The Auditor General usurped the integrity of her own office when she refused to audit the Harper government's claims of tax leakage when she was called upon to do so by the CAITI, the Liberals, the Green Party, the Coalition of Energy Trusts and lots of average Canadians saying that it isn't the AG's role to question government policy.
Meanwhile this inaction on her part completely contradicts the role that the Auditor General defines for herself on her website that reads:
""Parliamentarians need objective and fact-based information about how well the government raises and spends funds. The Office of the Auditor General is an independent and reliable source of such information."
Except however in situations where Parliamentarians ask for the information (as the Liberal Members of the Finance Committee didm,, after my urging) and except for situations where the Auditor General is a total wimp.
What a pushover this lame AG is. An 11th hour hero.
Who was asking her to question government policy"? We just wanted her to confirm that Harper's claims of tax leakage were the bogus argument we already knew it to be. That's what an Auditor's role in life is.....to provide numbers, not excuses!
Sheila Fraser is big on excuses, short on numbers.
Sheila Fraser, the 11th hour hero/wimp.
Sheila Fraser told these Parliamentarians to get stuffed, as(evidently) she's as much a fan of blacked-out documents as Stephen Harper:
For Immediate Release February 29, 2008
Liberal Finance Committee Members call on Auditor General to Examine Government’s Claims of Income Trust Tax Leakage
OTTAWA – Liberal Members of the Standing Committee on Finance today called on the Auditor General to investigate the tax leakage claims that the government used as the basis for its October 31, 2006, decision to tax income trusts.
“I think that this government’s stonewalling has gone on long enough and it’s time that Canadians got to see that the Government simply made up its story that income trusts cause federal tax leakage,” said Liberal Finance Critic John McCallum.
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to Canadians that he would never tax income trusts. Then he went back on his word, costing Canadians billions overnight and in the wake of his silence on the issue we feel that only the Auditor General can shine some light into this matter.”
All four Liberal Members of the Finance Committee signed a letter to Auditor General Sheila Fraser asking her to investigate the matter, particularly the government’s unproven allegations about income trusts causing tax leakage.
“This has clearly become much more than just another instance of the government not doing its homework before acting. It has become a full-blown scandal and cover-up,” said John McKay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood. “We have tried virtually every tool at our disposal to get the government to show us how they came to their conclusions about tax leakage and the Auditor General may be Canadians’ last resort.”
An Access to Information request asking for the Department of Finance’s assumptions, data and methodology resulted in the release of only 23 pages of documents that are almost entirely blacked out.
A direct request from the Finance Committee to see the data was met with two thick binders of superfluous information that did not contain the data or methodology originally requested.
A written question was placed on the Order Paper asking the government to recalculate its estimate of tax leakage using the 15 per cent federal corporate tax rate that will actually be in effect in 2012, the year after the income trust tax begins, as opposed to the 21 per cent tax rate that was in effect at the time of the announcement. The government’s response to the question indicated that that this would be a hypothetical calculation and therefore impossible to do.
“That’s not a hypothetical, that’s what the federal tax rate will be,” said Garth Turner, Member of Parliament for Halton. “If the government can’t manage to run the new 2012 corporate tax rate through their calculators then I have no reason to believe they ran the old one through their calculators in October of 2006.”
In 2006, Stephen Harper ran on a campaign commitment to never tax income trusts. The Conservative election platform characterized any attempt to impose such a tax as, “An attack on retirement savings.”
“That election commitment was obviously a falsehood. Unfortunately the voters who believed it and invested even more money in income trusts lost a significant portion of their nest eggs,” said Massimo Pacetti, Member of Parliament for MP for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.
“Even today, 15 months after they broke their election promise, Members of Parliament still hear from the thousands of Canadians whose retirement plans were shattered by this deception. Liberal Members of Parliament continue to stand up for them.”
Monday, April 11, 2011
Posted by Brent Fullard at 9:55 PM