Jim & Pearl:
It's funny you should mention what Ken Dryden said, because quite frankly I don't buy that line. There is SO MUCH MORE that the Liberal Party could be doing for us on this income trust issue it isn't funny. Why have the Liberal Party not mentioned once in the last year in Parliament about Harper's lie about tax leakage, the many foreign takeovers, the loss of taxes arising from those takeovers, the fact that a lot of these derivative and synthetic investment products are unable to stand the test of time, like ABCP or Manulife's Income Plus and that public policy should discourage their proliferation and instead encourage Canadians to invest directly in the Canadian economy via investments like income trusts?
All of the issues surrounding the income trust issue were brought into vastly sharper focus because of the events of the Global Financial Meltdown, which only made what should have been obvious to policy makers before, into the blatantly obvious now.
Ken Dryden and the Liberal Party have to stop using the excuse that they aren't the Government as some kind of "whoa is me" excuse and wake up to the reality that they ARE the Official Opposition and this is a Minority Parliament. I heard that same line of defeatism from John McCallum this past week when I attended an event in Peterborough where he was have a "pre-budget consultation". When he uttered that line about not being the government, I had to bite my tongue and stop myself from saying: "Well if that's the case, then why did anyone come to this pre-budget consultation, as you are simply saying that we are wasting our time?"
I find that politicians have a very bad habit of always defining things in the negative context, like "we aren't the government" or "you can't put the toothpaste back into the tube" or "that's too complicated". In fact, come to think of it these are all oft repeated phrases of John McCallum's. In fact he incredulously used the line of "its too complicated" when asked to respond to the Marshall Savings Plan! I couldn't believe my ears and did my best to keep my cool while challenging John on the absurdity of such a statement. Too complicated? Good grief, it's only the VERY SAME as an RRSP but with one minor difference that we are prepared to accept and which does the government and all other taxpayers $6 billion a year in good!
I hope that it isn't too complicated for the Liberals to come to the understanding that if they don't act in the manner expected of them as the Official Opposition in a Minority Parliament and use the power vested in them by voters to call upon the Harper government to implement the Marshall Savings Plan in Budget 2010 as 79.6% of Canadians in a recent Envionics Research poll are in favour of, then they will be as responsible for all the adverse effects of this policy that will ensue from that day of inaction, going forward, no different than if their name was Stephen Harper. It's called accountability.
I hope the Liberals also don't consider it too complicated to come to the understanding that the worst part of Harper's income trust tax has yet to hit the Canadian economy, as Canadians' investment portfolios may have taken a $35 billion hit, but until the trust tax itself kicks in January 2011 and these trusts either get taken over by foreigners or pension funds who have a special status we don't enjoy or get converted to corporations and slash their payouts, then that's the point where the proverbial so and so hits the fan and Canadians' income levels take a real nosedive. I did tell John McCallum at the meeting that the pending trusts tax is the equivalent of losing 2.5 million full and part time jobs, as 2.5 million Canadians who own trusts will be losing a significant portion of their income in less than a year's time.
So it's one thing for Ken Dryden to say that the Liberals are not the government in perhaps the context in which he made that observation, but insofar as implementing the Marshall Savings Plan in Budget 2010 is concerned, I completely reject such a defeatist attitude on the part of our paid elected Members of Parliament who hail from the Liberal Party. They are in as good a position as the Harper Conservatives and certainly in a vastly better position that either you or I to get this win win win policy into the 2010 Budget, but to do so requires that they show some true leadership, and stop spouting their defeatist dogma and get this policy implemented. There is no end to what they could be doing, but aren't doing. With a standing start popular support level for the Marshall Savings Plan of 79.6% of Canadians, I can assure you that if I was the Leader of the Liberal Party or the Finance Critic of the Liberal Party, I could have the support level from Canadians for the Marshall Savings Plan at 95% after a few well placed Op Eds and press conferences. Of that I am sure. After which Harper would have NO CHOICE but to make the Marshall Savings Plan a core part of the solution to both Canada's budget crisis AND Canada's pension crisis, but unlike politicians in Ottawa I like to define things in the positive and not the negative and I like to deal with issues and actually make things happen rather than having issues piling up for three and half years gathering dust.
The Liberals have less than 72 hours to get their act together, and this is truly a case in which those who aren't part of the Marshall Savings Plan solution will simply prove themselves to be the source of our income trust problem, which as a problem, will soon mushroom into the all out economic scorched earth policy that it soon will be, as people's incomes fall off the map and large numbers of seniors become more reliant on Canada's social programs, that are straining under significant pressure and underfunding as it is.
What could be more obvious and less complicated than that, especially when a win win win solution such as the Marshall Savings Plan is at hand? The only thing missing at this point is leadership and will power.
Brent, I appreciate everything you have tried to do to bring out the truth about Harper's reversal on taxing income trusts. As a retiree with no pension ,we relied heavy on the distribution income from the income trusts, to enjoy our retirement years.
After working for for 40 years, paying taxes, playing by the investment rules set by the Government and saving and investing in WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SAVE INVESTMENT for our retirement (INCOME TRUSTS) we were totally blind sided by FLAHTERY'S halloween fiscal. We lost substantial capital and a major source of income for our retirement years. Unfortunately, most of the people involved in the the Income Trust market are seniors, and they are only a small minority of the voting population. Most ordinary people don't care about income trusts.
We attended a liberal town house meeting in 2007 (Whitby, Ont.) and Ken Dryden said one comment that I will never forget, "If you aren't in power there is not much you can do".
The last few years have revealed to us what power can do. The CBC handling of the question on Income Trust is a joke, but the majority of viewers don't really care. Harper knows this, therefore income trust's are irrelevant in his mind.
FYI we were Conservative supporters for most of years, but after Oct-31-2006 we will never ever support this party again and have joined the Liberal Party.
Hopefully the Liberal party will one day end Harper's rein of terror and we will find out the truth behind all the blacked out documents regarding tax leakage of Income Trusts.
Thanks for trying,
Jim & Pearl XXXX
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Posted by Fillibluster at 11:51 PM