'Grave concern' about Trudeau's promised tax hike for the wealthy: Kevin O'Leary
Published Wednesday, October 21, 2015 3:12PM EDT
Now that Justin Trudeau will be forming a new Liberal majority government, entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary says there are “grave concerns” within the business community about his promised tax hikes for the wealthiest Canadians.
O’Leary said some are concerned about a possible “brain drain” of entrepreneurs, business owners, doctors and lawyers who make enough money to fall under Trudeau’s proposed new tax bracket.
During the election campaign, Trudeau said he would create a new tax bracket of 33 per cent for those earning more than $200,000 a year. That would allow the government to lower the federal income tax rate to 20.5 per cent on incomes between $44,700 and $89,400, Trudeau said.
“When you get to a point where you’re taking more than half a person’s income, they tend to start making economic decisions about where they live and where they build businesses,” O’Leary told CTV News Channel Wednesday.
He said some high-earners and businesses may decide to relocate to the U.S.
“That’s one grave concern being discussed in the business community.”
O’Leary said he hopes that Trudeau’s advisors will warn him about a possible brain drain and other “bad” outcomes.
He also said that the “largest question” after Monday’s election is what Trudeau will do about energy projects.
O’Leary said Trudeau has been a “moderatist” when it comes to pipelines.
Trudeau has backed the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta oilsands through the U.S. to Nebraska, saying the project is in the public interest. He has said that he won’t fully support the Energy East pipeline through six provinces until more public consultations are held. And he has opposed the Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast.
O’Leary said investors are anxious to find out how Trudeau’s energy policy will shape up once he assumes office.
“What Justin decides to talk and do about that is of great interest of billions of dollars,” he said.
O’Leary said he thinks that Trudeau “is going to enjoy the result of an upswing” in Canada’s economy, which recently emerged from a technical recession.
“I think we’re in good shape here,” O’Leary said. “If he doesn’t get too crazy with the policies and keeps the course, he may attract lots of foreign capital. He’s the kind of leader that people are fascinated with right now.”