Whatever support exists amongst Canadians for Stephen Harper’s income trust betrayal derives almost exclusively from the (false) belief that income trusts cause tax leakage. Meanwhile 95% of Canadians are unaware that Stephen Harper’s proof for such an allegation ONLY takes the form of 18 pages of blacked documents and that the argument of tax leakage is a complete hoax according to groups no less credible than the Royal Bank of Canada and PricewaterhouseCoopers. We have the Canadian media and totally lame and ineffective Opposition MPs to thank for this complete policy disconnect between true fact and public fiction.
Lawrence Martin’s book Harperland: The politics of control, does provide a glimpse into these matters.
Speaking of the politics of control, what better way to exercise control than to deny access to information as Harper did when he denied Canadians any proof of his allegations of tax leakage. What do you think Harper move on undermining the Census is all about if not to deny others with the facts. Martin writes:
“Many documents released [as alleged proof of tax leakage] under the [Access to Information] act were completely blacked out.”
In reality, all the documents that dealt with alleged tax leakage by the Harper government under the Access to Information were blacked out, and subsequently recalled by the Department of Finance, as Martin fails to report (despite the fact that such a “redacted recall” was to that point unprecedented in Canadian history)
We also learn from Lawrence Martin that CON MP James Rajotte from Edmonton played a behind the scenes role in Harper’s income trust betrayal, and Martin writes:
“But when [the income trust model] was beginning to be adopted by big manufacturers and service corporations, [Harper] was persuaded that it was the wrong way to go. James Rajotte, who served as chair of the industry committee, was of the same impression. But it was not the case Harper and Flaherty put to the public because corporate governance was too complex an issue.”
Persuaded by whom, one might ask, given that no public discussion took place apart from Harper’s election promise of that year to “never tax income trusts”. Harper surely must be referring to the likes of Gwyn Morgan and those CEOs with privileged access to the PMO and the PCO, as Canadians were completely left in the dark and out of the loop.
Meanwhile Canadians would have to be duped into supporting Harper’s massive flip flop on some basis or another.
So instead of revealing their true intentions behind this massive policy reversal and allowing Canadians and Parliament to debate the true intent of the policy, these politicians gravitated to an artificial argument that had no substance, but was sure to rally the necessary support of Canadians. This is pure political manipulation and deception. Rajotte along with Harper were prepared to hide their real reasons for their action (which would never have been sufficient to justify their actions) and manufactured what amounted to a completely bogus argument. This is exactly the same type of devious and deceptive and totally dishonest conduct that George Bush employed when he concocted the WMD argument to invade Iraq, a parallel that I drew for Canadians in a London Free Press Op Ed in November 2006 and which Lawrence Martin is now confirming to be true, courtesy of insights from Tom Flanagan, no less.
Therefore not only do we learn that James Rajotte was a participant in a massive deception and lie about the real intent of this policy, we also learn that he is a total hypocrite, since when James Rajotte first entered Parliament in 2000 he had this (lofty nonsense as it turns out) to say about the importance of accountability and transparency, which we subsequently learned meant issuing 18 pages of blacked out documents as proof of tax leakage, which the Conservatives were using as their manufactured rationale to kill income trusts for folks like Gwynn Morgan et al:
Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, Canadian Alliance):
It is an honour and a privilege to stand here today in our national parliament on behalf of the people of Edmonton Southwest. Since this is my first address in this distinguished Chamber, I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the people of Edmonton Southwest. They have bestowed upon me a tremendous honour, but also a tremendous duty and a tremendous responsibility.
I am pleased to speak today to the official opposition motion. This motion speaks to the broad themes of democratic and parliamentary reform, accountability and transparency in government.
While this motion is specifically related to the ethics counsellor, it does relate to the broader themes of parliamentary and democratic reform, fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency, and members of parliament themselves.
During the recent election, people in Edmonton spoke passionately about the need for accountability from the government to ensure they were respected as citizens and that their taxpayer dollars were treated as funds in trust.
A common frustration I encountered from people was that public officials did not seem accountable to them as citizens. They felt the only control they had was the opportunity every four years, or three and a half in this case, to walk into a polling booth and mark an X on a ballot.
One of the most serious problems facing Canadian democracy today is the concentration of political power within the Prime Minister's office and the lack of checks and balances to that power.
Blah blah blah...
Friday, October 8, 2010
Posted by Brent Fullard at 12:58 PM