The Great Canadian Tax Dodge, is an amazing documentary on how large corporations and the wealthy in Canada avoid paying tax, it airs for the first time tomorrow on TVO. I was a researcher for the film, but when I watched it for the first time last night and I found it eye opening.
[[UPDATE: You can now watch this video online at http://tvo.org/video/210168/great-canadian-tax-dodge
If you own a TV I highly recommend you tune in to TVO at 9pm on Wednesday February 4th. You can check out the trailer here. [I will update this post when the full doc becomes available online].
Another great investigation into tax dodging in Canada is this shorter 16 minute documentary that Bruce Livesey produced for Global’s Investigative Program 16×9:
If you want to hear Bruce talk about this subject in person, he is giving a talk at the Toronto Reference Library next week, on Tuesday Feb 10th from 1pm to 3 pm.
And if you want to learn even more about how Canadians are involved in hiding their money offshore, Harvey Cashore, Zach Dubinsky and bunch of great journalist other journalists at the CBC teamed up with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to report on a massive leak of files from ten different tax offshore tax havens in 2013. This interactive is a great place to start looking at their reporting, but they produced several stories from this data.
More recently the same team has reported on how a federal government pension board used complicated tax schemes to avoid paying tax.
Although CBC was given broad access to the information leaked to the ICIJ, a database containing a more limited amount of information was published online for anyone to use. This allowed organizations like the Toronto Media Co-op to cover the how people in Toronto were hiding their money off shore. Although spearheaded by Gwalgen Geordie Dent, I also played a hand in this reporting, including making the logo for their reporting.
Tax law, and the reporting that covers it can be dry, but this topic is tremendously important, and the reporting that shines a light upon it, is a powerful example of why we need strong investigative reporting in the country and around the world.