Sunday, January 17, 2010

For Ignatieff’s representations to ring true, requires the Liberals to push the Marshall Plan hard

Below is an email I received from Michael Ignatieff in April 2009 shortly after I attended his fundraiser in Toronto where I along with a group of income trust investors who purchased a table for ten (pictured above). I heard nothing about pensions from Michael Ignatieff that evening, as I would have expected from a speech to Bay Street gathering. What I did hear was lot of praise being heaped on Purdy Crawford for his miraculous bailout of that Bay Street cheque kiting scheme known as ABCP....a bailout only made successful by the use of taxpayer’s money. That’s hardly something worthy of praise in my mind, especially given that the banks who caused it, were legally absolved of their sins as part of that taxpayer bailout solution. But each to their own

It wasn’t until a few days later when someone sent me the Macleans article entitled “Retiring into the unknown” that I decided to make my concerns known. This elicited a response from Michael Ignatieff as follows

From: Michael Ignatieff
To: Brent Fullard
Sent: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 6:59 PM
Subject: Re: Okay Liberals: Your silence is deafening. What is your position on “Retiring into the unknown”?

Brent, this is your leader. We are working on pension reform. We have made our position on income trusts clear over a year ago.Income security for Canadians is in the top three of my platform priorities. I thank you for everything you are doing to keep these issues before the public. Stay in touch. MI

By that, Michael was referring to the following Liberal position:

“Building upon our initial proposal to retain income trusts as a high-yield investment option so that Canadians have a diversity of investment vehicles, while ensuring tax neutrality between corporations and income trusts, a Liberal government will repeal the punitive 31.5 percent tax on income trusts and replace it with a 10 percent tax that is refundable for Canadian residents.”

Just like the bailout plan that was proposed by the Harper Conservatives to deal with the ABCP fiasco was able to garner the support and subsequent praise of the Liberals, in order to address the losses sustained by ABCP investors, 95% of whom were institutional investors like the Caisse de depot who surely should have known better about the obvious risks embedded in ABCP, I would surely expect that the Liberals would want to endorse the plan put forward by me on behalf of David and Lorraine Marshall who through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, have had their retirements saving stolen from them on the back of an empty Stephen Harper promise and a fraudulent Conservative and NDP lie about tax leakage.

Unlike Purdy Crawford,, I seek no praise or glory in a roomful of fat cats on Bay Street. There is no pride of authorship on my part about the Marshall Savings Plan solution to Canadians’ income trust fiasco, as I surrender all rights to it. A solution that a great many people including Diane Francis calls “brilliant”., should only heighten its appeal to the Liberals for them to make good on their promises of the past, as was contained in this email from Michael Ignatieff to me, since:

(1) Michael Ignatieff said to me that the Liberal’s plan of Election 2008 stands firm

(2) If the bailout of institutions who unwisely owned ABCP is deserving of a taxpayer underwritten bailout, then SURELY individual investors ripped off by Harper and Layton’s lies about tax leakage deserve to get equal consideration from Ottawa under the Marshall Plan solution that requires no taxpayer subsidies or underwriting and IN FACT provides Ottawa with billion in new tax revenue. Hello? Do taxpayers and voters count for anything any more in this country or just the Purdy Crawfords and Caisse de depots’ and the Manulife’s and the Desmarais”, who were behind the killing of our Profit Sharing Income Trusts in order for then to jamb their investment garbage down Canadians throats.

(3) This unresolved income trust situation and the sitting duck nature of these trusts makes this the equivalent of a financial pandemic, meaning there is no just argument for waiting

(4) The trust issue has a “best before date” that looms large

(5) OMERs has already bought two trusts that exploit the grossly unfair loophole Flaherty gave then to avoid the 31.5% tax, that we pay, creating a grossly unfair “tax arbitrage” that the head of OMERs says will be the main focus of their 2101 plans

(6) There is a Budget coming up in March 2010, probably the LAST budget before the trust tax death sentence

(7) The Marshall Plan achieved everything the Liberal’s position on trusts that is reaffirmed by Ignatieff and MORE, as it created a new stream of tax revenue that was at risk of being evaded by foreigners and pension funds and transforms it into $6 billion of annual cash for a deficit laden Ottawa

(8) Harper is on record as saying he is looking for ideas from the PUBLIC and from the OPPOSITION parties.

I look forward to hearing about Michael Ignatieff’s and the Liberal Party’s support for the Marshall Savings Plan. If necessary, pretend it is yours, or pretend it is Purdy Crawfords. It matters not a wit to me. Just don’t pretend it doesn’t exist or that you don’t have the capacity as a party to understand it.

Only then will I know whether you are privileged in saying “Brent, this is your leader.”, as proof of your leadership awaits you on this matter. I am not just an incessant complainer, but an intelligent problem solver. Please treat this matter as such, given your stated desire to turn Canada into a knowledge society. What's the point of becoming a "knowledge society" if ones "brilliant" solutions to vexing problems go ignored and unchampioned by the very people calling for a "knowledge society"?

Speaking for myself, I am not about to "dumb down" on this issue, any time soon or let opportunities like the Marshall Plan go frittered and wasted. Since those are my two least favorite things in life: Dumb people. Wasted opportunities. They often go hand in hand.


Anonymous said...

Great Stuff Brent!!!.. and Iggy we will be waiting for March 2010 either you will be my leader or my Ziggy !!!


Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Dr Mike said...

Dumb people + Wasted opportunities = the perfect storm.

It just happened that we got caught in those gail-force winds on Halloween 2006.

Dr Mike