Photo: Liberal Candidate Brent Fullard holding Flaherty's 18 pages of blacked out "proof" of tax leakage
Evidently Jim Flaherty thinks it is “extremist” to pursue accountability and transparency from his government on an issue that profoundly negatively affects all Canadians, But then Flaherty thinks I am a “broker”? Again showing how little Jim Flaherty understands about he world of finance .......or truth in government. Unaccountable Jim: It’s not his fault. He doesn’t fix potholes. Ontario is the last place to invest. Jail the homeless. It’s the law.
Protester challenges Flaherty
Liberal candidate Brent Fullard, an investment banker, took on Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at an all-candidates meeting at Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby Sept. 23, 2008.
Liberal candidate 'holds extremist views' on income trust issue, finance minister claims
Sep 24, 2008 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (23)
For two years, Brent Fullard has waged a battle against the Conservative government's flip-flop on income trusts.
He organized a special interest group and has taken out full-page ads in major newspapers, calling the Oct. 31, 2006, government move to end, as of 2011, the tax advantages enjoyed by income trusts "Jim Flaherty's Great Canadian Giveaway Sale."
Now the freelance investment banker is running as the Liberal candidate against Flaherty, the federal finance minister, in the riding of Whitby-Oshawa.
Yesterday, Fullard opened a student-organized all-candidates meeting with criticism of Flaherty's move on income trusts, which had followed a promise by the Conservatives in the 2006 election campaign not to tax income trusts.
At Whitby's Sinclair Secondary School – a venue where students had questions about finances, the environment and post-secondary education – Fullard's opening remarks accused Flaherty of a "massive policy blunder" that destroyed seniors' savings when he "double-taxed income trusts."
"I'm very serious about running for office in this riding ... because there is this dissatisfaction with this arrogant person who is negligent and incompetent," Fullard said later in an interview. "I'm opposed not to the person, but to his policies and his demeanour."
Income trusts avoid most corporate taxes by distributing profits to unit holders, and they were an increasingly popular business structure. They had become a popular investment vehicle for seniors, so the government's move to end, as of 2011, the tax advantages enjoyed by income trusts compared to regular corporations sparked protests across the country.
The decision shocked the financial sector. When markets opened the next day, investors dumped their units and the TSE plummeted 300 points. In one week, 70 trusts lost $20 billion in stock value. Many seniors lost their savings.
On Monday, the Liberal party pledged to replace the Tories' 31.5 per cent tax on income trusts with a 10 per cent tax that would be refundable to Canadian residents.
Fullard founded the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors and raised $1 million to advocate for income trusts.
Recently, he sent Flaherty a registered letter offering to put up $50,000 to the charity of Flaherty's choice if the minister would publicly debate him on income trusts.
The offer was rejected.
The income trust issue has been dealt with, Flaherty said in an interview. "It's now the law in Canada. It's not about to be changed."
Flaherty called Fullard a one-issue candidate. "He holds extremist views. He's a Forest Hill broker that Mr. Dion decided to parachute into my riding." Fullard does live in Forest Hill but taking on Flaherty was his own initiative. Judi Longfield, who lost to Flaherty in 2006, is now the Liberal party executive director in Ontario.
Single-issue candidates have wonelections before. "Some people have called this a type of surrogate leadership," said Robert MacDermid, a York University political science professor. "For instance, (former New Democrat MP) Svend Robinson kind of represented the gay rights constituency. To a certain extent, that's what (Fullard's) doing here. He's being a surrogate representative for people concerned about the income trust issue."
Although it's a legitimate form of representation, MacDermid said many people would also argue that a representative should be connected to his or her constituency.
Flaherty said this is his strength.
"I've lived in Whitby for a long time. I've been the provincial member and federal member. This is our community," said Flaherty, referring to his wife Christine Elliott, who is the MPP for the riding
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 7:35 AM