By Staff | June 20, 2006 | Last updated on June 20, 2006
3 min read
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(June 20, 2006) Despite promises to cut taxes, Ontario still has the highest corporate tax rate in the country, according to the C.D. Howe Institute. At 42.2%, Ontario’s rate is also the highest among 36 industrialized countries excluding China, the think tank said in a report on business tax reform released on Tuesday.

Ottawa and a number of provinces, including Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec have all pledged to reduce corporate taxes by varying degrees.

When the dust settles, Ontario will be left with an uncompetitive tax regime, C.D. Howe says, a serious concern for businesses in the province.

Still, the picture will be brighter by 2010, with Ontario’s effective tax rate dropping to 38.6%, due to a combination of federal and provincial cuts. “However, the province will continue to have a relatively burdensome business tax regime compared to most jurisdictions in the world.

If Ontario wants to address the issue, C.D. Howe suggests phasing out its capital tax more quickly, reforming sales tax and dramatically reducing the corporate income tax rate.

“As the federal government and other provinces have demonstrated, a more competitive business tax regime can be achieved by concrete steps that encourage a more dynamic economy,” the report concludes.

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Stymiest continues push to allow banks to sell insurance

(June 20, 2006) Barbara Stymiest told a packed meeting of the Economic Club of Toronto that banks will eventually be able to sell insurance at the retail level.

The chief operating operator of RBC Financial Group took aim at the white paper review of the legislation governing financial institutions released by Ottawa last week. It did not address the bank’s desire to sell insurance or mention the question of bank mergers.

“We are not discouraged, we are confident that this time will come,” she said. “Until then we will stay the course.”

Stymiest makes the point that the banks have fought this type of fight before when they successfully lobbied to set up discount brokerages back in the early ’80s.

After her speech, she pointed out that banks entering the insurance market in Quebec have increased choice, broadened product offerings and increased the number of brokers in the industry.

The bank has aggressive plans to open up retail branches that sell insurance next door to existing bank branches. Right now, RBC has five such branches with more planned.

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American barred from BC markets

(June 20, 2006) The BCSC has issued a permanent ban on trading against a U.S. man, following his admission that he participated in a criminal scheme through a Vancouver-based broker.

Derrick Cleveland is a former stock broker in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who pleaded guilty before a New York District Court in July 2002, to conspiracy to enter into a racketeering enterprise that involved securities fraud.

The charges stem from a plot in which Cleveland passed on confidential information as well as trading on it. The scheme also involved an FBI agent, who has since been convicted. The racketeers used the confidential information to extort stock from companies at below-market value. Cleveland traded some of the stock through brokerage accounts at Global Securities Corporation in Vancouver.

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AIM Trimark launches Private Pools

(June 20, 2006) AIM Trimark has announced the launch of a new investment product designed to give affluent investors access to professionally managed private pools.

The AIM Trimark Private Pools provide exposure to 12 separate pools, with a minimum aggregate investment of $100,000. The pools make up part of a corporate class structure, so investors will be able to switch between pools without triggering a taxable event.

The Private Pools incorporate AIM Trimark’s new Lower Load 4 (LL4) purchase option and investors with more than $500,000 in aggregate will be eligible for a preferred pricing plan.

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RBC, Dundee offer commodity note

(June 20, 2006) RBC Financial Group has teamed up with Dundee Securities to launch the Dundee AdvantagePlus Deposit Notes, RBC Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Class.

The note offers investors exposure to a basket of 19 commodities as reflected in the Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Index, ranging from energy to minerals and agricultural products. The notes also offer currency-risk protection.

The notes are 100% principal-protected if held to maturity, on or about August 7, 2012. They are available for purchase until July 31, 2006.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.