News Releases

November 9th 2017

The Best Media Coverage the Canada Revenue Agency Can Buy

With overseas tax evasion in the news for the past few years, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has decided to spend over $250,000 on shameless self-promotion.

In February and March of this year, a number of very positive articles appeared in newspapers and online across Canada. Bearing titles like “Federal programs in place to address offshore tax avoidance and evasion” and “How Canada is cracking down on offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance”, it is likely the best press the CRA has ever received.

It sounds like a good news story: Canada’s tax cops are vigorously enforcing Canada’s tax laws. While it may be a good story, it’s not really a “news” story, but rather paid advertisements disguised as news.

In a response to a Written Question of mine tabled in the Senate in September (copy attached, along with two sample articles), the Canada Revenue Agency admitted that it had paid $288,497.36 to place these “articles” in six print and digital newspapers. This “sponsored content” (as it was described on the sites) came not from reporters, but was instead produced by writers hired by a company paid by CRA to produce stories favorable to the Agency.

This is a continuation of a mindset at CRA that tries to mislead Canadians. Unable to earn any positive media for the work they are doing, they decided to buy some instead and try to pass it off as legitimate news.

So the next time you see an article in a newspaper or online talking about how good a job the Canada Revenue Agency is doing, check to see who paid for it.

It might have been you.


For further information:
Senator Percy Downe: 613-943-8107
Or toll free at 1-800-267-7362

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