Trudeau acknowledges grumbling, but strikes defiant tone on tax-loophole changes

Justin Trudeau says he's paying attention to the growing dissent over his government's controversial proposals to eliminate tax incentives that he insists only benefit wealthy small business owners.

But the prime minister says he ``will make no apologies'' for the Liberal government's commitment to helping the so-called middle class, even at the expense of the wealthiest Canadians.

Trudeau is acknowledging the backlash over what the government calls a plan to inject more fairness in the tax system by closing loopholes used by a growing number of small businesses.

Entrepreneurs, major industry associations and political rivals have warned the plan would hurt the economy and small businesses, including many whose owners would be considered middle class.

The government has launched a consultation on the proposed changes that ends Oct. 2 and Trudeau says the government will take the feedback into account to ensure the measures have the desired effect.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau held a conference call this week to ease the fears of Liberal backbenchers spooked after complaints over the proposals poured into their riding offices.