Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke Criticizes TPP, Asks Liberals To Abandon Tax Plan For Stock Options

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MONTREAL — The CEO of one of Canada's up-and-coming tech companies is calling on the federal government to abandon its plan to tax stock options, saying the move will hurt innovation and hamper startup firms.

Tobi Lutke says the measure will make it more expensive for upstart companies to attract talent and would have made it more difficult to launch his e-commerce company, Shopify.

During last year's federal election campaign, the Liberals promised to tax people who make more than $100,000 in annual stock option gains.

shopify

Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke, center wearing hat, is celebrated as he rings the New York Stock Exchange opening bell, marking the Canadian company's IPO, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (AP photo)

Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently said he will soon release details about the commitment.

Lutke says the government promised during meetings with senior ministers and other officials to offer some form of grandfathering.

He also criticized proposed intellectual property clauses in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, joining others in the tech sector including Blackberry founder Jim Balsillie who have said the deal will undermine Canada's autonomy to adopt its own software patent rules.