Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is the Liberal’s onProbation.ca for real, or merely an email harvesting exercise?


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.

6 comments:

Bruce Benson said...

Brent

I agree with your comments here. The Liberals seem to be playing in a vacuum. Have they not learned anything from the last election campaign? With the Income Trust Issue, they have a golden opportunity to show Canadians that Harper is nothing but a liar and a shyster. The Liberals are sitting on their ass doing absolutely nothing and will probably blow this one too. I have just renewed my Liberal membership for the 3rd year now and I am beginning to loose hope and my patience. I keep pressing the issue and not one reply. Seems they just don't get it or maybe they don't want to get it.

Dr Mike said...

Excellent thoughts!!

People take the time & become involved on this site in hopes that the Liberal powers at be actually read the material--if they are just trolling for emails & donations then they should be ashamed of themselves as they are no better than the Cons.

If the trust question remains number 1 then this is the question which should be asked.

The proof will be in the pudding.

Dr Mike.

Dr Mike said...

One more thought :


I don`t like the way the messaging has changed within both the Conservative Party & the Liberal party on this trust issue---the media & these parties are both echoing the same thought that this issue was never about tax leakage.

Now how did all 3 groups end up on the same page??

This does not forebode well for the outcome that we desire.

I can see even the Liberals "cheap out" on this issue , carving out energy trusts , leaving growth constraints in place or even slapping on an extended grace period beyond 2011.

Until the Liberals set in stone their policy this thing can still blow-up into a result that will remain detrimental to the country & to the investor.

Dr Mike.

Truth in Trusts said...

Unfortunately the Liberals are doing nothing that I can see regarding the income trust file. They did nothing with the CPP losses that I provided to them and they did nothing with the overall IT losses over time that I provided. Brent, I am sure that you have provided them with a lot of ammunition over the past 30 months. Once again I thank you for all of your efforts. I just do not see any results forthcoming from the Liberals. Just searched liberal.ca for income trusts and I get a page about your candidacy and one other guy. Nothing, zilch, zero. Income trusts are not on their radar.

They will see no money from me for fundraising until such time as they step up to the plate.
Thanks
Les

Anonymous said...

onprobation.ca should be renamed trollingforvotes.ca

bottom line both parties ended up killing Trusts... the new horizon developing is the preferred share markets... let's see what the future brings

CAITI said...

"bottom line both parties ended up killing Trusts... the new horizon developing is the preferred share markets... let's see what the future brings"

SORRY. WRONG. We are not going to be run over like a bunch of lame pansies and "see what the future brings"

YOU COULDN'T BE MORE WRONG, with that statement of total capitulation and indifference. The world shall unfold as the people at large want, and not those who simply think they can pull our strings and placate us with " new horizon developing is the preferred share markets."

You weren't actually serious were you?

Brent Fullard