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Lavalin Coverup Would be Trudeau’s Achilles Heel

February 14th, 2019 · 40 Comments

This could be even worse than the Sponsorship scandal.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau MUST let former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould speak.

No amount of having other Cabinet officials or bureaucrats or PM spokespersons or the PM himself “explain” what happened ON this SNC Lavalin file or what happened TO Wilson-Raybould will SATISFY Canadians.

It stinks!

I don’t think ANYBODY watching and listening to federal politics BELIEVES that as Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould did not have pressure put on her to endorse a “sweetheart” deal that would allow SNC-Lavalin off easy for any corrupt or illegal activities it is now before the Courts in Quebec to address… and when she refused to cave, Trudeau demoted her to Veterans’ Affairs Minister.

INTERFERING in the legal process IN ANY WAY in Canada through pressure or coercion or demoting someone for failing to acquiesce may even be illegal, and IS certainly politically foolish, politically arrogant and could prove politically fatal.

To be truthful, I have personal conflicts on interest in looking at and watching the current scandal unfold: I live in Wilson-Raybould’s riding; I voted for her; I knew and interviewed many times and totally respected her father Chief Bill Wilson while I was with BCTV; and, I still consider myself a journalist and a Canadian who HIGHLY VALUES honesty and integrity and the INDEPENDENCE of the judiciary.

Does Trudeau? Does the Liberal government? Does the Liberal Party of Canada?

If so, they MUST lift the Cabinet gag order on Wilson-Raybould; they MUST allow her to be called before the Parliamentary justice committee to testify and, most importantly, to answer questions.

Anything less will be a DISASTER for Trudeau and the Liberals.

The discussions, accusations, demands, leaks, revelations etc. will go on unabated FOR MONTHS until the FULL story comes out about what happened in the SNC-Lavalin/Trudeau/Liberals/Wilson-Raybould case.

Not to mention all the dirt that will flow from the actual Court proceedings involving Lavalin over the next few months.

And, remember, the next federal election is coming up in October!

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow me on Twitter @harveyoberfeld to get First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based Blog.)

→ 40 CommentsTags: British Columbia · National

Tax Dodgers, Loopholes and Income Gap Should be No. 1 Election Issue

February 10th, 2019 · 27 Comments

More than 12 years after retiring, I receive a fairly small BCTV STAFF pension …. with NO c.o.l.a., NO medical coverage, NO prescription assistance, NO dental plan, NO eyecare … nada!  (The executives, of course, rewarded themselves with a MUCH better plan.)

In that regard, I am like MANY other retired Canadians … living on a small company pension or worse, some without even that,  supplemented by CPP, OAS and some RRSP (or RRIF) savings.

And yet, despite tax deductions at source each month, Ottawa calculated I still owed them a few thousand dollars.  I pulled more out of my dwindling savings … and paid.

NOW I learn that more than 40% of Canadians …. from the poor to many, many, many much RICHER than you or I  (probably even putting together our annual incomes) … pay NO INCOME TAXES!!!!!

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau drew attention to just the tip of this outrage recently when he opined “low-income families don’t benefit from tax breaks because they don’t pay taxes”.

But they are not alone! There are many wealthy income earners who don’t pay taxes at all either!

In fact, I’d say many low income and middle income Canadians pay MORE than their FAIR share of taxes than the RICH in terms of percentages of disposable income and what THEY have left to just survive on after all the deductions they cannot avoid.

I realize that some high income earners do contribute a large PERCENTAGE share of federal tax revenues …. but there are also many who have sizeable hidden incomes … here or offshore …  or have avoided paying taxes thanks to very generous deductions and write-offs and credits THEY can take advantage of much more than ordinary Canadians.

In fact, Trudeau should have pointed out … many of the RICH don’t even pay THEIR fair share of taxes … thanks to tax loopholes designed by federal departmental accountants and bureaucrats at the request of their elected ministers and then passed by politicians in the Commons and Senate for the benefit of higher income earners.

And let’s keep it real: it’s not just low income earners who eat up a lot of government services. Don’t forget all those subsidies and free corporate advice and assistance and even funding, in grants,  forgiveable loans and guarantees.

So when the federal and provincial governments need money … LOTS of it … to function,  YOU and I therefore must make up for the rest.

“On average, two of every five Canadian households do not pay anything towards federally and provincially funded expenses such as health care, education, community and social services, national defence, public safety and even the good old Canada Revenue Agency. One household of every five pays much more than 70 per cent of all of those costs,” explained a piece in the Financial Post this past week.

You can read that column here:

The gap between Canada’s rich and the rest of us should be the MAJOR issue in the upcoming October federal election.

And what we need is not just shallow rhetoric and pandering promises but specific policies on how the middle class will finally get a fair shake.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow me on Twitter @harveyoberfeld to get First Alerts of all new topics on this blog.)

→ 27 CommentsTags: British Columbia · National