In Canada: A New Tax Haven, Alain Deneault traces Canada’s relationship with Britain’s Caribbean colonies back through the last half of the twentieth century, arguing that the involvement of Canadian financiers in establishing and maintaining Caribbean tax havens has predisposed Canada to become a tax haven itself – a metamorphosis well under way.
Canada was linked to Caribbean nations long before they became tax havens. In the 1950s, an ex-governor of Canada’s central bank attempted to establish a low taxation regime in Jamaica. In the 1960s, the transformation of the Bahamas into a tax haven characterized by impenetrable banking secrecy was shaped by a minister of finance who sat on the Royal Bank of Canada’s board of directors. A Calgary lawyer and former Conservative Party heavyweight drew up the clauses that transformed the Cayman Islands into an opaque offshore jurisdiction. For years, Canadian politicians have debated annexing tax havens such as the Turks and Caicos Islands, making them part of Canadian territory. Canada has signed a free-trade agreement with Panama and is currently seeking a wider agreement with the countries of the Caribbean political community. And, notably, Canada currently shares its seat at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with a group of Caribbean tax havens.
These exercises in fostering fiscal and banking leniency have predisposed Canada to become one of the most attractive tax havens to foreign interests. Not only does Canada offer one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, but a number of loopholes encourage companies to relocate to Canada as if it were Barbados or Bermuda. Canada: A New Tax Haven is an attempt to analyze the situation and address its implications for Canadians.
?Canada: A New Tax Haven is an attempt to analyze the situation and address its implications for Canadians.
About the authors
Alain Deneault was born in the Outaouais region of Quebec. His interests lie in nineteenth-century German and twentieth-century French philosophy, as well as the work of Georg Simmel. Deneault’s research and writing practices are diverse and often collaborative, focusing on how international financial and legal agreements increasingly foster the interests of “stateless” transnational corporations over those of nation states and the interests of their human communities.
Fred A. Reed
International journalist and award-winning literary translator Fred A. Reed is also a respected specialist on politics and religion in the Middle East. After several years as a librarian and trade union activist at the Montreal Gazette, Reed began reporting from Islamic Iran in 1984, visiting the Islamic Republic thirty times since then. He has also reported extensively on Middle Eastern affairs for La Presse, CBC Radio-Canada and Le Devoir. Reed is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for translation.
Montreal-based author and translator Robin Philpot attained degrees in history and literature from the University of Toronto, taught English and History in Africa, and returned to Canada to pursue a career in Quebec politics. He sparked public controversy with the on-line release of his book, Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard.
Born in Indiana, Catherine Browne grew up in Montreal. She has a degree in history from the Université de Provence. A professional translator since the 1980s, for the past fifteen years she has conducted guided tours designed to provide Montrealers with new ways of thinking about their city’s past and present.
Praise for Offshore: Tax Havens and the Rule of Global Crime
"Describes a global base of operations from which massive criminal enterprises and corrupt corporations operate freely and with impunity, menacing developing nations and advanced democracies alike."
-Canadians for Tax Fairness
Praise for Imperial Canada Inc.
"Through well-documented detail, Alain Deneault and William Sacher show how a permissive domestic policy and regulatory regime and an extreme level of investment speculation combine to allow some Canada-based mining companies to behave deplorably around the world. At a time when the Harper government is rolling back key environmental laws to accelerate resource development in Canada, Deneault's and Sacher's hard-hitting analysis and tone beg a timely question: if Canadians want to export-not bad-but exemplary corporate behaviour to the rest of the world, what standards must we hold our mining companies to here at home?"
-Ed Whittingham, Pembina Institute
"A powerful indictment of Canada's role as a platform for mining firms engaged in highly exploitative and polluting activities in far-flung corners of the global South … and closer to home. A call for much tighter regulation of the Canadian mining industry and for ethical and responsible investment as an alternative model for the future."
-Phillip Resnick, University of British Columbia
“Deneault shows that the tax-haven problem is not simply a problem of illegal tax evasion or money laundering by the underground economy or criminal gangs but a much larger issue of how the Canadian state has legalized the use of tax havens by large corporations so that they can evade paying their fair share of taxes.”
– Dennis Howlett, Canadians for Tax Fairness
“This meticulously researched history of Canadian involvement in the development of tax havens across the Western hemisphere reveals how, stealthily, tax lawyers, and business and political elites, have imported the tax haven model into Canada’s own laws and regulations … a wake-up call to everyone concerned about democracy and equity in Canada.”
– John Christensen, Tax Justice Network
“Rigorously decrypts the mechanisms that have led Canada to adopt “laws of convenience” that are nothing more than criminogenic legal tools enabling their users to circumvent the obligations and rules that underpin the law states.”
– Chantal Cutajar, European College of Financial Investigations and Analysis of Financial Crimes CEIFAC