Retail Council of Canada Sounds the Alarm on the Digital Services Tax

The Retail Council of Canada has added their voice to the Digital Services Tax debate. They, too, are worried about potential consequences.

Yesterday, we reported on the Canadian Chamber of Commerce raising serious concerns about the Digital Services Tax (DST). Like many experts, they worry that the United States will follow through on long warned trade sanctions against Canada should the Canadian government go ahead with this.

Today, we are learning that the Retail Council of Canada is also joining in the growing chorus of voices sounding the alarm over the Digital Services Tax. Like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Council of Canada worries about trade retaliation from the US:

With the passing of Bill C-59, the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, retailers worry that new policies contained within the bill, such as a Digital Services Tax, risk hurting our industry and will increase costs for Canadians. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has always believed that the development of a digital services tax needs to be coordinated with our international partners and should not be applied retroactively. RCC urges the government to commit to negotiations with the United States and other countries to arrive at a harmonized digital services tax, and to work with our industry to ensure other measures contained within Bill C-59 do not end up hurting the Canadian economy.

The debate over the Digital Services Tax is, disturbingly, following the same line of events where experts and organizations are trying to educate, explain, debunk disinformation, try to convince, beg, then get devastated when they are ignored.

Throughout the Online Streaming Act debate (formerly Bill C-11), the Canadian creative community learned how much the law would screw them over. So, they, along with experts, pushed lawmakers to make necessary changes to fix the legislation. Not only were they ignored, but they were repeatedly attacked, gaslighted, and defamed for the crime of trying to defend themselves. The then bill was ultimately passed and is working its way through the CRTC where creators face an uphill battle to convince a lobbyist controlled regulator to spare their livelihoods.

A very similar thing happened with the Online News Act (formerly Bill C-18). Members of the journalism community learned of the bill, freaked out and begged lawmakers not to go through with this. The government ignored both the journalists and experts pointing out the consequences of the legislation and passed the then legislation anyway. While the Online News Act is before the CRTC at this point, the legislation has already resulted in a string of bankruptcies and, for those news businesses who are managing to survive, taking massive hits to their web traffic as a result.

Canadian businesses, understandably, are fearing that they are next on the chopping block. While it is certainly possible that they’ll have more sway on matters, convincing this government to not destroy people’s careers is proving to be an incredibly difficult task. As we more or less wrote yesterday, we can only say good luck getting it through those thick skulls at the government to back off of their approach, you’re going to need it. Success will mean you succeeded where journalists and the Canadian creative community sadly failed.

Drew Wilson on Mastodon, Twitter and Facebook.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top