One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's horsemen of the climate apocalypse has finally settled a five-figure debt owed for unpaid taxes.
"I no longer have arrears due Revenu Québec," Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault wrote in a notice filed with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner.
While the exact dollar figure, including penalties, is unknown, Guilbeault disclosed two years ago he was delinquent on a large tax bill under a Public Declaration Of Liabilities Of $10,000 Or More.
The minister, who earns an annual salary of $287,400, is the only sitting MP with an outstanding tax debtor, reported Blacklock's Reporter.
"He has not been paying his fair share," said Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus at the time, asking Guilbeault "to come clean" and tell Canadians the dollar amount he owed in taxes.
The minister should "pay his fair share like all other Canadian families," he said.
In 2019, Guilbeault echoed in the Commons that corporations must "pay their fair share" of taxes. "Anyone who profits from the system must contribute to it," he told MPs then.
Two years later, then-Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier testified at the Commons finance committee. She stressed all Canadians should pay their taxes on time.
"We are all committed to making things much more difficult for those who choose not to meet their tax obligations," she said, adding the Canada Revenue Agency "has shown determination […] to identify those who avoid paying their fair share."
Over the past decade, two NDP MPs have faced parliamentary discipline for holding tax arrears while in office, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
In 2013, they censured two members who had failed to pay their taxes on time, including then-MP Tyrone Benskin and MP Hoang Mai.
Benskin lost his title as official languages critic over a $58,097 tax debt.
"For our society to be prosperous and just, each citizen must do their part," Benskin said at the time. "I have not always done mine, and for that I apologize."
Revenu Québec previously sued him for a $135,473 tax liability.
For Mai, she lost out on a $5,600 bonus after being demoted as vice-chair of the Commons finance committee. She held an undisclosed amount in tax arrears and lost her re-election bid.