Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Panels are Blossoming in Ottawa

Now that spring is here and Canada’s New Government™ has come to the realization that they actually know more about how to run Canada’s economy into the ground than they do about running it wisely, they have turned to a new fashion statement. And who better to be first out of the gate that new fashion trend than Maxime Bernier who today was sporting this new “panel” fashion outerwear:

Industry Minister Maxime Bernier will soon launch a panel of experts to review Canada's competition policies and propose improvements.

Not wanting to be outclassed or outdone, Jim Flaherty was quick to respond with his own panel fashion statement, however Jim prefers his “panels” as “roundtables”

"To ensure a comprehensive consideration of the factors involved in interest deductibility and a smooth implementation, a Technical Roundtable of tax professionals, chaired by the Department of Finance, will be invited to work with government officials at a technical level to ensure that the proposal functions as intended. This Roundtable is a short-term project that will operate independently of the Expert Panel."

Too bad panels weren’t in fashion last fall, otherwise Fashion Editors like Diane Francis would have had no reason to recently write:

“I dread to imagine what the discussion around the federal cabinet table was last fall concerning measures such as income trusts or interest deductibility restrictions."

Did anyone bring up the potential, unintended consequences?

Was a huge menu, and range of varied options the topic of lively, heated and lengthy discussion?

Were the nuances of capital market reactions, or taxation matters, debated?

Was the obvious alternative of cutting taxes on dividends instead of trashing income trust promises a subject of great discussion?

Were the studies, commissioned by the previous government, and its many other solutions, reviewed carefully over days and nights by all cabinet members so they could deliberate in an authoritative fashion?

Or was talk just about how to finesse the treachery to seniors and Alberta about a promise broken?

Or did it zero in on how this would affect voting results in Quebec?”

As with any fashion, they are fickle, No doubt this panel fad will pass quickly as the Conservatives are simply trying to put out fires by appearing as if they are doing something tangible. Therafter it is certain they will return to their patented and trademarked form of government known as Canada’s New Government (all rights reserved CPC 2007). Speaking of panels and/or roundtables and/or councils, what ever happened to that Seniors Council that was launched by Marjorie LeBreton back a few months ago as the Conservatives hastily patched together something resembling a “we care about seniors” persona (in the belief an election was imminent) after they had summarily terminated the 27 year existence of the Council on Aging? Does the Seniors Council consist of more than that guy from the pension superannuation committee and an employee of the government? Have the new members been indoctrinated in the mindset that destroying seniors nest eggs is a good policy? That’s probably slowing them down a bit.

1 comment:

Kephalos said...

Every now and then an excellent idea comes along like a Chinook in the deep, cold of winter. This idea of panels is one such. CAITI members might like to do some panels. Panels such as:

Discovery of the promises made, kept or broken by the Conservatives

BCE, publicly traded as a trust versus privately held

Reconstruction of the numbers lurking under the black

Who stands to gain from $38 billion of losses?

Who stands to gain when income trust investors are forced to sell?

Tommy Douglas, wheat farmers, small business owners and income trusts

Rene Levesque, truth and national dignity

Ralph Klein, follow the money

Professional journalism, practices and ethics in Canada

Conflicts of interest in the Canadian press

Some citizens are more equal that others

R&D and the Scientific Research Tax Credit program

Private equity and new jobs in Canada

New private equity devil and the old angel of income trusts

Well, that’s a start. It may seem too much, but CAITI has many interested members. Many hands make light work. Many eyes will find the truth.