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Black Entrepreneur Support Announcement: Well Intentioned but not Black and White

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“There shall be maintained in the Department an Indian Register in which shall be recorded the name of every person who is entitled to be registered as an Indian under this Act.”

– Subsection 5(1) of the Indian Act (Canada)

In the tax and business community, we are used to seeing targeted government programs for various groups to provide support. Examples include (but are not limited to) support for:

  • Low income
  • Seniors
  • Students
  • Young families
  • Single parents
  • Northern Residents
  • Farming and Fishing
  • Technology sector
  • Investment in Environment-friendly areas
  • etc.

The above list are described usually by specific definitions of what the terms mean. Age, industry type, geographic location, education status, marital status, dependant status, energy consumption/efficiency, etc.

We occasionally see other support for things like (again, not an all inclusive list)

  • Women in business
  • Small businesses
  • People with Disabilities
  • Indigenous supports

Require a little more clarification of the definitions on gender vs sex, size of business (number of staff, amount of revenue, etc), ownership, disabilities, and of course an example I led with – a definition of ethnic background.

So the recent announcement of creating additional support for “Black Entrepreneurs” while the intent would be to be help those that need it – the definitions are yet to be determined – which is where the problem lies.

I started this article by quoting from legislation called the Indian Act. This legislation is far from perfect, has many problems, not the least of which is the creation of a list of a type of people.

However, as flawed as the legislation is, it has attempted to create a definition of what an Indian (the word defined in Subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act) is.

Canada does not have a “Black Register” or a list of “Black-status” individuals. It does not have a legal definition of the word “Black”.

Now please don’t take things out of context.

I applaud anything that will help small business owners, and hope that this program will work as well. However, with my experience in tax legislation and interpretation I can already see the problems that can arise when layman words are used instead of legally defined terms.

What classifies as a “Black-owned Business” or a “Black Entrepreneur” for this program? This has yet to be defined.

In a country as diverse as Canada, we have many different backgrounds from all over the world living side-by-side in (relative) “peace” (by comparison to other conflict regions in the world).

But what does it mean to be “Black” for the purposes of this program?

Now I know that I am not likely to meet the future legislated definition of what it means to be “Black”. I’m of european descent on both sides, as far back (that I know of), and I’m sure the announcement by the government is not intending for me to get this support as an entrepreneur.

There may be simplicity in those situations that are, like me, of 100% “non-Black descent”. But, like the Indian Act has tried to do – and has been challenged in court for decades – it is not that easy to define someone’s ethnic background.

How do I advise my business-owning client, that has one “Black parent”, and one “White parent”? Do they qualify for the program because they have one “Black parent” – or do they get disqualified because they have one “White parent”?

What about one grandparent?

How far back to we look? Great-Grandparents? Does ancestral place of birth matter? etc.

How will they assess eligibility?

Is it solely based on skin pigment? How would that be fair to those that may otherwise meet the criteria, but don’t look “Black”?

Will there be blood tests?

I know you are thinking to yourself, ‘Cory, that’s pretty extreme’ … you’re right and that is my point.

I really do want this program to succeed, and I will help my clients that qualify for it to get it, but do you have a concrete suggestion for how to define what “Black” actually means for this program?

Every government program has the devil in the details, and without a clear definition of what a “Black Entrepreneur” is, we can expect the administrators and financial institutions implementing such a program to be in a nightmare from the beginning.

We’ve already seen the problems with the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) when they expanded the program but went away from defined terms like amount of 2019 payroll, and moved towards subjective terms like “non-deferrable expenses”.

When you open things up to subjective interpretation, things become less clear and you end up with a lot of “grey area” as a layer of complexity not wanted.

The Indian Act has been around since 1876 as a combining of the Gradual Civilization Act (1857) and the Gradual Enfranchisement Act (1869).

Scholars more intelligent than myself have battled with this flawed piece of legislation but this is the closest we have in Canada to a prior government attempt to define a race of people.

I want support for entrepreneurs that need it, however when my client asks me on whether or not they qualify for this vague announcement I want to be able to give them a simple “Black” or “White” answer.

Note: I used “quotation marks” throughout this commentary to emphasize the lack of a standard legal definition for any of these terms.

Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr is the founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors (CGLtax.ca). Cory is an advocate for small business; converts legislation into layman terms; and provides Canadian tax advisory services to other CPA firms and their clients across Canada.

Biography of Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr can be found here.

CEO | Director, Canadian Tax Advisory CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors With the Income Tax Act always by his side on his smart-phone, Cory has taken tax-nerd to a whole other level. His background in strategic planning, tax-efficient corporate reorganizations, business management, and financial planning bring a well-rounded approach to assist private corporations and their owners increase their wealth through the strategies that work best for them. An entrepreneur himself, Cory started CGL with the idea that he wanted to help clients adapt to the ever-changing tax and economic environment and increase their wealth through optimizing the use of tax legislation coupled with strategic business planning and financial analysis. His relaxed blue-collar approach in a traditionally white-collar industry can raise a few eyebrows, but in his own words: “People don’t pay me for my looks. My modeling career ended at birth.” More info: https://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html

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Central Alberta

Trevor’s Story: I Have Anxiety and Depression. Where Can I Get Help?

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Trevor has suffered from anxiety and depression for a while. He had no idea where or how to get help with this. In discussing this with his doctor, he was referred to a Mental Health Counselor at Red Deer Primary Care Network.

Trevor says, “I, the skeptic, didn’t expect that I would get much help but did decide to work with the counselor. I needed to do something. We had 6 sessions together. The counselor provided me with insight on things that should have been so obvious to me but they weren’t. You don’t know what you don’t know. The counselor provided me with very practical and valuable tools. I came away with a different, more positive way to think about things. And it was just great to have a non-judgmental person to listen to me. It is a relief to just be able to tell someone who was really listening about my struggles.

These sessions were so valuable. I am in a much better state than I was. My struggles are not over but I manage to get through each day using the tools and improved mindset that I learned.

If anyone else is struggling like me I recommend no matter if they think it won’t help  just go, go in with an open mind. Even if you just feel you need someone to talk to you will get valuable tools to help manage your situation.”

To learn more about the RDPCN programs, visit www.reddeerpcn.com

Read more Success Stories from the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

Looking After Myself

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Kinsmen Dream Home Lottery Tickets Now Available – Click Here

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The Red Deer Kinsmen Dream Home Lottery is back for 2021

For the past 40 years, the Dream Home Lottery has been the cornerstone of the Red Deer Kinsmen’s contribution to the community’s greatest needs. Many of
the new playgrounds and sporting facilities you see are funded completely or partially with funds raised by the Red Deer Kinsmen. This year, you can once again help the Red Deer Kinsmen make a local impact in your community by supporting the Dream Home Lottery.

The 2021 Lottery is a little different from previous years with more prizes and chances to win. This year’s lottery offers 104 prizes valued at over $864,700;
including the Grand Prize, fully landscaped show home in the new community of Timberlands. The $744,000, 2,368 sq. ft. dream home, built by True-Line
Homes features 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms plus den, a fully upgraded kitchen with premium appliances, Quartz Island, and walk-in pantry.

For supporters who buy their tickets early, there are TWO Early Bird cash prizes. Deadline for Early Bird #1 – $10,000 cash is 11:59pm November 11th. Deadline for Early Bird #2 – $25,000 cash is 11:59pm December 2nd.

Other prizes include vacations, home renovation packages, exercise equipment, tech, electronics, cash and much more. Tickets are $100 each, 5 for $150, 15
for $250 or our best package 50 for $350. They can be purchased online at reddeerkinsmenlottery.com or by calling 1.833.511.3863 and leaving a message. The lottery is presented by Kinsmen Club of Red Deer.

Back again is the 50/50 Cash Raffle where one lucky ticket holder will take home half of the total ticket sales. Tickets are $10 each, 10 for $25, 25 for $50
or 50 for $75.

Red Deer Kinsmen Dream Home Lottery License #575571 / 50/50 Cash Raffle License #575572

The final ticket deadline is 11:59 pm December 23, 2021. The final draws will be held January 5, 2022.

2021 Dream Home

Since 1981 the Kinsmen Club of Red Deer has run their annual Dream Home Lottery from October to December.  Using local home builders and trades, this project is the club’s largest fundraiser.  Lives continue to change as we make that magical phone call letting the winner know they have just won a new home while the funds raised continue to support our local initiatives.  In 2020, the club had to make the difficult decision to forgo the dream home portion of its lottery due to the unknown brought on by COVID, however, in 2021 we are coming back with an even bigger and better lotto!

Enter the 2021 Dream Home Lottery Today

2021 Cash Raffle

With the ongoing support of heroes like you, we are able to support some incredible agencies that truly make our community better.

The money raised from the lottery stays within our community. Whether it’s one of the many playgrounds, arenas, Discovery Canyon, Library Link or the new Family Link Centre in Parkland Mall, the Kinsmen have been able to construct numerous community structures from our fundraising efforts. However, those are only a very small part of what we are able to do.

These charities are an important part of the City of Red Deer, and it is crucial that we as a community always do what we can to support them. By being able to help provide funding for these and other groups help them make incredible changes in people’s lives that would otherwise be impossible. We are so fortunate to live in a community of such caring, giving people. It is because of you that we are able to do what we do.

Enter the 2021 Cash Raffle Today

Prizes

EARLY BIRD PRIZES

2 Early Bird Cash prizes

• #1 – $10,000 CASH – Deadline: November 11, 2021
Draw will take place on November 23, 2021, at Stride Management Corp. (12:00 pm)
**Only tickets purchased before 11:59 pm on Nov 11, 2021, will be eligible for the Early Bird#1

• #2 – $25,000 CASH – Deadline December 2, 2021
Draw will take place on December 14, 2021, at Stride Management Corp. (12:00 pm)
**Only tickets purchased before 11:59 pm on Dec 2, 2021, will be eligible for the Early Bird#2

GRAND PRIZE DREAM HOME

The Forest by True-Line – 26 Tillier Street, community of Timberlands Red Deer, AB T4N 5E7
• Valued at $744,000!
• 2,368 sq. Ft. of developed living space, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms plus Den, Finished basement & Landscaping

ADDITIONAL PRIZES

• 104 prizes worth over $864,700 to be won!
• Prizes include vacations, home renovations, epic experiences, exercise equipment, tech, cash,
and so much more!

THE 50/50 CASH RAFFLE

• Win half of an ever-increasing jackpot!
• Tickets are easy to buy – 1 for $10, 10 for $25, 25 for $50 or 50 for $75. Purchasers are not
required to purchase a ticket in the Red Deer Kinsmen Dream Home Lottery to purchase
tickets in the 50/50 Cash Raffle lottery.
• For a list of charities that benefit from the 50/50 Cash Raffle, please visit reddeerkinsmen.com

Red Deer Kinsmen Dream Home Lottery Licence #575571 / 50/50 Cash Lottery Licence #575572

Final Draw

• Ticket Cut-off is December 23, 2021 (11:59 pm)
• Final Draws will take place January 5, 2022 at Stride Management Corp. (11:00 am)

TICKET PRICES

1 for $100 • 5 for $150 • 15 for $250 and our best value 50 for $350

**Minimum prize value is $100**

Cause

The Red Deer Kinsmen have served the City of Red Deer since 1937 through fundraising and support of its many groups, community projects, and the people who make it an amazing place to live. This year is even more important as we were unable to run the Dream Home Lottery in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

Please go https://reddeerkinsmenlottery.com/cause/ for a full list of organizations the Red Deer Kinsmen have supported in the past.

Call Toll Free 1-833-511-3863
Order Online: reddeerkinsmenlottery.com

Helping Community

We are proud to have been associated with some truly outstanding organizations, including the:

  • Red Deer Food Bank
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Red Cross
  • Youth and Volunteer Centre
  • Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter
  • Red Deer Pond Hockey
  • Minor Hockey
  • Red Deer Public School Board Foundation – Bright Start Program
  • Hospice Society
  • Red Deer Royals
  • Red Deer College
  • Paediatric Ward
  • Blackfalds Field House
  • Penhold Multi Plex
  • and many more!

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