Monday, August 25, 2008

Green Party Press Release



Press Release – Aug 25, 2008 – for immediate release

$50,000 offered in scholarships if Flaherty will debate income trust tax

An organization which is opposed to Jim Flaherty's decision to tax income trusts has offered $50,000 in scholarships to students in the Whitby-Oshawa riding as an inducement to Flaherty to publicly debate the issue.

”Given the economic turmoil in the Region's key auto sector and the need for higher education, the offer should be accepted,” says Doug Anderson the Green party candidate who is running against Flaherty in the next election.

Brent Fullard the president of the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors (CAITI) has challenged the Finance Minister to a public debate. CAITI contends that when the Conservative government broke its 2006 election promise to "never tax income trusts" it reduced the equity in existing trusts by $31.5 billion dollars. Much of this was held in personal retirement savings funds and many seniors found their life savings devastated.

The Ministry of Finance claimed that the government was losing too much revenue – that income trusts caused "tax leakage".

However, numerous financial managers such as BMO Capital Markets, Cannaccord Capital and RBC World Markets have crunched the numbers themselves and have found that the tax implications of income trusts were either neutral or even positive.

Both the Green Party and the Liberals have challenged the income trust tax.

When asked to defend the trust tax, the Finance ministry released several pages on which all the relevant numbers were blacked out. The current line from Dan Miles who is Flaherty's Director of Communications is that the "tax decision is now law" and people should "move on".

Green party leader, Elizabeth May stated that “parliamentarians need objective fact based information on how well the Government raises its funds. The Harper government’s actions do not demonstrate the accountability or transparency necessary for the proper functioning of a modern democracy,”

“The public, and especially those seniors who lost their savings, have a right to some answers. It is clear that Flaherty would prefer to avoid this issue, and that’s why Fullard has offered of $50,000 in scholarships as an inducement,” said Anderson.

Flaherty will have to address the issue in the next election as CAITI and both the Liberal and Green parties have vowed that it won't go away.

11 comments:

The Right is Where it's At said...

Mr.Fullard

Are you saying that $50,000 scholarships fund will only be offered if Mr.Flaherty will debate you on the income trust tax issue?

If you really care about this scholarship fund in which I don't doubt that you do,you will go ahead with this fund whether Mr.Flaherty debates you or not.

My opinion is he will not come to debate you,because you're offering a scholarship fund.

Anonymous said...

To: The right is where its at:
From: Brent Fullard

The $50,000 in scholarship money is coming from CAITI and not from me personally. As such there has to be value to CAITI in order for CAITI to fund this scholarship, as opposed to deploying the funds in other ventures such as taking out anti-Flaherty billboards or newspaper ads or some other purpose to advance the cause of CAITI and its members.

Like Flaherty, CAITI belivse in the concept of "value for money" as coined by Flaherty himself below:

Flaherty broke rules to hire ex-Harris aide

Finance minister handed untendered contract worth $122K to speechwriter for former premier

Feb 02, 2008
Richard Brennan
OTTAWA BUREAU
The Toronto Star

OTTAWA–Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has broken federal rules by handing a former Mike Harris speechwriter an untendered contract worth more than $120,000, the Toronto Star has learned.

The $122,430 contract to Hugh MacPhie, who worked in the former Ontario Conservative premier's office, violated Treasury Board guidelines requiring multiple bids for contracts over $25,000.

The contract called for MacPhie to work on last year's budget speech and to provide communications advice to the finance department.

"Here's the finance minister awarding a single-source contract for $122,000 for two months of work to an old Harris spin doctor. This is really an egregious abuse of his position," NDP critic MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) said yesterday.

Late yesterday, Dan Miles, a senior communications adviser to Flaherty, admitted that federal contracting rules had been broken.

"Administrative functions were not followed with respect to contracting, but those procedures are now being followed," Miles said in an email in response to questions from the Star.

The confirmation of the untendered communications contract was included in information provided to the New Democrats through an Access to Information request, which also revealed that an untendered $24,900 contract – $100 below the required tender level – was given to Sara Beth Mintz, a vice-president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

The Toronto lawyer was paid for "analysis, assessment and advice" to Flaherty and staff, the documents given to the NDP show.

"What's going on here? This just looks exactly like what the Conservatives went after (former Liberal prime minister) Paul Martin for (with) all the single-source contracts to Earnscliffe," Angus said, referring to Earnscliffe Strategy Group, a government relations and strategic communications firm.

On March 29, 2004, then opposition Conservative MP Monte Solberg assailed the Liberal government: "I think it breaks (Canadians') heart when they see their tax dollars go to the finance minister, who then turns around and gives it to his friends in the form of untendered contracts."

MacPhie, who supported Flaherty in his failed bid to lead the Ontario Tories, said his firm lived up to requirements of the contract, which included providing a communications strategy. He declined to answer a series of questions.

"We worked very hard and provided value for money to the federal Department of Finance, as we do in all client engagements we undertake," MacPhie said in an email statement.

"MacPhie and Company had already worked extensively on the government's long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada. Through this work, we gained a unique and extremely detailed content knowledge of the government's economic plan, which was the foundation for Budget 2007."

In fact, the original contract was for $98,580, but MacPhie then billed for another $24,000.

Angus said it is clear that Flaherty is "using taxpayers' money to help out a lot of Conservative friends and they are basically breaking the rules to do it."

He said it is particularly galling because the Conservatives ran in the last election on a promise to end the patronage and special deals.

"Now they are giving these untendered contracts to the old Mike Harris gang," he said.

Anonymous said...

3 CHEERS FOR LIZZIE! YOU GO GIRL!

Robin

Anonymous said...

Two comments.

1) As I have said before, you can't make chicken soup out of chicken sh*t. The cons are full of chicken sh*ts. They have no capacity to debate anything, let alone income trusts, because they have got caught in a number of lies and they are afraid to say anything. They are the party of clay.

2) I agree with Dan Miles when he says that it is time to move on. Problem for him is that it is he and his tubby buddy and the rest on the cons who will be moving on.

bikermike

The Right is Where it's At said...

Mr.Fullard

I don't know how deep the pockets of CAITI are. The point I'M trying to make is that you seem to come out as someone who is well connected in the financial world. So I assumed that you and or your group that you seem to be apart of (CAITI) can knock on some doors for the $50,000 scholarships fund. It seems to me that $50,000 in the financial world would be just pocket change,maybe not to CAITI I don't know. I'M just assuming here,someone with your connection would probably have a much easier time to raise that cashes than the ordinary Joe on the street that's all. Maybe I'M wrong.

Anonymous said...

To: The right is where its at:
From: Brent Fullard

You said: "I'M just assuming here,someone with your connection would probably have a much easier time to raise that cashes than the ordinary Joe on the street."

Actually the easiest way to raise this $50,000 scholarship is for Jim Flaherty to agree to the debate.....or is his time too precious?

I'll let you go about canvassing the average Joe on the street to raise $50,000 for a scholarship of your own.

Please let me know how you make out.

The Right is Where it's At said...

Mr.Fullard

"I'll let you go about canvassing the average Joe on the street to raise $50,000 for a scholarship of your own."

"Please let me know how you make out."

When I said knocking on doors I did not mean on the average Joe on the street. I'M talking about the financial institutions on bay street for example. I hope I made myself clear here.

Do you think that $50,000 is a lot of cash for some of those institutions on bay street example "Banks"! Among others.

As to Mr.Flaherty in my opinion he will not accept your challenge.

Anonymous said...

To: The right is where its at:
From: Brent Fullard

Sorry. I misinterpreted your question concerning the "average Joe".

Meanwhile, concerning your new question:

"Do you think that $50,000 is a lot of cash for some of those institutions on bay street example "Banks"! Among others."

Answer: I don't know. Please let me know after you've canvassed Bay Street. Meanwhile I have $50,000 burning a hole in the pocket of CAITI's bank account available to fund a scholarship. Just need a "yes" from Flaherty.

Perhaps you could call his office at (905) 665-8182

The Right is Where it's At said...

Mr.Fullard

"Do you think that $50,000 is a lot of cash for some of those institutions on bay street example "Banks"! Among others."

"Answer: I don't know. Please let me know after you've canvassed Bay Street. Meanwhile I have $50,000 burning a hole in the pocket of CAITI's bank account available to fund a scholarship. Just need a "yes" from Flaherty."

You don't need to get testy about it.I'M from Montreal not Toronto. You're the one who comes out has if you have some financial connection to bay street not me. How can fifty grand be a lot of cash when some of those institutions make billions of $$$ in net profit or just about? I don't get it. Go figure.

"Perhaps you could call his office at (905) 665-8182"

You're kidding me right? I'M the average Joe on the street I'M an unknown. You're the one who is known. You're the one who has been on TV not me. But I digress.

Polyian said...

Mr. "right is where it's at"...

Why not spend an equal amount of time and energy asking Flaherty why he won't step up to the plate like a real man and debate Brent Fullard. The money was offered if Flaherty accepts the challenge.

Ask Flaherty why he can't stand up like a real man and defend his Tax Leakage Myths Ask Flaherty why he is not up to helping get the scholarship fund established.

You are picking on the wrong guy. Go after the coward who is refusing to participate, Flaherty,jjdezse and pull him out of his hole. Ask him why he won't help you out.

By the way, don't let the door hit your back on the way out.

Robert Gibbs said...

polyian said...

"...asking Flaherty why he won't step up to the plate like a real man..."

-----------------------------------------------

The trouble is that when Mini-Me Flaherty stands up, no one notices, as the troll of such little stature (both physically and intellectually) appears to be still sitting down.