The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been releasing draft policy documents on the SR&ED Program for public comment over the past few months, as a part of an ongoing policy review exercise. They have done so at a time when the SR&ED Program is under intense scrutiny, the subject of two separate review exercises (The Expert Panel, and a report expected (someday) from the Taxpayers Ombudsman. Various deadlines for comments have come and gone, with individuals and industry groups responding. Still, it remains to be proven whether this is really a consultation, or merely another preemptive exercise in political and public relations damage control, designed to deflect expected criticism.
If there’s one thing they understand perfectly well up there in Ottawa, it’s the art of the Cabinet shuffle. Politicians and bureaucrats have this down pat. Just when the public and the press really begin to ratchet up the heat and to focus on the deficiencies of a situation – boom – everything’s been changed around.