Tax breaks only for free traders

Year Published:  1989
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3650

Revenue Canada has ruled that corporations which made contributions to the massive pro-free trade campaign will be able to claim their contributions as business expenses eligible for tax deductions, but that businesspeople who opposed free trade, like Edmonton publisher Mel Hurtig, cannot claim the contributions as a business expense. Revenue Canada's ruling is based on the contention that it was good business for companies to support free trade because free trade would lead to increased income for them, whereas opposing free trade was not justifiable in business terms.
The federal government and the business-backed pro-free trade alliances spent about $60 million supporting free trade. The two main anti-free trade groups, in contrast, spent a total of about $900,000. In addition, the pro-free trade forces received incalculable amounts of free publicity from the news media, almost all of which backed free trade and slanted their coverage accordingly.
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