August 21, 2008
The Hon. James M. Flaherty
Minister of Finance
Re: $50,000 Financial Literacy Scholarship Fund
You may have read in today’s Financial Post that I would like to establish a $50,000 scholarship to fund the university tuition costs of a number of worthy business students, in the name of promoting financial literacy.
I know that you have recently spoken out for the need for greater financial literacy in our country, and no doubt you acknowledge the need for greater access to higher learning for those individuals who might otherwise be constrained in their ability to finance the rising cost of a university education. As you probably know, business schools have some of the highest tuition fees of all undergraduate degrees.
I am therefore writing you to inform you that I am willing to establish a $50,000 university scholarship fund at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Students would be selected on the basis of an essay competition, focusing on the broad topic of financial literacy.
I am willing to proceed with the endowment of this scholarship on the basis that you would be willing to donate an hour and a half of your time to engage in a public debate with me on the topic of:
TFP: “Tax Fairness Plan” or “Tax Failure Plan”?
It is proposed that you would defend the “fairness” side of this debate and I would defend the “failure” side.
The debate would take place in downtown Toronto in a venue to be provided by me and at a time that is convenient to you. The public would be invited and encouraged to donate to the scholarship by way of tickets for the event. My guarantee will ensure that no less than $50,000 would be raised.
The impetus for such a debate came originally from one of your Ontario Member of Parliament colleagues who was quoted in the March 31, 2008 Hill Times as saying:
“I don’t think Jim’s losing any sleep over it. As a matter of fact, I’m sure of it. I’m sure he’d love to go a couple of rounds with these guys in a debate situation.”
“These guys” was in reference to the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors, of which I am the President & CEO and founder.
You may recall that the Hill Times printed a letter of mine to the Editor in the April 7, 2008 edition of the Hill Times, complete with head shots of both you and stating that:
“Well, if that is truly the case, then we would certainly welcome such a “debate situation” ourselves, and have three simple questions for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, namely: When? Where? And would you like to bring the 18 pages of blacked out documents of alleged tax leakage, or should we?”
That was the end of that.
The issue arose again in my mind when I learned that your counterpart, the Hon. John McCallum, the Liberal’s Finance critic has agreed to a public debate on September 10, 2008 in Toronto with Seymour Schulich on the topic of the Liberal’s Green Shift policy. A policy, which I understand your party refers to as the Green Shaft.
As intemperate as that language may be, the term Green Shaft is also an apt description, in the minds of many people, for your Tax Fairness Plan. However, those observations are best left for the debate itself.
I realize that you and I may not be the “draw” that John McCallum and Seymour Schulich are , so that is why I am proposing the debate be “underwritten” by me to the extent of guaranteeing a scholarship donation of at least $50,000. The proceeds from our debate would go to a very worthwhile cause, whereas the McCallum debate is a political fundraising activity, which no doubt you would consider a less worthwhile cause.
This is the broad outline of what I am proposing and expect that you would be as willing to debate the Tax Fairness Plan, a major policy platform of the Conservative Party, as John McCallum would the Green Shift, a major policy platform of the Liberal party, furthermore our debate would fund a very worthwhile cause, promoting Financial Literacy at the undergraduate university level.
I look forward to the prospect of your acceptance of this invitation and the debate itself, whereupon the $50,000 will be immediately placed in a trust account payable to the university upon fulfillment of the agreed upon debate.
Please contact me at your earliest opportunity with your decision or to deal with any questions you may have.
Please formally respond to this invitation by way of email at debate@JimHadHisChance.ca
Brent D. Fullard
President & CEO
Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors (Taxpayers)
Friday, August 22, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 2:36 PM