Friday, May 2, 2008

Flaherty’s self dealing predates his arrival in Ottawa.

Liberals want probe into Flaherty's private-school tax breaks

My understanding, although unconfirmed, is that the Wasdell Center for Innovative Learning (owned by the Flaherty’s?) is housed in a former school that was deemed redundant by Ontario under Mike Harris government when Flaherty was in Cabinet.

The school was purchased by Flaherty’s wife. The own of Whitby, strangely, had no interest.

One year later the Flaherty’s carved out the property from the building, and sold the property to the very same town of Whitby for a price equal to what the Flaherty’s paid, leaving them with the building for free. Land registry records could verify if this is true. Perhaps the Globe might want to check that one out, since it is only unconfirmed folk lore.

Inquiring minds need to know. See also The self benevolent tax policies of Jim Flaherty or Jim Flaherty: Corruption’s constant cohort

Liberals want probe into Flaherty's private-school tax breaks

Globe and Mail
May 2, 2008

OTTAWA — The Liberals are launching another attack on Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, asking for an investigation into a tax break awarded to private schools in his 2007 budget.

The Liberals are raising questions because Mr. Flaherty is a mortgagee of a private school called the Wasdell Centre for Innovative Learning, in Ajax, Ont.

In last year's budget, Mr. Flaherty announced that bursaries awarded by primary and secondary institutions would no longer be taxed. Given that public schools do not traditionally hand out bursaries, the Liberals are asking the Ethics Commissioner to investigate whether Mr. Flaherty was in a conflict when he made the change to the tax system in favour of private schools.

"Since Mr. Flaherty seldom gives a straight answer to a question in the House of Commons, it is important that independent officers such as the Ethics Commissioner take a close look at any possible conflicts of interest," Liberal MP John McCallum said in a statement to The Globe and Mail last night. But a spokesman for Mr. Flaherty said the Wasdell Centre does not hand out bursaries, and Mr. Flaherty has no ownership stake in the school.

"There is no problem, there is not conflict," spokesman Chisholm Pothier said.

Mr. Pothier said that Mr. Flaherty's son, who has special needs, attended a school operated by the owners of the Wasdell Centre and that Mr. Flaherty made a $250,000 loan to help the school expand into its current location in a former public school.

Mr. Pothier said most of the money has been paid back, and that the Liberal request is "irrelevant."

"This is a pretty low smear attack, which is what we have come to expect from the Liberals," Mr. Pothier said last night.

During Question Period, Mr. McCallum slammed Mr. Flaherty for a number of budget initiatives that favoured the Finance Minister's riding.

"The Finance Minister offers a veritable smorgasbord of ethical clouds: An illegal contract now under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner; an uneconomic train chugging through his riding; millions of taxpayers' dollars wending their way to an organization extremely close to his wife. Can he at least guarantee to this House that today is the end of his ethical breaches?" Mr. McCallum said.

Mr. Flaherty refused to comment on the matter in the House, saying the question was defamatory.

As The Globe recently reported , Mr. Flaherty's office ignored the warnings of bureaucrats who said there was no "reasonable rationale" to direct a $122,000 contract to a Conservative speechwriter without going to tender last year. In an e-mail, a senior Finance Department bureaucrat told Mr. Flaherty's office that federal rules call for a competitive process to hire a communications firm to work on the 2007 budget.


Anonymous said...

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: New Age Pirate
Posted: January 11, 2008, 5:46 PM by Ronald Nurwisah
Financial Post

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, whose family came to Canada from Ireland four generations ago, spoke at lunch hosted by the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce in Toronto on Friday. But he didn't just speak. He spoke with a hint of an Irish accent here and there. Wee words like "little" were shortened, ya hear, to smaller words, like l'il.

He told tales of his family's heritage, the feared O'Flaherty tribe back in the Old Country.

“I am an Irish-Canadian with a somewhat chequered past,” he said, before launching into a l’il story about his ancestors.

"It was said that they were pirates. In fact, they were pirates, according to the history of it. And that from time to time, would go from the county to the city of Galway and pillage," he said.

Their rampages were so bad that some say they resulted in the inscription over Galway’s wall that bears the inscription loosely translated as: "God save us from the wrath of the O'Flahertys."

Someone once told Mr. Flaherty that this was a suitable ancestry for finance minister. He replied: “I said, really, today we call it more elegantly, not pillaging, but taxation.”

— Carrie Tait

Dr Mike said...

The "Dog and the Bone" is a fable ascribed to Aesop. According to the story, a dog was carrying a bone over a bridge. Looking down into the water, the dog saw its own reflection, which looked to him like another dog carrying another bone. Wanting the other dog's bone as well as his own, the dog opened his mouth to bark at the "other" dog it saw, but in doing so, the dog dropped his own bone into the river, where it was gone for good.

Jim , you were carrying the original bone also known as income trusts & their associated tax windfall (Money received which was not expected and
not a direct result of something the recipient did).

Jim , you looked into that pond of self-righteousness & saw that there was more tax money to grab , but to get it you had to let the trust tax dollars go.

Jim , after getting the ultimate soaker , you are emerging with a mouth full of nothing.

I bet you are now wishing you would have put that original bone away for a rainy day because the storm clouds are upon us.

Jim Flaherty , the ultimate "bonehead".

Dr Mike.

evision said...
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