Toronto City Council votes to reject Quebec’s Bill 21 tax

Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’

The Toronto city council on Tuesday voted unanimously to endorse the fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, a bill that would impose a special, discriminatory, multi-year sales tax on private companies operating in Ontario and Quebec. The tax would add roughly $6 billion to the province’s budget and could raise Ontario’s sales tax to 50 percent.

The council voted in favour of a resolution that condemns a recent Quebec poll indicating that 90 per cent of Ontarians will vote against the Bill 21 tax, and calls on provincial and municipal governments to reject the Bill, as well as calls on the federal government to intervene.

The resolution comes only a few months after Toronto voted in favour of a motion that would impose the same tax in Quebec. As Canada Post, Toronto Hydro and Bell launched a new campaign against Ottawa’s rejection of Bill C-6, a similar, but less controversial, bill, the city of Toronto has joined the fray.

The resolution passed by the council asks Mayor John Tory to call on Ottawa to intervene in Ontario. Tory said his response will be no further comment.

“We’re hoping that as the national issue takes hold in this country, the federal government will take notice of the views of people in municipalities,” said Tory.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said Canada has the “best system for business in the world” and pointed out that Ontario is one of only seven jurisdictions in the world, and the fifth largest in Canada, that is not subject to federal income tax.

She pointed out, however, that the tax would hit small and medium-sized business owners much harder. “The goal is to level the playing field and make sure that everybody who pays taxes in the province of Ontario has a fair shot at the Canadian tax base,” she said.

Wynne also said, however, that provincial governments need to work cooperatively. “I

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