Thursday, March 13, 2008

Green Party gives new meaning to the "Bell Fund"

I think the PR folks at Teachers’ are going to have to work overtime to come up with an explanation of how pursuing the inherently uneconomic LBO of BCE under current market conditions will be to the betterment of its 271,000 plan members that it’s so fond of invoking, rather than fully funding the RESP program as the Green Party upon the government to do.

I think Teachers’ plan members are keen on higher education, more so that lower returns. I also think the Bell Canada Act says that the company’s works are to be for the “general advantage of Canada”.

Harper should fund RESP bill by halting BCE sale

Media Release For Immediate Release

March 13, 2008
Harper should fund RESP bill by halting BCE sale VANCOUVER – The Green Party says the Harper government should cease threats to trigger an election over the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) private member’s bill, passed by Parliament last week. The bill would allow parents to claim income tax deductions based on contributions to RESPs and estimates put the cost in the area of $900 million or less per year. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper should stop attempting to subvert the will of Parliament by declaring this bill a confidence motion,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “He could easily fund this tax cut by halting the attempted takeover of Bell parent company BCE by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. If Teachers’ takeover bid is successful, federal government coffers will be robbed of anywhere from $800 million to $1 billion in lost tax revenue. This money could be put to better use providing parents with a tax break on education savings.”

Because the $32 billion in borrowing required by the takeover bid would place the company deeply in debt, BCE earnings would be sheltered and therefore non-taxable. Furthermore, the government would collect no tax on interest paid to foreign banks according to new rules in the 2008 budget. Ms. May also pointed out that Teachers’ bid to become BCE’s majority shareholder violates the terms of the Pension Benefits Standards regulations, which clearly state that a pension plan may not own more than 30 percent of a company. Teachers’ is exploiting a loophole in Ontario pension law to break the 30 percent ownership limitation rule. “Mr. Harper is choosing to fund corporate takeovers which create no value for society while denying savings for our children’s future education. Student debt in Canada is now estimated at over $10 billion dollars and the government has a responsibility to help students emerge from this crippling debt load. It is in the public interest for Mr. Harper to stop the BCE takeover and use the tax savings to help parents keep their children out of debt. Isn’t this what Ontario teachers would want?”


Contact: Camille Labchuk Press Secretary 613-562-4916 ext. 244


Randy Meyer said...

Thank you Elizabeth. My point exactly.

Robert Gibbs said...

This is another reason why Canadians need the Green Party to "merge" with the Liberal Party, or at least form some sort of "politically legal coalition".

Dr Mike said...

Right on Robert!!!!

The "new" Liberal party would be a shoe-in for a majority.

Elizabeth May would bring some civility back to government & I would be proud to work along side her.

Dr Mike.

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