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This week’s announcements scaling back the small business tax package announced in July are a step in the right direction, but much more is needed if Canadian businesses are to compete.

The first step to this is to have a conversation about taxes in Canada, and the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance’s hearings, which will take place across the country in the next few weeks, are the perfect starting point. Things are changing rapidly and much of the new proposals still remains to be defined. SME owners have concerns about these measures and a lot to say about the process.

We will also need to look further. Since the government unveiled its proposed tax measures in July, the Canadian Chamber has advocated a full and independent review of the tax system to make it less of a drag on Canada’s competitiveness. At the Chamber’s annual general meeting, delegates supported appointing a Royal Commission to conduct the review.

We must stop simply tinkering with the tax system and undertake a comprehensive overhaul. We’re prepared to work with the government to find ways to make it simpler, less burdensome and fairer, but one thing is for sure: We simply don’t have the luxury of falling farther behind as other countries reform their systems. We need to act now.

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