Below is an e-mail is from Harper’s Chief of Staff, Ian Brodie, which comes from from the heady idealistic days of November 13, 2006. In Brodie’s supreme opinion it was okay to break the income trust promise on the basis that “the alternative was to abandon all other tax cut plans as the corporate tax base quickly disappeared”.
Perhaps someone could provide Ian Brodie with a real world update, as his nifty boss engineered the worst of both worlds. There have been no tax cuts instituted by this government (apart from those subsidized by the federal government at the expense of all Canadians for the exclusive benefit of Quebeckers), and we are now also witnessing the rapid disappearance of the corporate tax base, as most abundantly evidenced by BCE, whose purchase by private equity was induced by the income trust tax which will result in the loss of $793 million a year in taxes to Ottawa. Meanwhile the betrayal (his word) on income trusts back in November was just the beginning of a long litany of subsequent betrayals by this government. As to his point about certain choices not being pretty, I can say one thing. Come the next election, Canada’s New Government has certainly made Canadians’ election choices very easy indeed.
That said, would Ian Brodie consider the fall of Canada’s New Government (TM) to be an epic event, or just an epidemic event brought on by a bad case of ubiquitous betrayal?
This would be a more compelling analysis if the government weren’t already in the midst of a steady program of cutting tax rates, including corporate taxes, across the board. The alternative to breaking the election promise and taxing trusts was to abandon all other tax cut plans as the corporate tax base quickly disappeared. Instead, Flaherty acted quickly, in the face of rapidly changing conditions, to break the trusts promise and save the rest of the government’s promises. Not a pretty choice, to be sure, but hardly an epic betrayal either.
Chief of Staff / Chef de cabinet
Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0A2
Office / bureau : 613.992.4211
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Posted by Fillibluster at 10:15 AM