Saturday, October 10, 2009

Flaherty abandons his Harry Potter doctrine and now openly advocates against consumers’ interests

Euromoney’s Finance Minister of the Year for 2009 is the fountainhead of hypocrisy that keeps on spewing.

I speak of Jim Flaherty.

Think back to that bizarre public relations exercise that Jim Flaherty embarked on when Canada’s dollar began its ascent against the dollar a couple years ago. Striving to extract some political advantage from a currency valuation situation that was crushing Canadian exporters with a strengthening dollar, under circumstance where Canadian consumers were feeling none of the benefits of the strong dollar in terms of the prices for retail goods, Jim Flaherty decided to take on the role of Captain Canada. Armed with a Harry Potter book in one hand and pointing his finger at the cameras with the other, Jim Flaherty stood at a custom podium emblazened with the words “Standing up for Consumers” and began preaching a gospel to consumers about something that they were already well familiar with, namely that only by shopping around are consumers able to get the best price.

The collective response to this heavy handed public relations grab for the spotlight was......”Well duh”.

The whole exercise was laughed at by most in the media who saw through it for what it was.....complete nonsense and political opportunism at its worst. To make the situation even more lauhgable, he got most of his facts wrong about the cost of purchasing a Harry Potter book in Canada, and only succeeded in enraging the Canadian book retailing industry in the process

For anyone who was foolish enough to actually think that Jim Flaherty actually gives a hoot about consumers, we now have the other book end to that Harry Potter story. A book end that now sees Jim Flaherty acting in a way that advocates the exact opposite. Now the argument of getting the best price by shopping around is being subverted by Flaherty himself, who is preventing Canadians banks from selling insurance products and creating more competition and lower prices. By denying banks the right to sell insurance products, either in their branches or (God forbid!) using the internet, he is acting in a manner that is completely contrary to the interests of consumers and in a manner that completely contradicts his Harry Potter sermons of the past.

This is just another instalment in Jim Flaherty’s never ending quest to favour insurance companies at the expense of average Canadians. Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax that was predicated on the policy hoax that income trusst cause tax leakage was a complete fraudulent diversion aimed almost exclusively at preventing the insurance companies from facing competition in their sales of retirement savings he killed income trusts and employed falsehoods to do so.

Now, by denying banks the opportunity of selling insurance products, Jim Flaherty is again taking the side of the insurance industry and favoring that oligopoly at the expense of the consumer. The very same consumer onto whom Jim Flaherty hoisted his income trust tax, that double taxes people’s RRSP savings. The very same consumer whom Jim Flaherty hoisted his HST, that double taxes every consumer good and service in Canada’s most populous province at the rate of 13%, and now the very same consumer who is being denied the chance to shop around for the best price for their insurance policies by the man who a few short months ago stood at a podium and hectored at consumers to shop around.

Anyone who is unwiling to acknowledge the enormous hypocrisy and intellectual deceit of Jim Flaherty, Euromoney’s Finance Minister of the Year for 2009, is a shoe-in for next year’s award.......Eurodummy Consumer of the Year Award for 2010.


Dr Mike said...

So why does Jim feel the "love" for the insurance companies anyway , so much so , that there has been very little effort to hide his kissy-face attitude.

Power--it all comes down to power.

These people are the king makers & we are mere minions destined to pay the price.

Oh , for a little kissy-face of our own.

Dr Mike

CanadianSense said...


Are you suggesting we are served better by having more competition?

The monopoly from cable companies?


The Wheatboard?

Open skies?

Dairy Supply management for the benefit of the QC farmers?

What is the track record of the Liberal party in opening those industries to competition to improve the choices for consumers?

Not a lobbyist for the insurance industry.

Dr Mike said...

Canadian Sense

You make it sound like we are a Liberal offshoot.

We are our own organization formed to reverse the income trust tax.

Jim Flaherty caters to the insurance companies such as Manulife---this catering caused him to impose the trust tax in the first place.

Competition is good , hence the need for trusts to keep corporations honest in the sense of better yields.

Dr Mike

CanadianSense said...

Everyone is guilty period of BS on competition file.

A very small group of people care about the income trust issue.

The issue was asked and the CPC increased their seats.

Their is no groundswell to go back and re open the tax treatment for income trusts.

Your arguement that seniors have not had policy improvements from the current government makes your bias too clear.

You should give some credit for those new policies otherwise like the Liberals and NDP just being negative will not gain any traction.

Mike are you suggesting those new policies are not helpful?

Income splitting for seniors and $ 5,000 tax free account?

CAITI said...


When making arguments, you should at least attempt to get your facts straight.

There is no such policy as "income splitting for seniors". Try instead "pension splitting for seniors".

Your policy fantasy benefits 100% of seniors,. whereas the policy that you are blindly touting and which actually exists, only benefits 14% of seniors.

Slight difference, n'est ce pas?

As for the TFSP, this is of no particular benefit to seniors per se and is merely a policy mechanism employed by Flaherty to undermine the vastly superior RRSP savings vehicle and dissaude people from making annula contributions to their RRSP.

But you knew that already? Sure you did.

Brent Fullard

Dr Mike said...

Mike are you suggesting those new policies are not helpful? --- Canadian Sense

I am all for good policy that benefits the many , like say an all-around income tax cut.

All of these kowtowed special interest group reductions as vote getters is a huge waste for all but those involved.

Jim Flaherty`s attack on trusts was done for all of the wrong reasons & with no concrete numerical backup--bad policy is bad policy esp when alternatives that would have caused far less damage were available.

Even if one person is affected in the wrong way by bad policy then that one is one too many.

All we ever requested from this gov`t was proof of their claim of tax leakage---hiding behind 18 blacked-out pages is inexcusable---I do have to admit they said it was a done because of national security concerns , whatever the hell that means.

Recalling the 18 blacked-out pages was a nice touch of defensive behaviour as well.

Don`t get me wrong , I am all for good policy from anyone who can push it thru , I don`t care which party.

I am just sick & tired of un-accountable gov`ts of any stripe who work on behalf of the few who have to power to push the hardest.

Dr Mike Popovich
Rodney Ont

r4i software said...

I like this article but..
last night i went to the midnight premiere of harry potter and the half blood prince! I was honestly so disappointed! was it just me or did it seem very choppy and for some reason didn't feel like it was a harry potter movie. Don't get me wrong some of the parts in it were either really funny or somewhat scary but i really was not satisfied. I don't know, what did you think?? Am i wrong? Give me your opinions..