Millwright Regional Council – Canada and MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Beaches-East York

Published On: April 12, 2024Categories: Press Release

Toronto, ON. – The Millwright Regional Council – Canada met with MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Beaches-East York on Tuesday April 9, 2024, to discuss tax fraud and the underground economy in Canada’s construction industry.

The underground economy in Canada’s construction industry undermines the Country’s fiscal position and hurts legitimate contractors. A study commissioned by the OCS, estimates that annual revenue losses due to underground activity have increased by 30% over the past decade.

“Contractors that achieve a competitive advantage by styling their employees as independent operators enjoy an unfair advantage over contractors that comply with their WSIB and tax obligations.”

Said Joe Kowaliw, MRC Business Representative, UBC Millwright Local 2309 Toronto,

A study prepared by Prism Economics and Analysis May 2019 draws attention to the fact that only 22% of ‘Independent Operators’ are registered with the WSIB. Close to 84,000 independent operators are not paying WSIB premiums. Overall, estimates of revenue losses to the WSIB ranged between $308 million and $340 million annually during the 2013-2017 period.

Underground economic activity negatively affects economic growth in Canada. It also reduces tax revenues for all levels of government, putting pressure on the government’s ability to provide the services and benefits that Canadians enjoy and expect. Moreover, these illegal activities continue to erode Canadian’s faith in the integrity and fairness of Canada’s tax system, undermine the competitiveness of honest businesses, as well as cause honest taxpayers to bear the tax load of those who cheat.

We are encouraged by MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith’s support to end construction industry tax fraud and working together towards solutions that reign in the underground economy.

The UBC Tax Fraud Days of Action is taking place across Canada and the United States April 13-19, 2024, to bring awareness to the issues of tax fraud and the underground economy.
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About the Millwright Regional Council – Canada

The Millwright Regional Council – Canada (MRC) is composed of thirteen affiliated Local Unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) across Canada. UBC millwrights are vital partners in diverse industries such as energy, automotive, aerospace, food processing, and pharmaceuticals.

 For media inquiries, please contact:

Andrew Bredin

Director of Communications
Millwright Regional Council – Canada