Revenue Minister: Grits taking tax evasion seriously

Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier insists the one-billion-dollars the government has promised to spend on the problem over five years is proof positive that the Liberals are taking the issue of tax evasion seriously.

The Canada Revenue Agency came under fire yesterday as independent Liberal senator Percy Downe accused it of misleading Canadians about the depth of its efforts to combat offshore tax evasion.

Downe, a longtime thorn in the agency's side, says the C-R-A has been hiding behind what he called ``weasel words'' to disguise the fact it's actually doing little to remedy the problem.

He pointed to C-R-A spending figures tabled in the Senate that showed it spent an estimated 35-million of the 40.1-million dollars budgeted for enforcement for the fiscal year ended March 31st.

This is a fraction of the one-billion-dollar total the government has said it's willing to spend on the problem.