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Report On Business Corporate Canada investments in top tax havens up 17% in 2015: data

Skyscrapers loom over a flagpole carrying the Canadian flag in the financial district in Toronto in this file photo.

Mark Blinch/REUTERS

New figures on direct foreign investment released by Statistics Canada show that corporate Canada has been pouring billions of dollars more into offshore tax havens.

Canadians for Tax Fairness crunched the numbers and found that Canadian corporations have invested more than $270-billion in the top 10 tax haven destinations for Canadian capital over the past 15 years, with investment up 17 per cent over 2014.

Barbados was the top destination, attracting $79.9-billion in total, up 14 per cent over the previous year.

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Four other countries in Canada's top 10 – Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland and Hong Kong – all saw year-over-year increases of at least 34 per cent in 2015.

Dennis Howlett of the advocacy group Canadians for Tax Fairness says corporations are using legal measures to route investment through tax havens in order to avoid paying taxes on profits in Canada.

The direct foreign investment figures released today don't include the billions of dollars that individual Canadians have socked away offshore.

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