Millwright Regional Council – Canada’s Local 2309 and MP Philip Lawrence, Northumberland-Peterborough

Published On: April 19, 2022Categories: News Update

Toronto, ON. –The Millwright Regional Council – Canada’s Local 2309 met with MP Philip Lawrence, Northumberland-Peterborough to discuss what we can do together to stop Ontario’s construction industry tax fraud, improve health and safety, and create a level playing field for legitimate contractors, April 12, 2022.

A study commissioned in 2019 by the Ontario Construction Secretariat estimates that annual revenue losses due to underground activity have increased by 30% over the past decade. Between 2013 and 2017, the Province of Ontario and Federal Government lost between $1.8 billion and $3.1 billion annually as a result of contractors operating in the underground economy.

“Conservatives always stand for Canadians paying their fair share of taxes and are opposed to tax evasion. We believe in a simpler, fairer tax system to support our most vulnerable.” Said MP Philip Lawrence.

As part of the Millwright Regional Council’s commitment to take action on issues that affect our Members, we’re talking to our MP’s and MPP’s to raise awareness about issues such as Tax Fraud and the value of a mobility tax credit. MP Chris Lewis, Essex recently introduced a Private Members Bill (Bill C-241) after speaking with the Millwright Regional Council – Canada’s Director of Political Affairs, Chris Sutton, to allow tradespersons and apprentices deduct traveling when working far away from home.

“Bill C-241 would put skilled trades employees on equal footing as giant corporations.” Said Phillip Lawrence, MP for Northumberland-Peterborough, “As self-employed individuals, it would allow them to deduct the expenses associated with travel to their job sites. Tradespeople are literally building our communities brick by brick. They are the ones who are putting in HVAC systems. They are the electricians who are wiring our world. We would literally be in the dark and the cold without their skilled trades, so why should we be disadvantaging them?”

According to the Ontario Construction Secretariat, our governments lose up to $3.1 billion in revenue due to construction contractors not paying their fair share of taxes. They lose an estimated $1.1 billion in general taxes, $656 million in CPP contributions, $18 million in Employer Health Tax, $119 million in employment insurance, $340 million in WSIB payments and $832 million in HST revenues.

According to Business Manager Drew Chittenden, Millwright Local 2309, Toronto, Construction industry tax fraud negatively affects economic growth in Ontario and 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.” 

Tax fraud in construction makes job sites less safe because contractors who operate off the books or misclassify their employees as independent contractors cut corners and compromise the safety of workers, such as not paying appropriate Workers’ Compensation premiums.

We are encouraged by MP Phillip Lawrence’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 11-16, 2022 to bring awareness to the issues of tax fraud and the underground economy.
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About the Millwright Regional Council – Canada (MRC)

The Millwright Regional Council – Canada (MRC) is composed of eight affiliated Local Unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) across the Province of Ontario. We represent thousands of woman and men working as progressive cross-trained construction and maintenance professionals with exceptional skills to install, maintain, diagnose, and repair precision machinery, UBC millwrights are vital partners in industries as diverse as energy, automotive, aerospace, food processing, pharmaceuticals and more.