Friday, May 8, 2009

Ralph Goodale is a saint

Just as Paul Martin is a saint for having opposed bank mergers when all of Bay Street (myself excluded) were clamoring for it, so too Ralph Goodale is a saint. I tell this to people I speak with across the country. No to curry favour with Ralph or with people’s political leanings, but simply to call a spade a spade. Had it not been for Ralph Goodale, as Finance Minister, calling for public consultations on the matter of income trusts during the fall of 2005. I would not have been in the position of making ONE PHONE CALL as a private citizen to a former colleague of mine on Bay Street on the day after Harper’s Halloween Massacre of 2006 and learning that the answer to my question of “what became of the study that was commissioned during the Goodale Round on the question of tax leakage. Was it ever published? What did it show?”

Much to my surprise this study had been published and much to my initial disbelief, I was told this study concluded that there was NO TAX LEAKAGE from income trusts. It wasn’t until I received that report entitled “The tax revenue implications of income trusts” by HLB Decision Economics that afternoon by courier and read it did I come to realize the gross fundamental error that underlay all the erroneous chatter on Bay Street and in the mass media about tax leakage. I then tracked down the lead author , Dennis Bruce, to confirm whether my interpretation of his findings was correct. I remember quite vividly what Dennis told me that day “No Brent, your interpretation is correct. Finance assigns zero value to the taxes collected by them from the 38% of trusts held in RRSPs”

Knowing this was the difference between alleged tax leakage and the reality of tax neutrality. I then felt this was a matter well worth pursuing. Something which began with my writing a “backgrounder” entitled Income Trusts: Tax Leakage or tax neutral?” that I sent to the Editor of the Globe’s ROB by way of Ira Gluskin and to many others in the media. I learned sadly over the last two and half years that Canada’s press has little interest in the truth and are happy to print fallacious accounts handed to them by politicians of questionable ethics on policies that adversely affected ALL CANADIANS.

It is quite a pathetic condemnation of Canada’s media who are either complicit through incompetence or complicit by deceit.

This leaves Canadian taxpayers of being in the precarious situation of being reliant not on the media to make politicians accountable, but rather reliant on the politicians themselves.

It is all well and good for me to call Ralph Goodale a saint, because his actions while Finance Minister lead to my learning the truth about tax leakage, however I doubt that the point of that exercise of Public Consultation was intended for simply me to know the truth and not the other 33 million Canadians who have an equal right to know and be actively told the truth. If so, then this exercise of my knowing the truth has proven to me to be nothing more than an exercise in personal frustration rather than personal enlightenment.

In order for Ralph Goodale to retain his stature as a Saint, which I believe him to be, will require that he and the Liberal Party inform ALL CANADIANS, all of whom are ALL ADVERSELY affected by this policy, about Harper’s lies about tax leakage that was perpetrated on the gullible and ill informed Canadian public under his mantra of “Canadians must trust” on behalf of the narrow self interests of those on bay Street who were too myopic in their world vision to actually think killing income trusts was to their long termm benefit or that of the country.

Any beliefs of this nature have been completely shattered by the events of the global financial meltdown, with BCE being the most stunning example or Manulife’s screw up with Income Plus or Power’s failed investment in Putnam Investments which cost both of those companies to write off $1 billion in their latest quarters.

Like the group think mentality on the part of the clamoring CEOs on Bay Street about bank mergers, the group think mentality on the part of clamoring CEOs on Bay Street about income trusts, both proved to be shallow minded and greed oriented views that have been subsequently rebuked by the “stress tests” of the last 12 months. Believe it or not, but Bay Street has no idea what is good for Bay Street in either the short or long term, and certainly have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER about what is good for the whole of the country or taxpayers at large.

Bay Street should be listened to, consulted, but not followed. If nothing, Bay Street (as traditionally defined) is a perfect leading indicator for what NOT TO with the matter of bank mergers, bailout of ABCP, HST and most certainly as with income. trusts.

My request for Ralph Goodale is for him and his Liberal Party under Michael Ignatieff to expose Harper’s patent lie about tax leakage and to allow ALL CANADIANS to perceive them as being the saints that they have the potential and opportunity to be and the purveyors of the Truth.

From the truth, can only good policies emerge. From the truth, can only Canada’s democracy be well served.

This is something that Barack Obama has embraced, in his hope and stated desire to be known as the Empirical President, in which he intends to base all his policy decisions on the universe of known facts. Canadians deserve, and demand, no less.


Dr Mike said...

I have to give Mr Goodale full marks for at least bringing up this issue daily this week in Question Period.

Hopefully , this is a prelude to the real thing when the Liberals go after the Con`s fraudulent tax on income trusts to get to the truth of the matter.

Still , good going Mr Goodale as we appreciate the thought.

Dr Mike

Kephalos said...

From today's Gloaming Myths:

Let's Talk Investing:

How to pursue a complaint against an adviser or investment firm
The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments is where you go when you’ve struck out trying on your own to get compensation for losses due to bad investment advice. We talked to head ombudsman David Agnew to find out how to pursue a complaint, and what OBSI can do.


Will this advice help those who listened to the bad advice given out by S. Harper in 2005 and 2008?

Will the Saint help us? Will the Saint get a new halo, a jag and babe?

Only the Shadow knows, eh?

CAITI said...


If by "Saint" you are referring to Simon Templar.....he drove a Volvo P1800 and not a Jag?


Anonymous said...

Maybe we should all file complaints with the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments .... isn't TD Bank on record for their role in the destruction of Income Trusts? Or Manulife and Power could also be investigated as they also seem to meet the criteria for filing complaints with this organization.