June 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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The fund is very secretive about its billions in tax havens

The fund is very secretive about its billions in tax havens

Since the appointment of Charles Emond in February 2020, the Caisse de dépôt et placement has not published a full list of its investments in tax havens and low-tax jurisdictions, which in 2020 were worth an astronomical sum of $24 billion.

The last comprehensive list of unincorporated companies' investments in tax havens under former CEO Michael Sabia dates back to 2019. There is a detailed list (name and $ value) of 382 investments, including 52 investments in Bermuda, 206 investments in the Cayman Islands, 12 in Guernsey, 1 in Cyprus, 11 in the British Virgin Islands, 16 in Jersey, and 42 in Luxembourg. , 2 in Panama, 40 in Switzerland.

Under the senior leadership of Charles Emond, this beautiful transparency regarding investments in tax havens ended. It's up to us to find them among the thousands of companies the Caisse has invested in!

Regardless of the country of incorporation, the Caisse is content to publish only the value of investments it places “under surveillance” based on the criterion that these investments pay an effective tax rate of less than 15%.

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What results does it produce? Of the $24 billion in investments placed in tax havens in 2020, the Caisse eventually put $165 million in 2021 investments “under surveillance,” including $67.5 million in investments and $98 million in the Cayman Islands. in Bermuda.

In 2022, the value of supervised investments in the two tax havens increased slightly to 235 million. And last year (2023), critical investments rose to $945 million, including $486 million in Bermuda and $459 million in the Cayman Islands.

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No problem with tax havens

What is the message from the Caisse's senior management with the results of this type of investment in surveillance?

She wants to show us that there is no problem with her investments in tax havens. All the funds and companies behind the Caisse's investments in tax havens pay their fair share of tax.

Interesting fact to highlight: in the analysis of investments of companies in 2021, according to Caisse's audits, which do not pay an effective tax rate of at least 15%, these are the investments incorporated in Canada (d' value $545 million), the United Kingdom ($730 million value) and the United States ($1.56 billion value) ) appeared more complex than the Cayman Islands (worth 67 million) and Bermuda (98 million).

I was speechless!

Archive photo, Chantal Poirier

Related request of PQ

During Charles Emond's recent appearance before the Public Finance Committee on the Appropriations Study, the Third Opposition Group (PQ) asked Caisse to provide the following information:

“For each of the last ten years, as of December 31, the number and aggregate amount of direct and indirect investments of the Fund in a place of business or subsidiary in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey, Guernsey, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Panama, Liechtenstein, St. Kitts and Nevis, Turks Islands -and Caicos, or Trinidad and Tobago. Give the value of these investments broken down by company.

The corresponding request from PQ was completely ignored when no information was provided by the Caisse. Neat, as Caisse has done since Charles Emond headed the organization.

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The Fund now only publishes a small table in which it reports the value of investments monitored by country of incorporation, ie investments that do not pay an effective tax rate of at least 15%!

To reassure all those wondering about the Caisse's billions of dollars of investments in tax havens, the Caisse states: “We analyze each investment opportunity paying particular attention to the many reference points set out in our commitment to international taxation.”

Charles Emond's refusal to publish a comprehensive list of Caisse investments in tax havens, as Michael Sabia did, does not reassure me.

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