Ottawa threatens to use courts to get tax evasion list

Ottawa will use the courts to try and get the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to hand over leaked data naming people who have allegedly used offshore tax havens, National Revenue Minister Gail Shea said Tuesday.

HALIFAX — Ottawa will use the courts to try and get the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to hand over leaked data naming people who have allegedly used offshore tax havens, National Revenue Minister Gail Shea said Tuesday.

Shea said she has asked the CBC for the information but it has refused, so now the department will pursue legal means in a bid to get the list.

“We will pursue any legal options that we do have to obtain the list and we are working with the United States and our other international partners to do so,” she said in an interview.

Shea said tax evasion is illegal and the media has an obligation to provide the department with any information about suspected illegal activity, which she said the CBC’s stories suggest is a possibility.

Asked what specific laws apply, Shea said that will be left to the department’s legal experts.

The CBC is the sole Canadian member of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which has refused to give Ottawa a list that it says includes 450 Canadians.

CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said the public broadcaster cannot divulge its sources or the data, and it will defend itself in court if necessary.

“Like the other members of the ICIJ, our responsibility is to tell the story,” he said in an interview.

“As a journalistic organization and as a matter of journalistic principle, CBC doesn’t reveal sources nor any related background information.”

Detailed financial information of several thousand individuals from around the world was leaked to consortium, which shared it with other media outlets.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has promised to crack down on tax cheats.

His recent budget included a program to stop international tax evasion by offering financial rewards for tips to the Canada Revenue Agency if an investigation bears fruit.

Flaherty said the goal is to bring in hundreds of millions of new tax dollars.

Canadians are already required by law to report any offshore holdings worth more than $100,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Just Posted

School bus crash in Edmonton sends 12 to hospital, 2 with broken bones

EDMONTON — Twelve people, including 11 children, were taken to hospital Thursday… Continue reading

Life after RDC includes Estonian music concert for two former college music instructors

Karen Gustafson and Dale Wheeler will perform June 4 at Burman University

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — A fire-threatened town in northern Alberta says a… Continue reading

Crime prevention barbecue on Friday in Innisfail

Barbecue runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Central Alberta Co-op parking lot

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

North Vancouver RCMP seek skier whose pole caused brain injury to B.C. teen

VANCOUVER — A North Vancouver family is joining with RCMP to urge… Continue reading

Canadian ‘Aladdin’ star eyes diverse career championing homegrown talent

TORONTO — Canadian “Aladdin” star Mena Massoud says his wild carpet ride… Continue reading

Supreme Court will tuck into UberEats case about drivers’ benefit rights

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will help decide whether a… Continue reading

Speech from the throne: Read the entire text outlining UCP priorities

The following is the speech from the throne, read Wednesday in the… Continue reading

Canada’s Rebecca Marino drops second-round French Open qualifying match

PARIS — Canada’s Rebecca Marino fell just short in a second-round qualifying… Continue reading

Acclaimed writer Casey Plett wins $60K First Novel Award for ‘Little Fish’

TORONTO — Casey Plett has won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award… Continue reading

Nik Wallenda and sister plan highwire walk over Times Square

NEW YORK — For his next trick, daredevil Nik Wallenda plans to… Continue reading

Most Read