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Outgoing head of CMHC denies lying about possible home equity tax

Reading a farewell speech, Evan Siddall cited the 1986 U.S. Iran-Contra affair in stating there was no excuse for lying.

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The retiring head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation told a Commons committee it never lied to Canadians about possible home equity taxes, said Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The fact I am here today is my very last act as a federal civil servant,” testified Evan Siddall, whose $459,000 a year term ended April 1.

Siddall will remain a paid consultant to the CMHC.

Reading a farewell speech, Siddall cited the 1986 U.S. Iran-Contra affair in stating there was no excuse for lying.

“The health of our democracy depends on the rule of law of our elected members, and it is our duty to remain loyal to all Canadians,” said Siddall.

“I’m reminded of the eloquent words of admonishment delivered to Oliver North after Mr. North had professed his patriotism and claimed a more intricate and nuanced ability to determine that country’s national security as an excuse for lying to the U.S. Congress.

“Senator Warren Rudman, a conservative Republican from New Hampshire, invoked the opening phrase of the U.S. Constitution, ‘We the people,’ to remind him of his error.”

Blacklock’s last July 17 reported CMHC paid a $250,000 grant to researchers at the University of British Columbia for a report on tax policy. The study was “bound to raise questions about tax policy, including how labour and capital gains from the stock market are taxed more than wealth accumulated via principle residences,” wrote UBC.

Canadians’ home equity is not subject to federal tax.

Professor Paul Kershaw, lead researcher in the UBC project, had described homeowners with lifetime equity as “lottery winners” who should be taxed.

“About this contract that was given to researchers at the University of British Columbia by CMHC, you had denied the accuracy of such reports,” said Conservative MP Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge).

Was such a contract given? Do you favour or think it’s a worthy undertaking to study the question of taxing capital gains and would this be your advice to this government to explore it?”

“I was accused of lying, in fact, and a media cover-up on this,” replied Siddall.

“The question of tax policy is not for us. It is for Finance Canada.”

Siddall last July publicly called Blacklock’s reporting “horrible,” “poor,” “untrue,” “inaccurate,” “irresponsible,” “substandard,” “argumentative,” “insistent,” and “a non-story.”

But Access To Information records uncovered by Conservative MP Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard) disclosed a staff email written by Siddall last July 20, 2020 after news stories were published.

Siddall’s email read: “I would like to send a letter to Paul Kershaw insisting that CMHC dollars not be used to support any study of an equity tax. Is that ok?”

More internal discussed was found by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation last Tuesday showing Siddall contacted the University specifically to study taxation.

“Before Covid-19 housing costs had shot higher than many could afford,” read one memo.

 “Why? In part because we allowed them to, knowing many Canadians bank on profits from home ownership.”

Cabinet has said it would never tax home equity under any circumstances. The UBC study has not been released publically.

“The CMHC study is looking at a home equity tax,” MP Kmiec told the Commons last July 20.

“Will the government end this charade and commit to no new tax, no tax hikes, on principal residences of homeowners?”

“I want to be very clear,” replied then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

“This is not something this government is considering. We are not looking at tax changes on principal residences. That is not something we are looking into, and we will not be considering that in the future.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joc2257

    April 6, 2021 at 8:05 am

    This maybe the biggest government rip off of all times, the rumor mill has been churning for over a year that the SoyBoy is going to implement this tax in order to help pay the massive debt he and his Lieberals have. If they do bring it in it will destroy the pensions of millions of Canadians as the vast majority of the seniors can’t live off of the pittance that they receive from the CPP.

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News

Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

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Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72%, Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussions during the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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LETTER: Does Copping have scientific evidence to continue with vaccine passports?

“Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.”

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RE: Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

My wife and I took it upon ourselves to get tested for immunity to the COVID-19 virus at our own cost. Several other couples in our community have done the same thing. The test is carried out by the Mayo Clinic so I think we can all agree it is done by a very credible organization.

Both my wife and I tested >250 which is the highest level of immunity that they register. It is also the same level of immunity they show on the most vaccinated people. 

With this in mind, I ask the Minister of Health and the entire UCP government, what is the scientific basis for your continuing to impose the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) to discriminate against us and restrict us from being able to participate in society?

Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.

Murray Woods
Linden, AB

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News

‘Galileo’ stockbroker loses COVID case

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

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A Montreal stockbroker who likened himself to Galileo and said COVID-19 wasn’t real had his case tossed out of Federal Court, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Courts make decisions based on evidence brought in each particular case,” wrote Justice Sébastien Grammond.

“Some facts however are so obvious courts assume their existence and no evidence of them is required. This is called judicial notice.”

Lucien Khodeir filed a federal challenge of Treasury Board vaccination orders for employees.

Khodeir was not personally affected by the orders issued last October 6. The court was told he works as a stock trader for CIBC World Markets.

Khodeir in his submission said vaccine mandates were unnecessary since the coronavirus did not exist, and proposed to call three expert witnesses.

“It is pure speculation,” said the court.

“In his submissions, Mr. Khodeir compares himself to Galileo who was persecuted in the 17th century for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun, a theory unanimously accepted today. Yet unlike Mr. Khodeir, Galileo buttressed the heliocentric theory with facts, especially his discovery of Jupiter’s moons.

“In contrast, Mr. Khodeir asks us to believe his assertions regarding the coronavirus without providing any tangible fact in support. The comparison is unfair to the great Italian scholar. Mr. Khodeir’s case has no scientific footing.”

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

“Over the last two years most people on this planet have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the court.

“It has become common knowledge COVID-19 is caused by a virus.

“Numerous trusted sources of information have repeated this fact to the point that it is now beyond reasonable dispute. There is a lack of debate on this issue in scientific circles.”

The Federal Court noted dismissal of the claim was unrelated to numerous cases awaiting trial in which vaccine orders are being challenged as unnecessary, intrusive and unconstitutional. None of the plaintiffs challenging vaccine orders have disputed the existence of the coronavirus.

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