Saturday, 21 April 2018

92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


On the occasion of the 92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada:
Millions of people in Canada celebrate the 92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
Her Majesty has dedicated her life in service to the Commonwealth.   Since acceding to the throne in 1952, she has served with grace, strength, and wisdom.   Canadians feel a warm affection for the Queen and a deep appreciation for her devotion to duty.
Commonwealth Leaders from around the world met with her this past week.   It was clear that the affection and admiration so many ‎feel is equally shared by people from every corner of the world.
So today, we celebrate the many milestones of Canadian history, in which the Queen played an important role.   These include the 100th anniversary of the Fathers of Confederation’s meeting in Charlottetown in 1964, Canada’s centennial ceremonies in Ottawa in 1967, and the signing of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act on Parliament Hill in 1982.   Through change and transformation, Her Majesty has stood with Canadians, unwavering in her commitment to Canada’s future.   Her role as protector of the realm has been magnificently fulfilled.
We wish Her Majesty a happy 92nd birthday.   

Monday, 9 April 2018

Protesters Challenge Canada

April 9, 2018   I observe that we live in a dangerous world.   It is in our national news every day.   But do we realize we have dangerous elements at home, that threaten our basic well being?    Carefully observe the pipeline protesters.   They are placing our democracy and economic order in peril.   The RCMP say they have arrested about 200 people demonstrating around the Trans Mountain facilities since mid-March, and while most face charges for civil contempt, officers have also made arrests for mischief, obstruction, and assault of a police officer.
We also have a BC Premier who is implementing a policy for the fringe radicals.   His words about defending BC interests, are bogus.   Most BCers see through his rhetoric.  Sadly, he has boxed himself into a corner, and he believes he must play out his maneuvers for political reasons.   There is no legitimate claim that his actions are related to environmental protection.  The protesters are wrong on technical-safety grounds, and moreover on any legal basis.
The BC Kinder-Morgan pipeline is appropriate at this time in our history.  The years of analysis, exhaustive review, and approvals have all been done.  The time for dissent is over.   At this point, individuals have a right in our society to express an opinion, that they don’t like the final decision.  However, they don’t have a right to obstruct or delay by one day, any progress on the project.
The Trans Mountain project would twin an existing pipeline, tripling the flow of oil flowing to the B.C. coast from Alberta.   To date, the company says it has spent about $1.1 billion.  However, the announcement on April 8/18 that Kinder Morgan is halting all "non-essential activities and related spending" on the project, leaving the future of the $7.4 billion project up in the air, is a problem for all of Canada.  Bad behaviour by a minority has its consequences.
If the company cannot reach an agreement with the various stakeholders by the May 31 deadline, Kinder Morgan chairman Steve Kean says it is "difficult to conceive of any scenario in which we would proceed with the project."   “We can’t move the seasons in Canada. There are certain seasons during which you can do certain things”.
Alberta Premier Notley said the pipeline “must be built” and threatened government action against B.C. if the Horgan government continued to oppose the project.   She called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act in defense of the project and be more active.   “Albertans have been clear: Get this pipeline built.  And Albertans are right.”   “Never count Alberta out.  This pipeline will be built.  Tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the economy.  Better public schools.  Better public hospitals.  That’s what this pipeline means for us and for our country as a whole.  We have won a series of important and decisive legal victories.  The courts threw out B.C.’s last case without even hearing it.  And I am confident we will continue to win.  We are also calling on the federal government to act in the defense of Alberta and working people in Western Canada in the way they have in the past for other parts of this country.   A federal approval of a project must be worth more than the paper it’s written on.” 
B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson criticized the BC NDP government.  “The premier has let his activist environment minister ignore the rule of law, as this government picks winners and losers by willfully ignoring the constitution”.   “Investors, large and small, interested in our Province need to know the Provincial Government will treat everyone fairly and equally.”   “This is a project that has received federal approval and falls under federal jurisdiction, yet the NDP used it to pick a trade war with Alberta and start a confrontation with the federal government.”
In conclusion, it is not in the interests of B.C. for investors to calculate that B.C. is not a good place to invest.   There are broad ripple-effect consequences.   For a society not to be able to have orderly decision making, cuts deeply into nationhood.   Rule by the rabble is a mockery, in view of all the blood that was spilled to defend Canadian values and build a peaceful orderly society.   The problem is much bigger than just some misguided folk digging in with their personal decision to trump and overrule the official decision represented by the majority of Canadians.   The issue goes to the core of Canada, and its ability to live as a viable democracy under the rule of law, and to face-down those who don’t like Canada’s success.   We live in a dangerous adversarial world.   I hope Canada is able to respond to that challenge.
(sources from varied public media)

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Justin Trudeau - sensing a flake


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actively sought the female vote in the last election, and was somewhat successful.   Now he is significantly losing it; women are sensing a flake (a person who too easily pronounces, yet fails to follow through).   He is clearly falling out of favour in the polls with Canadian women.

Resentments have piled up and the last straw is being reached.   As voters, women are not much different from men – that means they are interested in NATO, Ukraine independence, trade with China, the F-35s, Canada’s military role in Mali, the relationship to Iran, to name just a few foreign policy issues.   Women are not restricted to the category of “women’s issues”.

Recall that Trudeau had few foreign policies in his election platform.  He hadn’t planned much about leading Canada within the international community.   Then he proceeded to make legalizing marijuana a priority.   For all the serious issues facing Canada, this became a focus.

We all observed Trudeau’s flashy socks, his so-called "good looks” and the tears he could summon for an occasion.   Some voters thought he was going to be a breath of fresh air after the stodgy Conservative administration, but the lack of substance is showing.   He is revealed as ‘a poseur’ (a person who is trendy or fashionable in a superficial way).

The self-absorbed sins have been piling up.   They include his sheer blunders of naivety when it comes to the legal principle of the Constitutional separation of the ‘Judiciary’ from the ‘Executive’ in government.   He prejudicially scorned his own Cabinet Minister Kent Hehr, simply because a woman made an unproven allegation that Hehr had said something actually innocuous to her in an Edmonton elevator more than ten years ago.   He improperly weighed in on the verdict in the Colten Boushie murder trial, saying “We have to do better,” which implied the accused man was guilty, even though a jury trial had decided otherwise.   The jury heard all the evidence, but Trudeau only heard some protesters.

The recent India trip was a disaster, larger than the media were willing to report.   One might think that Trudeau believes himself, not so much as a Prime Minister, but more of a Social Engineer, by his obsession with everything “gender-neutral”.  His supposed joke about “people-kind” instead of “mankind” shows a misplaced perspective on life.

Over time, voters are pretty good at spotting a flake.   Trudeau’s ruminating on ultra-feminist jargon is embarrassing, acting like he’s leading the radical sisterhood club that keeps everyone out who does not share ‘the belief’.   Cabinet appointments should be given on competence, not his bias of gender, race, and religion.

The unconstitutional fiasco about service organizations having to be ‘pro-choice’ to qualify for the Canada Summer Jobs program, was the very last straw for many fair-minded folks.   Citizens and Organizations are entitled to their opinions on abortion, and those standards have nothing to do with whether a student gets a federally funded job helping the disabled or guiding kids in summer camp.   All taxpayers of every political bent, help pay for these work experience programs, and personal private values of freedom and care, are irrelevant to the federal job scheme.

In contrast, what are the values that give rise to the vacuousness over North Korea or Iran?  Apparently, Trudeau does not lead Canada, as his extreme ideology appears to run him, which is then dumped on the country.   It appears that Trudeau never grew up, for he seems to be a juvenile personality in an adult body.   To properly lead, means that one has to inspire to a worthy direction.   Actually, he is an "unserious leader”, says a former Liberal MP.  

Canada needs intelligent, focussed, responsible leadership, positioned close to the political centre, with the goal of bringing all Canadians back to the collective decision-making table.   There is the boring stuff of real work to govern.   However, Trudeau’s 'gaffes' keep coming, such as irresponsible spending, breaking ethics laws, poor trade negotiations, electoral reform confusion, the payout to a convicted terrorist, reintegrating ISIS fighters, inciting illegal migration across the border, unfilled judicial positions causing serious criminal cases to be dismissed, and on and on.  He was just not ready.  His record clearly meets the definition of a flake.

(based on notes and an article by Naomi Lakritz – Calgary Herald)


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Conservative Part of Canada


In the past, Conservatives overcame the odds and achieved a string of incredible election victories.   More importantly, we put Canada on a path to prosperity by creating well over one million net new jobs, expanding access to global markets, and cutting taxes for everyone.   That effort goes to the heart of basic personal freedom.

We took a strong stand against the terrorists of the so-called Islamic State, and stood up to bullies and thugs on the world stage.   We governed on principle, because we listened to average Canadians.   We can be proud of our time in government.   

We note that the next election is in October of 2019, and reports indicate the Liberals have kicked their fundraising and campaigning into high gear.   Unfortunately, so much of the progress we made is being undone by the Trudeau Liberals, therefore they must be replaced next time.   The Prime Minister has been crisscrossing the country and holding campaign-style events to regain the support he’s lost.   It’s obvious the Liberals are in campaign mode.

By making wise choices and strategic decisions, we left behind a balanced budget.   Today, Canada is running huge deficits, and financial analysts project our country will be in the red until sometime in the 2050s!   We also passed tough new laws to keep Canadians safe, and took the fight to terrorists who wanted to do us harm.   Today, the Liberals welcome ISIS fighters returning to Canada.   They even awarded a multi-million-dollar cash payment to a convicted terrorist.   We worked every day to make life more affordable for everyday Canadians.   Under the Trudeau, the cost of living continues to rise.   What’s more, the Liberals have forced a punishing new carbon tax onto the provinces.   That means Canadian families will pay more to get to work, heat their homes and feed their families.

As a Conservative Government, we supported small businesses and made it easier for them to hire.  The Liberals made an assault on small businesses by imposing crippling new taxes that punish hard-working entrepreneurs.   No government is perfect, but when we were in office, we did our best to respect taxpayer’s money.   We eliminated wasteful spending and worked hard to keep government expenses in check.   Today, the costs of administering the Prime Minister’s Office alone has risen by 20 % and taxpayers are on the hook for luxurious foreign vacations.

There’s a lot more that could be said in contrasting the Conservative record with the Liberals, and it is time for Canada to change course.   The Liberals have done a lot of damage, but it can be repaired.   If the Trudeau Liberals are re-elected, there’s no telling how much more harm they could do.   A generation of Canadians could be robbed of their earned prosperity if we don’t replace them next year.   However, for that to happen, Conservatives must form a government in 2019.   Sadly, our nation is not being well served.   The Liberal Government in office today is much more ideological and dangerous than the one of 1993-2006.   We simply can't afford to let the backward left-wing policies take root and permanently entrench themselves in the bureaucracy.   Canada needs a Conservative government in 2019.

The faithful Party Members elected Andrew Scheer as the Leader.   He is an experienced true conservative.   We can trust him to make sure we stay true to our values.   He has strong undivided Party support.   One can learn a lot about someone, by paying attention to how they’re treated by their colleagues.   In Andrew’s case, he was elected by his fellow MPs to be Speaker of the House of Commons in 2011.   The MPs from all Parties saw in Andrew the traits of integrity, fairness, and intelligence.   As the campaign unfolds, more and more Canadians are seeing those traits as he travels the country.

Andrew Scheer has what it takes to succeed as Prime Minister.   He understands that leading means representing everyday Canadians, not just the Ottawa insiders and special interests.   Most importantly, he has a positive vision for Canada’s future and a burning desire to see our country succeed.

To become Prime Minister, Andrew will need your support.  
Conservative Party of Canada   www.conservative.ca


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Billy Graham, Christian Pastor to the world, dies at 99 years.

Mr. Graham continued to preach well into his later years. In November 2004, he appeared with his son Franklin before a large crowd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Mr. Graham named Franklin to succeed him as head of his evangelical organization.    Picture Credit  Monica Almeida/The New York Times
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Billy Graham, 99, Dies; Pastor Filled Stadiums and Counseled Presidents
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN   FEB. 21, 2018
The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat, N.C. He was 99.  His death was confirmed by Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Mr. Graham spread his influence across the country and around the world through a combination of religious conviction, commanding stage presence and shrewd use of radio, television and advanced communication technologies.
A central achievement was his encouraging evangelical Protestants to regain the social influence they had once wielded. But in his later years, Mr. Graham kept his distance from the evangelical political movement he had helped engender, refusing to endorse candidates and avoiding the volatile issues dear to religious conservatives.
“If I get on these other subjects, it divides the audience on an issue that is not the issue I’m promoting,” he said in an interview at his home in North Carolina in 2005 while preparing for his last American crusade, in New York City. “I’m just promoting the Gospel.”
Mr. Graham took the role of evangelist to a new level, lifting it from the sawdust floors of canvas tents in small-town America, to the podiums of packed stadiums in the world’s major cities. He wrote some 30 books and was among the first to use new communication technologies for religious purposes. During his “global crusade” from Puerto Rico in 1995, his sermons were translated simultaneously into 48 languages and transmitted to 185 countries by satellite.
Mr. Graham’s standing as a religious leader was unusual: Unlike the pope or the Dalai Lama, he spoke for neither a particular church (though he was a Southern Baptist) nor a particular people.
At times, he seemed to fill the role of national clergyman. He read from Scripture at President Richard M. Nixon’s funeral in California in 1994, offered prayers at a service in the National Cathedral for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and, despite his failing health, traveled to New Orleans in 2006 to preach to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
His reach was global, and he was welcomed even by repressive leaders like Kim Il-sung of North Korea, who invited him to preach in Pyongyang’s officially sanctioned churches.
In his younger days, Mr. Graham became a role model for aspiring evangelists, prompting countless young men to copy his cadences, his gestures and even the way he combed his wavy blond hair. He was not without critics. Early in his career, some mainline Protestant leaders and theologians accused him of preaching a simplistic message of personal salvation that ignored the complexities of societal problems like racism and poverty. Later, critics said he had shown political naïveté in maintaining a close public association with Nixon after Nixon had been implicated in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in.
In the last few decades, a new generation of evangelists, including Mr. Graham’s elder son, Franklin Graham, began developing their own followings. In November 1995, on his 77th birthday, Mr. Graham named Franklin to succeed him as head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His daughter Anne Graham Lotz and his grandsons Will Graham and William Graham Tullian Tchividjian are also in ministry.
Mr. Graham retained the respect of vast numbers of Americans, enough to earn him dozens of appearances on Gallup’s annual list of the world’s 10 most admired men and women. With a warm, courtly manner that was readily apparent both to stadium crowds and to those who met him face to face, Mr. Graham could be a riveting presence. At 6-foot-2, with a handsomely rugged profile fit for Hollywood westerns, he would hold his Bible aloft and declare that Scripture offered “the answer to every human longing.”
Mr. Graham drew his essential message from the mainstream of evangelical Protestant belief. Repent of your sins, he told his listeners, accept Jesus as your Savior and be born again. In a typical exhortation, he declared: “Are you frustrated, bewildered, dejected, breaking under the strains of life? Then listen for a moment to me: Say yes to the Savior tonight, and in a moment, you will know such comfort as you have never known. It comes to you quickly, as swiftly as I snap my fingers, just like that.”
Mr. Graham always closed by asking his listeners to “come forward” and commit to a life of Christian faith. When they did so, his organization would match new believers with nearby churches. Many thousands of people say they were first brought to church by a Billy Graham crusade.
At the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., in June 2007, former President Bill Clinton said of Mr. Graham, “When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel like he is praying for you, not the president.”
Mr. Graham was by no means unique in American history as a popular evangelist. George Whitefield in the mid-18th century, Charles G. Finney and Dwight L. Moody in the 19th century, and Billy Sunday at the turn of the 20th were all capable of drawing vast crowds.
But none of them combined the talent for organization and the reach of Mr. Graham, who had the advantages of jet travel and electronic media to convey his message. In 2007, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association estimated that he had preached the Gospel to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories since beginning his crusades in October 1947 in Grand Rapids, Mich. He reached hundreds of millions more on television, through video and in film. “This is not mass evangelism,” Mr. Graham liked to say, “but personal evangelism on a mass scale.”
William Franklin Graham Jr. — Billy Frank to his family and friends as a boy — was born near Charlotte on Nov. 7, 1918, the first of four children of William Franklin Graham and Morrow Coffey Graham. He was descended on both sides from pre-Revolution Scottish settlers.
Though the Grahams were Reformed Presbyterians, and though his father insisted on daily readings of the Bible, Billy Frank was an unenthusiastic Christian. He was more interested in reading history, playing baseball and dreaming of becoming a professional ballplayer. His worldliness, his father thought, was mischievous and devilish.
It was the Rev. Mordecai Ham, an itinerant preacher from Kentucky, who was credited with “saving” Billy Graham, in the autumn of 1934, when Billy was 16. After attending Mr. Ham’s revival sessions on a Charlotte street corner several nights in a row, Billy walked up to Mr. Ham to make a “decision for Christ.” “I can’t say that I felt anything spectacular,” Mr. Graham recalled years later. “I felt very little emotion. I shed no tears. In fact, when I saw others had tears in their eyes, I felt like a hypocrite, and this disturbed me a little. I’m sure I had a tremendous sense of conviction: The Lord did speak to me about certain things in my life, I’m certain of that.”
After he graduated from high school in 1936, Mr. Graham spent the summer selling Fuller brushes door to door before spending an unhappy semester at Bob Jones College, then an unaccredited, fundamentalist school in Cleveland, Tenn.  (It is now Bob Jones University, in Greenville, S.C.)  He then went to another unaccredited but less restrictive institution, the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College), near Tampa. It was there, he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, “Just as I Am,” that he felt God calling him to the ministry. The call came, he said, during a late-night walk on a golf course. “I got down on my knees at the edge of one of the greens,” he wrote. “Then I prostrated myself on the dewy turf. ‘Oh God,’ I sobbed, ‘if you want me to serve you, I will.’ ”
“All the surroundings stayed the same,” he continued. “No sign in the heavens. No voice from above. But in my spirit, I knew I had been called to the ministry. And I knew my answer was yes.”
After graduating from the Bible Institute, Mr. Graham went to Wheaton College in Illinois, among the nation’s most respected evangelical colleges. At Wheaton, from which he received a degree in anthropology in 1943, he met Ruth McCue Bell, a fellow student whose father was Dr. L. Nelson Bell, a prominent Presbyterian missionary surgeon who had spent many years in China.
Soon after marrying Ms. Bell in 1943, Mr. Graham accepted the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Ill., a Chicago suburb. (It later changed its name to the Village Church.) He imbued his sermons with the brand of interdenominational appeal that was to be his hallmark.
It was also in 1943 that he was invited to take over “Songs in the Night,” a Sunday hour of sermonizing and gospel singing broadcast by a Chicago radio station. The program introduced him to electronic evangelism. Its principal singer, the baritone George Beverly Shea, who died in 2013, would earn fame as a member of the “Billy Graham team.”
In the mid-1940s, Mr. Graham became the chief preacher for the Youth for Christ rallies organized by the Rev. Torrey M. Johnson, a radio evangelist, and George W. Wilson, the owner of a religious bookstore in Minneapolis and a lay leader of the First Baptist Church there. With them, he established the Graham Youth for Christ, which found moderate success holding “crusades” across North America and in Britain.
Mr. Graham’s fortunes took a career-building turn in 1949, thanks in no small measure to the power of the Hearst press. He was holding a three-week “mammoth tent crusade” in downtown Los Angeles inside a 6,000-seat “canvas cathedral” pitched on a vacant lot. The newspaper ads proclaimed him “America’s sensational young evangelist.” But what really caught the attention of the aged newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst was that Mr. Graham was preaching a fiery brand of anti-Communism.
From his retreat in San Simeon, Calif., Mr. Hearst is said to have issued a terse directive: “Puff Graham.” “The Hearst newspapers gave me enormous publicity, and the others soon followed,” Mr. Graham said years later. “Suddenly, what a clergyman was saying was in the headlines everywhere, and so was the box score of commitments to Christ each night.” Time, Newsweek and Life magazines followed suit.
Mr. Graham began taking his “Crusade for Christ” on the road. In 1957, he drew more than two million people to a series of rallies, extended to 16 weeks, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The crusades became international. One in West Germany, was televised live in 10 other European countries. In 1966, he preached to nearly one million people in London.
As Mr. Graham’s popularity grew, so did his stature with Christian critics who had dismissed his interpretation of Scripture as overly literal. He told his audiences, for example, that heaven was a physical place, though not necessarily in this solar system.
Early on, he abandoned the practice, common among Southern fundamentalists, of speaking only before racially segregated audiences. He refused to “preach Jim Crow,” as he put it, and in the turbulent 1960s he made several “visits of racial conciliation” to the South.
Mr. Graham pledged to local church sponsors that all donations would be used for crusade expenses, with any excess going to his Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His own compensation, he said, would be limited to his expenses plus “the salary of a fairly well-paid local minister,” or about $50,000 in 1980 (the equivalent of almost $160,000 today). The association’s books were always open to inspection.
By maintaining fiscal integrity and personal probity — he stuck to his rule never to be alone with a woman other than his wife — Mr. Graham kept himself untarnished by the kind of scandal that brought down evangelists and religious broadcasters.
The Grahams lived on a 200-acre mountain retreat in Montreat, N.C. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007. He is survived by his sons, the Rev. William Franklin III and the Rev. Nelson Graham, known as Ned; three daughters, Virginia Tchividjian (known as Gigi), Anne Graham Lotz and Ruth Graham McIntyre; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Recognizing his influence, presidents made a point of seeking friendly relations with Mr. Graham; Lyndon B. Johnson did so assiduously. Mr. Graham was a frequent guest of Ronald Reagan, and in January 1991, George H. W. Bush invited him to spend the night at the White House. Mr. Clinton asked Mr. Graham to offer prayers at his inauguration in 1993.
President George W. Bush said that it was after a walk with Mr. Graham at the Bush family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Me., that Mr. Bush, as a younger man, decided to become more serious about his faith and quit drinking. President Barack Obama visited Mr. Graham at his North Carolina home in 2010.
Former President Jimmy Carter released a statement on Wednesday saying that he had counted Mr. Graham among his advisers and friends, adding that the minister had “had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life.” And President Trump tweeted: “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.”
Of the presidents, Mr. Graham was most closely associated with Nixon. The two had met in the early 1950s, when Nixon was a senator from California. As vice president, Nixon addressed a capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium for the closing meeting of Mr. Graham’s New York crusade in 1957.
In the 1960 presidential campaign, Mr. Graham, was strongly sympathetic to Nixon, a Republican, and offered him advice in his campaign against Senator John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic. At one point, concerned that a Kennedy administration would be influenced by the Vatican. He went on to endorse Nixon in the 1968 presidential race and allowed that endorsement to be used in television commercials. He gave the invocation at Nixon’s 1969 inauguration and came to be described as Nixon’s unofficial White House chaplain.
Mr. Graham said he had been “innocently unaware” of the storm gathering over Watergate.
In 1982, Mr. Graham displeased the Reagan administration when, after a visit to the Soviet Union, he spoke in favor of universal nuclear disarmament. He also visited Russian churches, and his comment that he had seen no evidence of religious repression by the Soviet authorities created a furor among conservative church members in the United States.
It was during this period, in his sixth decade as an evangelist, that Mr. Graham and his organization experimented with new technologies. In 1986, in Paris, he used direct satellite transmissions to carry his sermons to about 30 other French cities. With his crusade in San Juan, P.R., in 1995, he expanded his satellite reach more than six-fold.
Mr. Graham also broke ground by going to places where religious activity was officially restricted, including China and North Korea.
The first of his 30 books was “Peace With God,” published in 1953; his last was “Nearing Home,” in 2011. Mr. Graham, like most conservative preachers of his age and era, regarded same-sex relationships as “sinful.” But unlike the culture warriors who succeeded him, Mr. Graham rarely spoke about homosexuality, and condemning it was not part of his preaching.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association continues to organize crusades. It also produced Mr. Graham’s “Hour of Decision” global radio program and prime-time television specials, trains thousands of evangelists and missionaries, and publishes Decision magazine. A rapid-response team deploys chaplains to disaster areas.
Why it all came about remained a puzzle to Mr. Graham. In his autobiography, he wrote: “I have often said that the first thing I am going to do when I get to Heaven is ask: ‘Why me, Lord? Why did You choose a farm boy from North Carolina to preach to so many people, to have such a wonderful team of associates, and to have a part in what You were doing in the latter half of the 20th century?’ ”
“I have thought about that question a great deal,” he added, “but I know also that only God knows the answer.”

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Veteran soldier confronts Trudeau

Justin Trudeau embarrassed himself again, this time when under fire for saying some vets want more than government can provide. 
Trudeau lied when he said that if elected, veterans would no longer have to fight the government in court for fair compensation.  He promised to re-instate lifelong disability pensions for the injured, which were replaced by a lump-sum payment, rehabilitation programs, and targeted-income support.   But upon taking power, he continued to fight a lawsuit anyway. 
Of course, Conservative Andrew Scheer questioned the government’s misplaced priorities.  So, Trudeau had his Veterans Minister try and answer. 
There is a long sordid list of Liberal expenditures that flies in the face of what can be given to vets.  Trudeau seems to have plenty of money for: 
Temporary skating rink: $8,100,000
Vacation to a billionaire’s private island: $215,000, which was a conflict of interest violation. 
2016 trip to Davos: $855,000
Cover artwork for the Liberal budget book: $212,000
Bombardier bailout: $372,500,000 which they said they did not need.
Omar Khadr: $10,500,000
Fighting First Nations girl over a dental procedure: $110,000
Health Minister’s Twitter: $100,000 / year
Liberal staffer moving expenses: $220,000
Cost of running Trudeau’s office (2016-2017): $8,300,000
Snapchat filters: $22,000
Veterans aren’t asking for more than our government can give. They are just asking for what Trudeau promised.  Our veterans put their lives on the line to give Canadians the freedom we enjoy, and they deserve better.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Canadians loose some freedom


Canadians loose freedom, as the Liberals raise taxes on nearly everyone.  Economic freedom is a Canadian fundamental.  After taxing for the necessities, additional ideological taxation damages the nation instead of building it.  Liberals have lost the balance for the private worker serving the state through taxation.  There are consequences from changes to Federal Income Tax and CPP Payroll Tax

— Published on January 11, 2018

Report Summary

Since coming into office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has repeatedly claimed to have reduced taxes for middle-class Canadian families—a claim based solely on the federal government’s reduction to the second lowest personal income tax rate from 22 to 20.5 percent. However, a recent study found that when all the Trudeau government’s major changes to the personal income tax system are properly accounted for (including the elimina­tion of income splitting and other tax credits), income taxes have been raised, not lowered, on the vast majority (81 percent) of middle income Canadian families.

In addition to enacting changes to the personal income tax system, the federal gov­ernment has also announced other significant tax changes that will take effect in the com­ing years. For instance, payroll taxes will be increased to fund an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), with the first increase tak­ing place in January 2019. The dramatic in­crease in the CPP payroll tax, which was a joint venture with the provinces but initiated largely by the federal government, will be fully imple­mented in 2025. This raises the prospect of even more middle-income families in Canada paying higher taxes beyond what the changes to the federal income tax system would alone indicate.

This report measures the impact of the fed­eral government’s personal income tax chang­es and the fully implemented CPP payroll tax increase on the amount of taxes that Canadian families will pay. (A family is defined as a parent or parents with a child or children under age 18.) It finds that once fully implemented, virtually all (98.8 percent) of middle-income Canadian fami­lies with children (with incomes ranging from $77,839 to $110,201) will pay higher taxes. And they will pay, on average, $2,260 more tax each year.

In fact, when looking at all 2.988 million families with children in Canada (excluding those in Quebec), 2.756 million, or 92.2 percent, will pay higher taxes—$2,218 more, on average, each year. Indeed, once the increase in CPP pay­roll taxes is fully implemented, nearly all Cana­dian families—regardless of where they stand in the income distribution—will pay higher taxes.



Full Report

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/effect-on-canadian-families-of-changes-to-federal-income-tax-and-cpp-payroll-tax.pdf

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Iranian Protests Are Different From 2009


These Iranian Protests Are Different From 2009
By Maryam Rajavi   January 9th, 2018
The protests in Iran send a cogent message: The clerical regime stands on shaky ground, and the Iranian people are unwavering in their quest to bring it down. Slogans against velayat-e faqih, or absolute clerical rule, called for a real republic and explicitly targeted the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. This dispels the myth, still harbored by some governments, that Iranians distinguish between moderates and hard-liners in Tehran. It also undercuts flawed arguments depicting a stable regime.
Millions of Iranians live in poverty. Yet Tehran has spent upward of $100 billion on the massacre in Syria, according to reports obtained by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The chants of “Death to Hezbollah” and “Leave Syria, think about us instead” clearly demonstrate the people’s opposition to the regime’s belligerent regional schemes.
The country’s official budget this year allocates more than $26.8 billion to military and security affairs and the export of terrorism. This is in addition to the $27.5 billion in military spending from institutions controlled by Mr. Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The budget for health care is a mere $16.3 billion. Weak and vulnerable, the regime spends such astronomical sums on regional meddling as part of its strategy for survival.
Skeptics might point out that Iran has faced protests before. What makes the current uprising different from the 2009 protests?
The 2009 protests were sparked by rifts at the top of the regime. The current protests—which began in Iran’s second-largest city of Mashhad and quickly spread across the country—were motivated by rising prices, economic ruin, widespread corruption and resentment toward the regime. This systemic economic mismanagement has its roots in the political system, and it grows worse every day. That is why the demand for regime change surfaced almost immediately. It seems to be the only conceivable outcome.
Another major difference: The 2009 uprising was initially led by the upper middle class, with university students at its core and Tehran as its center. The recent demonstrations span a much broader swath of the population—the middle class, the underprivileged, workers, students, women and young people. Nearly all of society has been represented on the picket line.
Nor is the current uprising tied to any of the regime’s internal factions or groupings. There are no illusions about reform or gradual change from within. One of the popular slogans in Tehran is “Hard-liners, reformers, the game is now over.” This is yet another sign of the certainty of overthrow. As an Iranian expression goes: Maybe sooner or later, but definitely certain.
The final differentiating factor is the pace of events. In less than 24 hours, the protesters’ slogans shifted from economic woes to a rejection of the entire regime. The establishment has been caught off guard and is scrambling to find a unified solution. The IRGC declared victory over the protests on Sunday, but this reflects its hopes more than the reality on the ground.
The regime has issued strong warnings against joining the leading opposition group, Mujahedin-e Khalq. One after another, low-ranking and senior officials, joined by the Friday prayer leaders across the country who toe the regime’s line, blame the MEK for the protests. The torrent of statements by regime officials reflect their panic at the expansion of the nationwide uprising and the rising popularity of the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
The religious dictatorship has resorted to extensive suppression to confront protesters. The IRCG has killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds. By the end of the ninth day of protests, at least 3,000 had been arrested, according to our sources in the country. Numerous reports indicate that security forces literally knock on people’s doors and warn them against attending demonstrations. The net of suppression has been cast as wide as possible.
In light of this brutal repression, the international community must not remain silent. The United Nations Security Council must adopt punitive measures against the regime’s crimes. This has long been the demand of the Iranian people and opposition. We must not forget that the perpetrators of the horrific 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners are still in power today, holding senior executive and judicial positions while engaging in the murder of protesters in the streets.
Perhaps the final difference between the 2009 protests and the recent uprising will be that the latter succeeds in overthrowing the reviled theocracy in Iran. The people of Iran fervently hope so.
Mrs. M. Rajavi

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Year end with Justin Trudeau


Commentator Rex Murphy is most correct.  Justin Trudeau is an actor...and a poor one.  From his first real beginning in the public eye, I was there and was in the moment and felt the mood of the time, when he spread himself over his dad's coffin, in a rehearsed personal display that was selfish and inappropriate. He knew he had the cameras, so he "acted" to have the attention.  I could see then, that this fellow was shallow, selfish, and had some kind of a personality disorder.  If one reflects upon his leadership style in that light, that Justin is broken, then one can understand his antics as our PM.  It is a great cause of worry for Canada.  There are still too many people who are fooled by this fellow.  It is image over substance, where there is little substance.  He has never had an original idea.  To him. all things that are wrong become someone else’s fault.  Any accomplishments from the government have come about through other people.  I implore voters to wake up, as Canada is not well led by Justin Trudeau.  He is dangerous to our well being.
       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       
(by Rex Murphy) Justin Trudeau's year-long descent from celebrity selfie-prince to typical politician.
What’s true about first impressions — that you never get a second chance to make them — is logically symmetrical with the truth about last ones.  No do-overs for them either, by definition.  The last impression many Canadians have of Justin Trudeau in this year of Our Lord, 2017, was of him, shock-faced, rattled and babbling incoherently for a TV eternity of a minute and a half.
For all the sense he made, he could have been speaking Njerep (I have a Masters in Google search) a language that survives only on the tongues of four people in the entire world, the youngest of whom is already 60.
It’s not because the question was tough, nor could it possibly have been unforeseen.  He had been found guilty by the ethics commissioner of, not one, but four provisions of the conflict of interest law.
And, naturally, he was asked, how could a prime minister not have known that hopping on private helicopters on a “vacation” to the Aga Khan’s private island, with buddies and Liberal party personnel in tow, was not — to use a word much in favour at Wilfrid Laurier U — problematic?
This was not quantum mechanics.  It was a hot issue for the PMO for all of 2017.  Yet there he was in the Commons foyer, having been asked the inevitable question, looking gobsmacked and wounded, stammering like an old outboard motor on the last pint of gas, and stacking up enough non-sequiturs and platitudes to fill a Costco warehouse.  How bad was he?  For that 90 seconds, he made George Bush look like the oratorical son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Margaret Thatcher.
That was the last impression for public view Mr. Trudeau left for the year now gliding into its final hours. In the Star Wars Yoda-tongue: Ill, it will bode for him.  Not smart, it will seem.
The year 2017 was not kind to the PM nor his government.  It began with his attempt to hide the Aga Khan vacation and ended with a demonstration of why he tried to hide it.  The course of the year marked his descent from a celebrity selfie-prince to an all too typical politician, equipped with a genetic sense of entitlement and personal exceptionalism.  The press, here and abroad, were no longer half-worshippers.  His initiatives were seen by all critics, and some friends, too, as less policies than postures.
On NAFTA, for example, the eerie attempt to inject his “feminist” proclivities and adoration of the green gods into trade negotiations did nothing for trade, greenism or feminism.  He bungled mightily on trade with the Asian countries, too — not showing up, embarrassing Japan and angering the members of the TPP.  The international press was starting to get a touch dismissive.  Rightly so. After all, the “The world needs more Canada” sloganism, not showing up at all and ticking off a half-dozen world leaders was a curious choice.  Next year’s slogan — “Can I take a rain cheque on that” — will be more modest.
His Number 2, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, made a perfect and protracted hash on the Trudeau tax policy — the one that was supposed to win the hearts of Mr. T’s beloved middle class.  That ticked off almost everyone in the middle class or aspiring to it, from dentists to sales clerks.  The finance minister’s campaign to sell the policy was a disaster, the climactic moment of which came with having the minister himself being, like his boss, under investigation for conflict of interest from the ethics commissioner.
A government that spent a fortune on deliverology (which I personally think of as the Scientology of spin doctors) proved itself incapable of getting cheques out to its employees.  The Canada 150 celebrations were, in the main, a dull bomb.  There was more fervour and kick in the Chase the Ace phenom in the small town of Goulds outside St. John’s.
The most sensitive cabinet position, the minister for disabled persons, was filled by the most insensitive person in the cabinet, Kent Hehr — a politician in the Don Rickles mode.
The MMIW inquiry is on yet another reset. The Energy East pipeline was, naturally, cancelled — another sacrifice to Mr. Trudeau’s woeful attachment to the ignis fatuus of global warming. 
Meantime, south of us, the Trump kingdom is both more successful in reducing the dreaded carbon dioxide emissions and simultaneously leading a revival in the U.S. energy industry and putting a shredder to the EPA’s cat’s cradle of over-reaching regulations. And Trump has just passed a monumental change in the U.S. tax code which will inevitably — just as his energy policies — place Canada at a massive industrial and economic disadvantage.
And so Mr. Trudeau leaves this year with a bundle of negotiations unsettled, wounded ministers, pledges undelivered, in violation of the law governing conflict of interest, at odds with the UN economy, and no single major policy achievement. He caps that with that parting press conference horror, signaling a prime minister struggling, anxious and incoherent — an image which, if it takes, will be fatal for an administration that has made the prime minister’s image its only ace. Much like the Goulds, only in reverse.
A bad year, it was.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !    Let’s be thankful for what we have, but also vigilant about our true financial situation.
The total tax bill for the average Canadian family will exceed $35,000 in 2017, or 42.5 percent of their income—more than what the average family spends on housing, food and clothing combined.
While the federal government has claimed it “cut taxes for middle-class Canadians everywhere,” the reality is that 81 percent of middle-class families in Canada are paying higher federal income taxes under the government’s personal income tax changes—on average, $840 more a year. 
Canada’s high and increasing personal income tax rates on its best and brightest workers have made the country uncompetitive compared to other developed countries. The federal government increased the top federal tax rate to 33 percent from 29 percent, and increases to top provincial rates have been made in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and other provinces. Seven of our 10 provinces now have a top combined federal-provincial rate above 50 percent.
The top 20 percent of income-earners in Canada—families with an annual income greater than $186,875— will pay 64 percent of all personal income taxes and 56 percent of all taxes (i.e. income, payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes, etc.).
The federal government has failed to achieve its election promise to run $10 billion deficits in its first two years and thereafter balance the budget. Instead, since coming into office, it has run deficits of $18 billion in 2016 and $20 billion this year, additional deficits of almost $80 billion are forecast over the next five years. There’s no immediate plan to balance the budget.
Large annual deficits mean government debt in Canada is ballooning. Federal net debt increased to $727 billion in 2016-17 with provincial net debt collectively at $633 billion. All told, federal and provincial debt currently stands at $1.4 trillion and has increased by more than 60 percent in the past decade.
Prime Minister Trudeau is on track to increase per-person federal debt more than any other prime minister in Canadian history who didn’t face a world war or economic recession.
The federal government has claimed deficit spending will help grow the economy through expenditures such as the promised $100 billion in infrastructure investment over the next 10 years. But only $6.6 billion of that will be spent in 2017 (only about a third of the $20 billion deficit), and less than 11 percent of the $100 billion will be spent on projects that have the potential to strengthen the economy.
As we close off 2017 and look forward to 2018, let’s hope we see a refocus on policies that will actually improve the economy and lives of Canadians.  (Fraser Institute)

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Killer Deficits


We must not forget that federal national deficits are significant. The sky does not fall if Canada fails to balance the budget in a particular year, but there must be discipline on wasteful spending that helps little in the long run.

While the annual deficit and accumulated national debt, do not look like present problems (debt-to-GDP ratio 30.5 percent and falling), it doesn’t mean we won’t have future trouble. Trudeau should not be running deficits when the economy is sufficiently growing. When will the next emergency come? Now is the time to get ready, by paying down debt, and ensuring that when we spend, that it is wise and helpful. There will always be more projects and plans, than available resources.

What if NAFTA collapses, or the cumulative consequences of the “culture of no” paralyzes the economy. It doesn’t take much, for good times to go bad.

Everyone knows that Canada should run surpluses now, to guard against when there is no choice but to run deficits. That’s what Harper did, and saved Canada much economic and social pain from the international disaster of 2008, and he balanced the budget as soon as possible. Chretien benefitted from a booming USA economy, and eventually ran surpluses and made payments on the national debt. However, Trudeau broke his election promise on national finances, exactly like Harper predicted he would.
Trudeau is choosing a dangerous course, that burdens the next generation with debt-service cost, without creating structural assets to boost a higher quality of life. What of lasting value do we have for this year’s deficit spending? It’s about value for money; where is it? The government can’t tell us.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Liberal Tax Controversy


Andrew Scheer
The Liberals are targeting local business owners with a political campaign that plays up the politics of envy and resentment, pitting one group of Canadians against another, dividing us instead of uniting us.

What has struck me over the past year since the Liberal government took office is that every time they see a problem, the answer is always to raise taxes. When the Conservatives see an issue, a problem, or an aspect in our tax system, we always look for ways to lower taxes.  This is the fundamental difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives. (Hon. Andrew Scheer)
********************************************************

Pierre Poilievre
Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

-moved:

   That, given the proposed changes to the taxation of private corporations as outlined in the Minister of Finance's paper “Tax Planning Using Private Corporations” will have a drastic negative impact on small and medium sized local businesses, the House call on the government to continue, until January 31, 2018, its consultations on these measures.

   He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. Leader of the Opposition.

   The government says it wants to avoid unintended consequences from its proposed tax changes.   Here is one. What if these proposals simultaneously raise taxes and reduce government revenue?

   Let us consider the government's new tax on so-called passive income. Under the present system, when all is said and done, small business earnings are taxed at the same rate as wages. The only difference is timing. Assuming a 50% personal income tax rate, a wage earner pays 50¢ on the dollar in the year it is earned. A business, by contrast, pays 15¢ in the year it is earned and the remaining 35¢ when she takes the money out of the company. The government claims that this is allowing the business owner to invest that 35¢ inside her company, growing a bigger nest egg than she would if she had paid all the tax up front. This, according to the finance minister, is unfair.

   To prove it, the finance minister's so-called consultation document has a table showing how much better off this small business woman is from investing the after-tax proceeds of $100,000 of business earnings versus investing the after-tax proceeds of $100,000 in wages. In the first instance, the business owner has starting capital of $85,000, with the small business tax rate being roughly 15%, in most provinces. As an employee, she would have only $50,000 as starting capital.

   The result is that if both she and her employee had the same money and invested the after-tax proceeds, she, as a small business owner, would have $62,000 at the end of a 10-year investment, and the employee would have about $58,000, using the round numbers the government provides in table 7 of its consultation paper. It is $62,000 at the end of the day at the end of the 10-year period for the small business woman, and $58,000 for the employee. It is not fair, right? However, there is one key detail the finance department excluded from this table. In fact, the only detail that matters is excluded, and that is who actually paid more tax, the small business woman or the employee, after the 10-year period, assuming a 3% rate of return, as the department's table does. The government omitted that calculation altogether. It did not want people to know who paid more taxes at the end of the day.

   I had a respected tax modelling firm, headed by Jay Goodis, the chartered professional accountant and CEO of Tax Templates, do the math the government left out of the consultation paper. Let us break it down. It is true that the employee paid more tax up front: $50,367, to be exact. He then paid another $8,023 on the interest earned in the subsequent 10 years, for a total tax bill of $58,390.

   The business woman, on the other hand, paid admittedly less money up front: $14,400. She then paid another $5,412 on her interest. So far it is true that the business person paid a little bit less. However, at the end of the 10-year period of investment, when she took the money out, she actually paid a whopping $45,238, because that tax was not avoided; it was merely deferred. She paid a total of $65,050, or about $6,700 more than the employee.

   How is it possible that the small business person actually paid more tax and had more money at the end of the 10-year cycle? The answer is that the money on the deferred tax grew to a larger total, so when she pulled it out, there was more money to tax. In other words, both the business owner and the government are actually better off. This, again, is under the scenario the government put in its consultation paper, lest my friends across the way try to accuse me of contriving the right circumstance to get the right result.

   To be fair, we need to take account of inflation. The business owner did pay the $35,000 in tax at the end of the 10 years, as opposed to the beginning, and during that time the value of money declined. The Bank of Canada has a target rate of inflation of 2%, which reduces the value of that $35,000 by $6,403, but still, even if we subtract that $6,403, the small business woman paid $250 more in tax than the employee did in this scenario.

   The scenario of course was perfectly contrived by the government to produce the best possible result to make its case. Now I am using it to make mine, but if that business person and that employee had earned, say, 6%, which is still a very reasonable return, then the business woman would have paid almost $8,000 more in tax after inflation was factored in than the employee in the exact same circumstance.

 Also, the calculation is extremely conservative. I am excluding the benefits of having the entrepreneur invest the money up-front and to pay the taxes later. For example, the companies she is lending to or investing in are paying her 3% for a reason. They are using her capital to hire people and buy profit generating assets, which also generate tax revenue for the government. I am excluding all of that revenue from my calculation.

   The finance minister suggests that these types of passive investments inside a company constitute dead money. He is dead wrong. In fact, this bizarre claim contradicts his own consultation paper, which calculated that these very investments generate $27 billion in income every year. The only way these investments could possibly generate these returns is if the companies receiving the investments use them to fund their own growth.

   How much of that growth would be lost if the government deleted the initial investment by forcing the business owner to pay that extra 35% up-front on the principal, or a new double tax of 73% on the resulting income? The $27 billion in growth is a lot of money and it cannot be the result of dead money because we know that dead things do not grow.

   The calculation I put forward also excludes other behavioural responses that would inevitably result from the government's proposed tax increase. With the punitive 73% tax rates the government is threatening to impose on passive income, how many of the investments I just described would simply not happen in the first place? How many young people would look at the diminished reward and simply say, why should I bother taking the risk, or why should I not just invest in another country? Even if none of these behavioural changes happen, if we believe the contrived scenarios the finance minister has developed to make his case, the government will still be getting less lifetime revenue, according to the calculations provided by Jay Goodis, at Tax Templates.

   When I asked the Finance officials these questions, they said it was true that the government would get less revenue, but that it would be fairer because it would be more neutral. That is the kind of negative, adverse thinking that the government has toward our entrepreneurs. This is not a policy of wealth distribution, it is a policy of wealth destruction. The only reason the government wants a policy that will reduce its revenue is that it will increase the revenue in the very short term as money floods out and into the coffers, because the Prime Minister wants to spend the money now and so he wants to tax it now. Our view is that he should consult more, fix these problems, scrap this tax increase, and focus on growing the wealth of the nation so that the rising tide will lift all ships.


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):  

   Madam Speaker, the current tax system is unfair and needs to be changed since a professional making $250,000 a year and who takes advantage of the current rules could end up paying a lower tax rate than the middle-class employee on salary.  It is very clear that the Government of Canada understands and appreciates the true value of Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it.

Once again, we see a policy coming from the government that reinforces the view that a strong Canada means a strong middle class, yet we see the opposition again trying to attack the government's ability to ensure there is fairer tax for all Canadians.

Why does this opposition oppose having a fairer tax system?

Hon. Pierre Poilievre:  

Madam Speaker, this July the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance made a selfless announcement that the rich should pay more tax, meaning of course that the Prime Minister might have to give up the inherited Mercedes he received from his father and that the finance minister's billion-dollar company would pay much pay much higher tax rates, and that both of them would make great sacrifices so that everyone else could pay less. Just kidding.

In fact, they will not pay a penny more. The billion-dollar family business of the finance minister is excluded, and the family fortune of the Prime Minister is excluded. Just the plumbers, the electricians, and the farmers will pay new tax under this particular proposal.

Speaking of fairness, let us deal with the inequalities they are creating in this system. The passive income from investing in someone else's business will be taxed at higher rates that investment in one's own company. Indeed, there will be a 73% tax on so-called passive investments within a small private company, but no tax increase on a larger publicly traded Bay Street company. There will be pension splitting for government and corporate workers, but no retirement income splitting for retired business people. Furthermore, farmers will pay higher tax in selling their family farm to their kids than to a foreign corporation.

If the Liberals are just trying to create neutrality in the tax code, why will there be so many new inequalities and so much more unfairness?

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my Conservative colleague a question, but first I would like to remind him of something that the Liberals do not like to hear.

The Liberal platform of 2015 indicated that they wanted to look at all tax measures, billions of dollars' worth, but nothing was said about targeting just small and medium-sized businesses. They talked about looking at the bigger picture when it comes to tax measures in order to create greater tax fairness. They also promised to lower the tax rate for small and medium-sized businesses, which they have not done.

Instead of looking at the bigger picture, the Liberals botched the consultation process by holding it in the middle of the summer and talking about only one thing, namely, small and medium-sized businesses.

Does the member agree with the NDP that not only should there be more consultation, but that the consultation process should look at the entire tax structure, as the Liberals had promised?

Hon. Pierre Poilievre:  

   Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question.

   It is true. The proposed changes are targeted with surgical precision to exclude the wealth of Liberals, ministers, and their friends. For example, tax havens, which the hon. member often talks about, were totally excluded from these changes. We wonder why the government is not looking at areas relating to corporations and billionaires who avoid paying taxes here in Canada.

   If I could just pick up on the earlier premise of my speech, that less revenue might result from these increased tax rates, that is exactly what happened as a result of the Liberals' first tax increase. They said they would collect more money in taxes from the rich. In fact, according to the finance department's annual report, they collected $1 billion less in tax revenue from the wealthiest Canadians as a result of the changes brought in during their first year.

   By the way, how much will it cost to fund compliance with these new changes? Will they actually make more money as a result or will the cost on the taxpayer simply increase, just as they increased the burden on small business?

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC):

   Madam Speaker, I want to start by thanking my colleague, the shadow minister of finance, for sharing his time with me today.

   Today, our Conservative opposition is demanding that the government give Canada's local business owners a little respect.

    For the past couple of months, our Conservative opposition has heard from Canadians across the country. They come from all walks of life and live in cities and rural areas. They own small local businesses and have people working for them. They are the mechanics and their employees who maintain our cars. They are the coffee shop owners who provide us with a place to meet our friends. They are the farmers who provide us with fresh, healthy food, who want to hand over the family farm to the next generation. They are unanimous when it comes to the Prime Minister's tax increases. The proposed tax increases are a serious threat to their jobs, their livelihood, and their community.

   Small businesses are the backbone of Canada. They are the heart of our economy in communities large and small. That is where we get our first jobs or where people get a fresh start.

   That is why we simply cannot stand by and allow the Liberal government to attack those people. We have been hearing for months of the very real threat these tax hikes pose to local business. The government needs to listen to those voices. That is why we are calling for the consultation period to be extended. There is simply too much on the line for so many hard-working Canadians for the government to get this wrong.

   We are not talking about big multinational corporations, but about our neighbours and people like Bowen Lew, a first generation Canadian I met last week in the market. Bowen owns a company that sells hardwood flooring. He employs five workers. He came to Canada from China because he believed that this was the right place to build his business and raise his family. Bowen wants to expand. He wants to open another location. He wants to hire more workers. That is job creation in action. It is a small business hiring a few more people. However, the Liberal government's new taxes on passive investments and income are putting his expansion plans in jeopardy. It will make it much costlier for him to save within his company.

   The government likes to talk about fairness. It says that it is raising taxes on business operators like Bowen in the name of making things fair for the middle class. That makes no sense.

   That is not fair. Those business owners are honest, hard-working people. They do not have paid vacation or employment insurance benefits to help them. They do not keep track of their overtime hours. Instead, they put everything they have into their business to get people working and to make their community stronger.

   The government demeans people like Bowen and millions like him by calling them “tax cheats”. The Prime Minister has said that “a large percentage of small businesses are actually just ways for wealthy Canadians to save on their taxes”. That is astonishing. I have no doubt that the Prime Minister and the finance minister run in the kinds of circles where many people do set up these types of corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. However, the millions of Canadians across this country like Bowen are doing it to create something for their family, an opportunity. The Liberals are targeting local business owners with a political campaign that plays up the politics of envy and resentment, pitting one group of Canadians against another, dividing us instead of uniting us.

   The decision to raise taxes is being made by a government with a major spending problem. The Liberals broke their promise to run a deficit of only $10 billion, and they will not balance the budget by 2019. According to the government's own estimates, Canadians will be paying off its debt for the next 35 years. The government chose local businesses to pay back its out-of-control spending. Rather than taking responsibility for its own mistakes, the government is punishing small businesses.

   Higher taxes help no one, but the Liberal government is determined to impose a massive tax hike with no care for the cost to jobs or the impact on local communities.

   The Liberal government is hurting the very people it claims to help. The Liberals campaigned on a promise to help the middle class. However, according to a recent study, 80% of middle-class families are now paying $800 more a year in taxes as a result of a series of tax hikes, which include an increase in payroll taxes and Canada pension plan premiums, the cancellation of many tax credits that families needed, and a lower TFSA contribution limit.

   That is not all. The Liberals also imposed a national carbon tax. These tax hikes are just another major blow to Canada's small businesses.

   What is so frustrating is listening to the rhetoric that comes from the government. We are asked to believe that this is about fairness. We have already established that what the Liberals are doing is not fair, but let us explore that a bit deeper.

   The Liberals are causing a whole bunch of people to lose out with these proposals, such as anyone who has ever used a passive investment account to save during good times to get through the bad times, female entrepreneurs who decide to self-fund their own maternity leave, and successful business owners who want to save money to open a second location. Perhaps for some years that money was not invested directly into the business. Instead, it was put to work elsewhere in the economy. It was invested in any number of productive enterprises that helped others grow and expand. After those funds were out there for some time, helping with that growth, earning interest and compounding, the owner used that money to open a second location. Anyone who did that is going to lose out under these new proposals.

   It is not dead money, as the finance minister would have us believe. I do not know how he is going to show his face around serious economists after having said that. Does the minister actually believe the money that is saved in investments does not do any good? Is he going to tell all of his millionaire friends, who got exceedingly rich by taking money from Canadians and investing it for themselves, that they have somehow damaged the economy by doing that? His solution for that dead money is to take these defibrillators full of tax hikes and revive that dead money back to life with a 73% tax rate. That will get the job done.

   As so many people will lose under these proposals, we have to ask ourselves who the winners are. Who will be better off? The big answer is nobody.

   The government admits that the current rules on passive income do not cost the government in the long run. At the end of the day, the tax is not avoided; it is deferred. In other words, nobody else has to pay higher taxes because of that tool. Nobody will benefit from tearing people down.

   The answer must be that the Liberals just cannot wait. They need the money now. There will be a temporary spike in government revenue in the year these changes are made, as the deferral is essentially eliminated. That is why the Prime Minister is doing it. The Liberals are desperate for cash after raiding the savings that the previous Conservative government left them.

   Just as the Liberal government is indifferent to the needs of hard-working Canadians, our Conservative opposition is here to give them a voice. We will not stand by and let the government cripple local businesses and threaten jobs with these tax hikes. That is why we are fighting these increases every step of the way.

   Today, the Liberal government has the chance to start repairing the damage it has already done. It has a chance to demonstrate some good faith toward Canada and local business owners. It can extend the consultation period on these tax proposals until January 31, 2018, and why not? What is the downside and what could possibly be wrong with listening to Canadians for a few more months and getting that feedback?

   Extending the consultations would allow local businesses and farmers to really make their voices heard. It is about respect for the people who work hard to create jobs and contribute to their communities. It is high time the government started treating local businesses with the respect they deserve. Canadians expect nothing less. We, the Conservative opposition, will always be there to stand up for them. We are the voice of prosperity and opportunity for all Canadians.

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):  

   Madam Speaker, let us be absolutely clear. Middle-class Canadians and hard-working small business owners are not the focus of these changes. In fact, 83% of all passive income is earned by individuals who make more than $250,000 per year. We also know that a professional making $250,000 a year who takes advantage of the current rules could end up paying a lower tax rate than a middle-class employee on salary.

   How is that fair?

Hon. Andrew Scheer:  

   Madam Speaker, I am sure that local business owners who have to lay off an employee after these changes go through will take solace and comfort from knowing they were not the target of these tax changes and that they were hit hard accidentally. They will feel much better about themselves and the government, knowing the government did not mean to kill those jobs or hurt those opportunities. They will feel much better when they go home at night and write that big cheque to the taxman instead of the employee, knowing they were not really the intended target.

   I do not think any Canadian will buy that. That will not comfort anybody who loses his or her job because of these tax changes.

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP):  

   Madam Speaker, what does the member think about all the broken promises of the Liberals. It would be very interesting, because they were supposed to help small businesses by reducing their taxation from 11% to 9%, but they did nothing. They were supposed to study the whole system of tax evasion, but they are targeting only small businesses. They were promising to tackle the loopholes of big CEOs, which is costing almost $800 million per year.

   Why are they targeting families and small businesses but are leaving their friends on Bay Street safe and alone?

Hon. Andrew Scheer:  

   Madam Speaker, my colleague pointed out so much in his question, which I think more and more Canadians are starting to realize. The issue here is that no matter what the Liberals say they are trying to do, it is always the people they claim to help who are hurt the most by their policies. Whether it is protecting their friends on Bay Street, while attacking all those on Main Street, this is just another example.

   All the Finance Minister's friends on Bay Street, his colleagues at Morneau Shepell, all those who attend those $1,500 cash for access fundraisers will not pay more. Those who own shares in publicly-traded, multinational companies will not be affected by this. That is what is so hypocritical about these Liberal proposals.


Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.):  

   Madam Speaker, we are all here to solve a problem. We all know that small and medium-sized enterprises create jobs. However, the member has suggested that the proposal will affect contractors, plumbers, and small and medium-sized enterprises. I have the proposed changes in front of me. Could he tell me which section applies to that? I would really like to know.

Hon. Andrew Scheer:  

   Madam Speaker, that question exhibits the need for this motion. She clearly has not been listening to Canadians who are coming to town halls and explaining how this will affect their businesses. Since the member has just demonstrated to her colleagues why we need a longer consultation period, because clearly Liberal members have not been hearing enough from Canadians, how will she vote on this motion today? Will this be a free vote? Will Liberal members who are hearing from constituents be allowed to vote in favour of this motion to extend the consultation period?