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


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)


   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?

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The National Holocaust Monument

September 27, 2017 Ottawa.
The national Holocaust Monument was unveiled.  The idea of the monument, landscape of loss, memory and survival, was chosen from several proposals.
The monument focuses on three stories, --the state-sponsored Nazi genocide of the Holocaust; --the history that Canada failed to give asylum to those refugees; --and the 40,000 Holocaust survivors who came to Canada after the Second World War and contributed to nation building.
The open-air monument is across from the Canadian War Museum.   It is made of six concrete and metal walls, with plantings of trees.   The monument is the shape of a skewed Star of David which recognises all victims of the Holocaust.   The Monument suggests visitors contemplate all past atrocities.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Liberals fail to protect Canadas Borders

In my edited shortened speech below, I addressed a deep philosophical problem of Liberals in Parliament, which the nation was reminded of, because of the horror of the World Trade Centre attack.   Now in 2017, the recent waves of “surprise arrivals” that have been swamping our borders, indicates that the old misplaced Liberal mindset has not improved, despite the lessons that could have been learned down through the years.   In part, read my analysis from that time in 2001, when Canada was feeling very raw and bruised.  Then compare, to understand that there has been no improvement in the federal Liberal mindset about protecting Canada and securing our borders.  
Monday, September 17, 2001
Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Canadian Alliance):
Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of my constituents of New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby and all freedom loving people to extend the deepest heart felt condolences to the many Americans, Canadians, British and others who are direct or indirect victims.
I concur with the motion before the House that states:
That this House express its sorrow and horror at the senseless and vicious attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001;
That it express its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the American people;
That it reaffirm its commitment to the humane values of a free and democratic society and its determination to bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack on these values and to defend civilization from any future terrorist attacks.
Freedom will always have to be defended from senseless acts of terrorism or in the face of the complacent.  As Canadians watched in horror and tried to understand the incomprehensible, I find it difficult not to think of the possible Canadian connection.  Indications may or may not be valid but regardless, the fact that Canadian law and administration continues to allow non-Canadians with terrorist ties to reside in Canada is just not acceptable.  Given the weakness of our current procedures, we can only say that we are lucky so far, that crime has not been worse.
It is time for the government to get real, stop its denials, stop the defence of name calling put downs against the official opposition and just re-allocate personnel resourcing.  Most countries that accept refugees accept about 10% to 15% of claims but we are so inadequate in our background checks that we accept about 50% or even more.  It is no surprise then that CSIS says that most of the world's terrorist groups have established themselves in Canada for operations.  The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has a mandate to monitor threats to Canada. On June 12, it said:
Terrorism in the years ahead is expected to become more violent, indiscriminate and unpredictable...There will likely be terrorist attacks whose sole aim would be to incite terror itself...Canada a potential venue, for terrorists attacks.
The auditor general gave another wake up call in April 2000 saying:
Visa officers feel they are not only going against their own values, but also making decisions that could carry risks that are too high, and that could entail significant cost for Canadian society.
In response, the government remained complacent and thereby, by definition, perhaps complicit.  Some people coming into Canada found that the way the system is presently designed it allows them to perform their own malevolent goals.  Without sufficient incentive to comply with removal (deportation) orders or reporting conditions, arrivals will continue to stay on and become lost in the system.  People smugglers bring their victims with little fear of prosecution.
Sadly, by the turn of events this week, we are reminded again of the need for the systems to act more promptly and with much greater care for the public safety.  The courage to act requires a much better allocation of human and financial resources and the best available information systems for protection and enforcement.  Without these pragmatics, the best speeches by the government today will never be effective or save us from any tragedy.
Dealing with the volume of arrivals and sorting them out, it is a very intensive people business.  To more effectively cope with these realities, it is reasonable to do two things.  Properly resource the agencies whose practitioners at the line level have been begging for relief.  Give the needed trained personnel and also harden the entry points to reduce the swamping of our system.
One of the flaws in Canadian politics is the traditional difficulty in just mentioning immigration, refugees, border controls and so on.  The censorship practised by the finger pointers and name callers against my party hurts the whole country.  Nevertheless, I will not relent but I will say that in our party we firmly believe that the government must give account for the way security programs are met.
September 11, 2001, will be remembered forever.  The attack upon the United States changes how we think of the world.  Civilization has been attacked and freedom everywhere has been hurt.  Our prayers will continue with the victims and their families.
I end my remarks by saying that we in the Official Opposition of the Canadian Parliament offer our Prime Minister assistance to do what we can, for this week's tragedy is of international scope.  I have expressed our concern and support to the U.S. embassy, and we send our condolences to the American people.  I am also mindful that there are Canadians and other nationalities who perished in the attack.  While our hearts are broken in this time of grief, I will do my duty to serve to protect what is good and fulfil my part to preserve peace and order.
Technology and the machines of war can neither detect nor eradicate the hatred in the heart of a radical.  Anyone willing to commit suicide as a martyr for their evil idea, is potentially more dangerous than the most sophisticated weaponry.
We have looked into the face of evil.  It is an idea clothed in pride.  It will be overcome by revelation clothed in love.  Our only long-term hope for peace and an end to fanaticism, are changed hearts through faith in the redemptive love of God.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Labour Day

In Canada, Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September, and is the unofficial end of summer, with students returning to school.

Labour Day has been marked in Canada since the 1880s.  Some origins can be traced 1872 when a parade was staged by the Toronto Typographical Union's strike for a 58-hour work-week.   Although the laws criminalising union activity had already been abolished elsewhere, in Canada the police arrested 24 leaders of the Union.   Labour leaders decided to call another demonstration in September to protest.   Seven unions marched in Ottawa, yielding a promise from the Prime Minister to repeal anti-union laws.  On 23 July 1894, Canadian Prime Minister John Thompson’s government made Labour Day in September an official holiday.  While Labour Day parades and picnics are often organised by unions, most Canadians regard Labour Day as the Monday of the last long weekend of summer.

As we move toward the third decade of the 21st century – and another Labour Day – Canadian workers confront daunting challenges.  Technological change threatens traditional jobs, and an aging population is increasingly dependent on social programs, which must be paid for by those in the present workforce.   The workplace has always been changing, and the current stress is from technological change, demographic change, and international competition.   So, what are 21st-century options that can help employers, employees and governments adapt?

The British Columbia Premier said it this way:

As we enjoy the Labour Day long weekend, we should must turn our political thinking, to how best to ensure that our legal labour policies, serve and advance the interests of both workers and employers, before other jurisdictions leave us in the dust or rust belt.

On Labour Day, we recognize the hard-working people of British Columbia, who built this province from the ground up.

Labour Day is a day of rest, and an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by working people. The hard-fought victories of the labour movement over generations made life better for everyone.

People who work hard deserve a government that works hard for them. Our government will increase the minimum wage, open the doors to apprenticeships and skills training, strengthen employment standards and create safer workplaces for all.

Building up our province starts with building up our people.  Thank you for celebrating this special day.  John, Premier John Horgan, Leader, BC's New Democrats

It is a nice sentiment from him as far as it goes.   But as a typical socialist, he purposely on this special day, fails to also honour business people, investors, visionaries, and entrepreneurs, who created jobs in first place.   They invested and risked a lot (sometimes everything) to build British Columbia.  Organized Labour has its proper role, and their success must be recognized on this day.  However, we must honour all, and not just the special few in a discriminatory way.   We honour workers, regardless of position or role.  Political Leadership must not divide our community, but bring everyone together, as we pay respect to the people in the workplace.  We must cooperate, before we just dissipate what our economy has achieved.