Newly-leaked documents and emails uncovered by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have a revealed an intricate web of treaties and rules that have transformed the small African island nation of Mauritius into a global tax haven for corporations and the super-rich.
Analysis of Statistics Canada data done by Canadians for Tax Fairness has now shown that Canadian corporations are avid users of the tax haven, with over $2.5 billion stashed in Mauritius.
One corporation with a significant financial presence in Mauritius is SNC-Lavalin, which according to the ICIJ used a shell company in Mauritius to avoid paying $8.9 million on its mining operations in Senegal.
Sun Life Financial is also named in the Mauritius Leaks documents. The Canada-based finance and insurance giant allegedly used a Luxembourg subsidiary to create a secondary subsidiary in Mauritius, which it then leveraged to hold equity investments in India.
Over 90% of major Canadian corporations use tax havens in some form, according to research done by Canadians for Tax Fairness. In their Platform for Tax Fairness, the organization outlines simple policy changes that could be implemented to crack down on tax cheats, including barring corporations that use tax havens from accessing government contracts and ending non-taxation treaties with tax havens.
As of yet, no political party has embraced the organization’s recommendations.
Never miss an important story
Sign up to get North99’s weekly newsletter rounding up the most important Canadian politics stories.