Toronto, May 6, 2021 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision to not hear the case of Restaurant Le Relais de Saint-Jean and its owner Gary Chionis against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Quebec (RQ). Having the Supreme Court hear the case would have allowed the small business owner to illustrate why it is important that tax authorities be held accountable for their actions.
In 2005, an audit by RQ mistakenly claimed Restaurant Le Relais de Saint-Jean owed $1 million in sales taxes. It took Mr. Chionis five years and $350,000 in accountants and lawyers’ fees to prove the error, but he has not been compensated by CRA or RQ for the stress and damages, including the permanent closure of the restaurant. This lack of accountability on the part of Canada’s tax authorities creates a big imbalance of power between them and the small businesses they audit.
Since the Court has chosen to not address this issue, we ask Canada’s and Quebec’s elected officials to do more to keep public servants and government agencies accountable for their actions, including providing compensation when government decisions are overturned or found to be incorrect. CFIB is ready to work with the government to find ways to bring more fairness to the relationship between small business owners and tax authorities.
-Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President of National Affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.