minister later qualified these insinuations of totally false and absurd — he even challenged the mp Poilievre repeated outside the House of commons, without the protection of parliamentary immunity.
Mr. Morneau is up for weeks in the heart of a controversy about ethics. The conflict of interest commissioner, Mary Dawson, has opened a formal investigation to determine if the minister is placed in a situation of conflict of interests on the reform of the Law on pension standards. Some argue that this reform would be beneficial to the firm of Morneau Shepell, in which the minister holds approximately $ 21 million in shares.
Mr. Morneau was still chairman of the board of Morneau Shepell, which he had founded with his father, when he was appointed minister of Finance two weeks after elections in October 2015.
December 7, 2015, the new minister of Finance tabled in parliament a “notice of ways and means motion,” aimed at reducing to 20.5 percent tax rate to 22 percent of personal income. To help fund this ” tax cut for the middle class “, the liberal government announced a new maximum rate of tax of 33 percent on income of over 200,000 dollars.