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Louis Audet calls for a minimum wage of $ 20 and an end to inheritance tax



In the opinion of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cogeco, Louis Audet, it is “high time that the minimum wage be significantly increased” to around $ 20 an hour in order to “value the contribution of each employee. person in society and thus help protect our democracy ”.


In a speech to the Canadian Club of Montreal, one of the main business forums in the city, Louis Audet expressed his concerns in terms of “social justice” caused by the income gaps that persist despite the measures. fiscal and budgetary policies.

“It is normal that there are income disparities which depend on the efforts and sacrifices made which vary from one person to another. But market forces, left to their own devices, threaten the stability of democracies in the medium and long term, argued Mr Audet. Canada maintains its harmony through tax transfers between families. But that, in my opinion, does not adequately value everyone’s work. This is why the minimum wage must be increased urgently, and not in a timid manner, as has been done for years. “

On this momentum, the Chairman of the Board of Cogeco suggested to his audience of business people that they should “have the conviction to encourage governments to go further towards an adequate valuation of work”. “For me, going further does not mean going from $ 13.50 to $ 14 [pour le salaire minimum]. Rather, I invite governments to consider whether the level should not be around $ 20. I think we need to try things that make a real difference. “

Inheritance tax

The chairman of the board of Cogeco also devoted a significant part of his speech to criticizing the tax on the inheritance of entrepreneurs, calling it “a tax error that must be corrected” because it “discourages family entrepreneurship” .

“On the death of an entrepreneur, a tax of 27% is levied on the increase in the value of his estate. The direct consequence of this tax is that the descendants of entrepreneurs are faced with an immediate payment of 27% of the market value of the shares of the family business, ”explained Louis Audet, himself at the head of the family business. ‘a family-controlled group of companies, Cogeco and its subsidiary Cogeco Communications, with a total market value of nearly $ 6.4 billion. “Many families [d’entrepreneurs défunts] are not in a position to cope with such a demand: they are therefore forced to sell. The continuity of the family passion for a product or a service is therefore lost. A new owner is required and we start from scratch. “

This is how “Canadian taxation discourages family entrepreneurship”, in the opinion of Louis Audet.

Then, citing a study on inheritance tax in OECD countries which are of comparable economic size to Canada, and which he commissioned from the Montreal consulting firm Louis Caouette, he argued in front of his audience that ‘business: “You will be surprised to learn that such a tax hardly exists in the 14 countries, especially in Europe, that we have analyzed. “

According to Louis Audet, these countries, which he considers to be rather egalitarian in their economic and fiscal policies, have minimized the inheritance tax in order to “protect their industrial infrastructure by promoting the maintenance of national ownership of their family-controlled companies which create many economic benefits in their country of origin and often have a longer-term vision ”.

In this context, the leader of one of the largest family business fortunes in Quebec maintains that “this tax [sur les successions d’entrepreneurs] introduced in 1971 in Canada is inconsistent with contemporary industrial imperatives that [ses pays] peers have correctly identified ”.

“This tax error is unique to our country and must be corrected. I therefore invite the two levels of government [fédéral et québécois] to put an urgent end to this tax, ”asked Louis Audet. “Quebec has already taken an important step by agreeing to defer its share of this tax [sur les successions d’entrepreneurs] for a period of 20 years. It’s a good start. But the federal government has yet to act. “

Read “Social harmony is the foundation of democracy”

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