Monday, December 21, 2009

The Toronto Star is the biggest supporter of Harper’s use of blacked out documents

The Toronto Star are nothing more than complete hypocrites when it comes to their opportunistically jumping on the bandwagon of public opinion in opposing Harper’s use of blacked out documents as the means to hide the real truth about possible abuse of Afghan detainees. Ditto for the Toronto’ Star’s feigned concern over the retirement savings of Canadians and what many call the pension crisis. More utter hypocrisy on the part of the Toronto Star.

I can make this statement based on my first hand experience in meeting with the Toronto Star Editorial Board on April 12, 2007. Here is an account of that meeting that I posted to my blog on June 26, 2008, in which the Toronto Star had the audacity to support Harper’s use of blacked out documents in order to hide the truth about whether income trusts actually cause tax leakage, as the sole justification for a policy that caused Canadians to lose $35 billion of their hard earned retirement savings.

Principles like the need for transparency can not be espoused on a selective basis as the Toronto Star is doing, otherwise they are merely artifices and excuses, arbitrary whims and caprices and most certainly not PRINCIPLES. As such the Toronto Star has NO PRINCIPLES, as follows:

My meeting with the Toronto Star Editorial Board of April 12, 2007
Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bob Hepburn (pictured here) has an editorial piece in today’s Toronto Star in defense of Louise Arbor and her work at the UN on human rights.

I met with Bob Hepburn and the Toronto Star Editorial Board on April 12,2007, at which time he was the Editor of the Editorial Page of the Toronto Star. If you can believe this, Hepburn and his colleagues were actually DEFENDING the 18 pages of blacked out documents used by Flaherty as ”proof” of alleged tax leakage from income trusts. They agreed with Harper that this information should not be disclosed and agreed with Harper that it was a matter of National Security for this information not to be disclosed. I was totally dumbfounded. I thought I must have been meeting with the Editorial Board of Pravda and not the Toronto Star.

As such, Bob Hepburn is a total hypocrite. What about human rights here at home? Defending blacked out documents? Puhlease.

Hepburn demanded to know my explanation for why Harper would have done something if it weren't to solve tax leakage?

I told him that was his job as a reporter to figure out. Furthermore, since when do I speak for Stephen Harper? He then threatened to end the meeting, unless I gave my explanation.

I said that I did so only reluctantly, since that was the reporters job, not mine. Half way through explaining that the many groups who benefited from this policy had lobbied the government, for example lifecos like Power Corp and Manulife, he stopped me before I could finish, and dismissed what I was saying with the comment "That's just a conspiracy theory".

At which point I told him that he was the one who wanted my answer and then he cuts me off before allowing me to finish. I told him the only conspiracy theory was the one being advanced by his paper, namely the conspiracy theory of tax leakage caused by income trusts and Harper’s use of blacked out documents as supposed ”proof” of alleged tax leakage.

This hypocrisy on the part of Bob Hepburn and the entire Editorial Board of the Toronto Star with whom I met, is easily explained, once you realize that the Toronto Star has a commercial vested interest in the outcome of killing income trusts, and hence that means, in their incredibly narrow minds, that the end justifies the means, including the use of blacked out documents.

The Star is owned by Torstar Inc. Torstar has two classes of shares. Voting and non-voting. The voting shares are the corporate abuse by which the Honderich and Atkinson families control the company. This control in turn assures the Star of its editorial freedom under the Atkinson Principles.

Many newspapers had converted into trusts to achieve higher valuations through appealing to income oriented investors, who pay taxes of 38% on these distributions. These income oriented investors are not interested in investing in the "crap shoot" known as the stock market to fund their retirement income needs. Nor do they want to own GICs that pay 2.00%. Income trusts emerged to fill their needs, on which they happily paid taxes, without the benefit of the tax benefits associated with dividends.

Torstar was being pressured to convert to a trust. The Board of Tortsar had a duty to maximize shareholder value, much like was argued with BCE before the Supreme Court.

Converting to a trust would have meant abandoning the Voting/Non voting share structure. This would have meant these Atkinson Principles would be in jeopardy. So too the Star's "Editorial Freedom".

Hence the Toronto Star's editorial stance on trusts is to kill them........and support the government's lies for doing the conspiracy theory known as tax leakage etc etc.

The Toronto Star is a joke. They value their so called editorial freedom, more than they do the truth. The Star needs to learn about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The Star has no business spouting off about human rights abroad if it is a willing participant in truth suppression here at home and the resultant $35 billion raiding of seniors nest eggs. In so doing the Toronto Star is helping to aid and foster an intellectually corrupt regime known as the Harper CONs

Here was my follow up email after the meeting:

From: Brent Fullard
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 20:17:23 -0400
Subject: Jack Mintz Quote


Thank you for the opportunity of meeting with the Editorial Board of the Toronto Star. In our meeting today and in response to a question that you raised with me, I made reference to correspondence I received from Jack Mintz that directly contradicts what he is saying in the public and the basis upon which the tax leakage numbers he has been advancing in the public have been based. Here is what he confided to me in an e-mail dated November 28, 2006:

"I do want to point out that there is a serious flaw in some analyses especially on the taxation of pension and RRSP accounts. Finance was not right to treat the impact is [sic] zero."

As I pointed out to you, this is the very basis upon which “tax leakage” turns. Wrongly excluding these taxes results in tax leakage. Correctly including them results in tax neutrality. Below is a press release issued by Dennis Bruce of HLB Decision Economics following the testimony he gave at the Public Hearings. The operative phrase is: "While federal budgeting is done on a current basis, federal policy analysis is done on a life-cycle basis. Accounting for the life-cycle effects of tax changes, namely deferred taxes, is appropriate in the consideration of tax policy."

Brent Fullard
President and CEO
Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors

647 505-2224 (cell)

Independent economists discredit govt tax leakage claims - 10 year phase-in of tax to have minimal costs

OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2007 /CNW Telbec/ - In remarks delivered to the House of Commons Finance Committee Thursday, Dennis Bruce, Vice President of HLB Decision Economics Inc., provided data and supporting documentation to discredit the Department of Finance's tax leakage claims.
"The department is sharply overstating tax leakage," said Mr. Bruce, who added that there would be minimal costs associated with a 10 year phase-in of the new tax on income trust distribution payments.
HLB Decision Economics, an Ottawa-based independent consulting firm that provides analytical consulting services to industry and governments worldwide, has been working on behalf of the income trust sector to develop a comparative analysis of taxes generated under the income trust structure versus the corporate structure.
Mr. Bruce told committee members that his firm worked with the Department of Finance as it prepared the federal government's 2005 consultation paper on the tax effects of income trusts. Specifically, HLB was asked by the department to develop a common methodology and assumptions for deriving tax leakage estimates.
Mr. Bruce said that HLB and the Finance Department achieved consensus on the methodology with one exception - they disagreed on whether to include deferred taxes. Deferred taxes are derived from distributions, capital gains, and dividends received in tax exempt accounts. While they are not immediately taxable, they are taxable upon withdrawal from such accounts.
"The discussions that you are hearing about deferred taxes reflect confusion about budgeting convention versus policy analysis," said Mr. Bruce."While federal budgeting is done on a current basis, federal policy analysis is done on a life-cycle basis. Accounting for the life-cycle effects of tax changes, namely deferred taxes, is appropriate in the consideration of tax policy."
Mr. Bruce went on to outline the factors that resulted in the differences between HLB's tax leakage estimates and the tax leakage figures put forward by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. These factors include:

1) The Department's assumed effective corporate tax rate for energy
trusts fails to reflect the reductions in the tax rates for resource
corporations from 2004 through 2006, from 27.12% to 24.12%. This
results in an overstatement of tax leakage of $84 million;
2) The Department's figure for income trust units held in tax exempt
accounts is overstated. Derived from data from surveys, Statistics
Canada, interviews and Scotia Capital Markets data, the percentage of
units held in tax exempt accounts is 31 percent, less than the
Department's 38 percent estimate. This results in an overstatement of
tax leakage of $125 million;
3) The value of deferred taxes is excluded from the Department of Finance
analysis. This results in an overstatement of tax leakage of
$80 million; and,
4) The Finance Department's atypical inclusion of the impact of limited
partnerships, which reduces the tax leakage to $45 million.
5) The impact of future legislated tax changes post 2010 has not been
accounted for. Doing so reduces the ongoing federal tax leakage after
2010 by $232 million.

Mr. Bruce stressed that the discrepancies between HLB and the Finance Department led his firm to conclude that the Finance Department is "sharply overstating tax leakage."

Specifically, HLB concluded that:

- Federal tax leakage for 2006 was $164 million, not the
half billion dollars stated by the Department; and,
- Ongoing tax leakage, post 2010, after taking into account legislated
tax changes, is $32 million per year, about five percent of the
Department's figures.

For further information: Dennis Bruce, Vice President, HDR - HLB Decision Economics Inc. (613) 234-0080; Cell: (709) 632-1708


Dr Mike said...

Since when should an investigative newspaper accept blacked-out pages as proof of anything--accepting anything on blind faith is fools play.

Blacking out pages is akin to the old shell game played by a blind man---good luck with that one.

I guess maybe everyone should be asking themselves , who benefitted from Flaherty`s tax & who did not.

It is obvious now that big business , pension funds & the Abu Dhabi`s of the world were tops on the "we got the goodies" list.

It is also now apparent that the little guy investor was at the top of the "who got the shaft" list.

There was a time when people like the small investor could count on the media to keep the gov`t honest---they were the check & balance.

Once the media "lays down" with the powers at be in Ottawa all bets are off & you can guess who loses -- sure not the gov`t or the media.

Thanks media-types for nothing.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...

No, no Brent, not Pravda - that was the Communist Party newspaper. You met with the editorial board of "Izvestia" - that was the 'government' newspaper in the Soviet Union - not that there was much of a didfrence, I grant you. Nor is there much of a difference between the Star and the Globe here in the People's Republic of Canada as you have come to know!

Cheers! Hugh

Anonymous said...

Ahhh....excuse me douchebag Brent, but the Star happens to be the biggest supporter of Liberal ideas, initiatives and the party. Dude, get a clue, will ya!?

CAITI said...


Douchebag you say? Nice.

Meanwhile, unlike you, I didn't get the memo from the Liberal Party Headquarters which proclaims that everything that the Toronto Star says or does, has to be right and has to be obeyed, because it's "the biggest supporter of Liberal ideas, initiatives and the party"?

When am I supposed to clock my heels in blind support?

Also, when did the Liberal Party demand that its supporters check their brains on the way in?

Your comments and your espoused beliefs make you sound like a mindless Harper supporter to me.

PS: That's actually worse than being called a douche bag, in case you didn't know.

PPS: How brave of you to hurl insults like that from the comfort of your anonymous self.

Brent Fullard

Dr Mike said...

Anonymous said...
Ahhh....excuse me douchebag Brent, but the Star happens to be the biggest supporter of Liberal ideas, initiatives and the party. Dude, get a clue, will ya!?

December 21, 2009 7:34 PM

Who cares which party the paper supports??

If what they say is crap it is still crap.

Somehow guys like you assume that everyone on this blog is a Liberal supporter---our support is for good gov`t that does what is in the best interests of the people.

I am against anything & anyone who supports blacked-out pages as proof of anything.

I am against anyone is willing to actually accept blacked-out pages as the truth.

I am against anyone who hides in the bushes under the night-like cover of anonymity as that is but one hood with eyeholes away from anarchy.

Unless you have the guts to use your real name , get lost.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...

Yeah ToStar sucks ... judging by some "business moves" this year I think they know it too ... ancient history. Unlikely that share will ever trade at $15 or higher again.

As a Trust Unit investor, I am more interested in what CAITI can find out and tell us about Reuters.

What was your response from Reuters on this issue? They are way more important and technologically advanced than ToStar or Gag & Mal. After a quick skim of their editorial slant, this story (Cdn Trust Unit Scandal) seems to meet the criteria for reporting. They also have a UK interest. I am not sure if UK has Trust Units or not? Was the same b.s. was shoved on English citizens about Trust Units? Apparently there is nothing wrong with Trusts in the USA ...

Part of the reason I am very interested in what Reuters would do with the Canadian Trust Unit situation, is due to one of their main investors "Woodbridge Holding Company". That company seems to own a ton of media with links to Gag & Mal and ToStar too.
Not the easiest info to find who owns what, with the way all have changed their websites.

As a Trust Unit investor, I am equally interested in finding out if the share structure at Reuters is the same as ToStar.

What was Canadian Press' response?

Insight into CBC too. They are set up so different from commercial media. Any CRTC / CBC experts on this forum?

Thanks for considering. I look forward to reading what CAITI and others know about Reuters, the Woodbridge Holding company and if the English have the same tax leakage (lol) problems with Trust Units as Canadians.

CAITI said...


Good question!

You mention Reuters, which just happens to also be owned by the major owner of the Globe and CTVglobemedia, namely the Thomson Family, through Woodbridge Holdings.

Reuters is a news service that sells its service to other papers across the globe. For that to be a viable business model, requires that Reuters deals with matters factually and without bias and provide both sides of the story where differences of opinion exist. This is enshrined in what they call the Reuters Principles. When Thomson (ie Woodbridge Holdings) acquired Reuters, they said that the Globe and Malice would not be included in the application of the Reuters principles, meaning that the Globe could print whateveer crap it wanted, as, I guess that must have been more important to the Globe's "business model" than it is to Reuters in the minds of the Thomson Family? Otherwise why would the billionaire Thomsons want to continue owning the Globe if they couldn't continue to use it as the "organ" for their beliefs and biases, and a means to indirectly control public "debate" in Canada?

Here is a good example of that bias in action, involving a Reuters' story on income trusts that was sanitized of any balanced journalism called for under the Reuters Principle, by the Globe in(under their "BS Principles") in their version of the Reuters story:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for answering my question. It's appreciated. Busy with family obligations the last few days ...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sugiarto said...

Reuters is good example of the news agency with zero integrity and credibility as well.

In fact,Reuters Trust principles is BULLSFIT,nomore than deceptive devices.

Money laundering through senior executives such as tom glocer,devin wenig,stephen dando etc by stock option are the real picture of Reuters along with forgery,fraud,concealment and any criminal conduct as well.

Reuters mews and media no more than customized yellow pages,a lot of manipulation,fake and forgery as well.