It was over a month ago that Michael Ignatieff and John McCallum announced the launch of their onProbation.ca website. It was described this way in a press release of March 23, 2009:
“As Mr. McCallum explained, the website is expected to grow and develop as Canadians share their stories, contribute their ideas and research for the site, and as new economic information comes to light.”
This does not appear to be happening, as the site contains a section entitled “Ask the PM a question”. Here people are free to post the question that they would like put to Stephen Harper, and others can vote on that question and add their comments.
To participate in this process, one has to sign up and relinquish one’s email address.
At present the number one, number five and number seven questions are questions about income trusts.
These three questions have a combined number of 108 comments, the overwhelming majority of which are Canadians demanding the truth about tax leakage and calling upon the Liberals to expose this fraud. Their frustration is becoming palpable. And for good reason, since this lie has been perpetuated in the press and in the House of Commons for 2.5 years. Is Canada a democracy or is it a cleptocracy?
If the politicians don’t ask these questions for the people of Canada, who will? Bernard Madoff?
Here is a representative question, that ostensibly the Liberals may get around to “Ask the PM”?:
“Its time for the Government of Stephen Harper to come clean on the Income Trust Tax issue. Liars should be turfed out. Leadership is about honesty and integrity.” E. Francis Pinto
Or this one:
“It is clear that Harper and Flaherty were acting on false assumptions when they set off the 2006 Halloween Massacre. the Income Trust model is a valid business structure. It is legitimate and investor-friendly. It is time for the Liberal Party to clearly state its support for this business model. Step up and do the right thing for seniors and retirees. SHOW SOME REAL LEADERSHIP FOR A CHANGE!” William Barrowclough
One has to wonder if this site is for real or simply a tool to gather people’s emails and to canvass them for contributions. I guess we will find out next week, since these requests on the onProbation.ca website are going unheeded in terms of the questions that are being asked of Harper by the Liberals in the House of Commons.
When a party sets up a website that invites people to vote on what question they most wish to ask the Prime Minister, it is assumed that there will be some follow through. To date there has been none from the Liberals.
I suggest the Liberal leadership visit the site and acquaint themselves with the views that they themselves have solicited, or shut it down. False hope is worse than no hope at all.
Meanwhile here is the number one question, as voted on by Canadians, and as originally posted by Eric Shultz about four weeks ago:
Review the Tax Fairness Plan and the tax on income trusts
The Tax Fairness Plan (which is anything but) includes a 31.5% tax on Income Trusts that has never been properly justified (the argument of tax leakage was never substantiated and independent analysis shows there is none).
The Prime Minister needs to come clean on Income Trust taxation and ultimately repeal the tax.
The Income Trust investment vehicle is available under many forms but in this form it was most accessible and beneficial to average Canadians (other forms, such as Flow Through Entities, are more complicated to participate in - although the Finance Minister himself benefits from his partnership in an FTE).
In the previous election Stephen Harper berated the Liberals for "raiding senior's next eggs" by taxing income trusts (after public consultation) and yet no sooner was he in office that he imposed without consultation a punishing tax on income trusts.
I call upon the Prime Minister to repeal the income trust tax and review the entire Tax Fairness Plan.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 5:13 PM