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Liberal plan to tax wealth and inheritances barely makes dent in deficit

Erskine-Smith wants a 3% tax on assets over $10 million, a 5% tax on assets over $20 million, and an inheritance tax on estates worth more than $5 million.

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A Liberal MP says an equity tax on the rich and inheritances are needed to pay off the pandemic bills.

But Blacklock’s Reporter said Thursday the Parliamentary Budget Office predicted that would cover less than a tenth of ongoing deficits.

Deficits from the onset of COVID-19 to 2026 are $686.1 billion, by official estimate.

“I think we have to tackle wealth inequality,” Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches-East York, Ont.) earlier told the Commons.

“Of course I would like to see a social safety net akin to a basic income that leaves nobody behind.

“The math does not work directly, so the money generated from an excess profits tax and a wealth tax would not even address the first issue of a minimum income let alone the other noble objectives.

Erskine-Smith requested the PBO figures and sponsored Motion 68 pending in the Commons that asks the cabinet to “address rising extreme wealth inequality and generational fairness concerns by implementing a one-time tax on extreme wealth to help pay for the pandemic response.”

Erskine-Smith wants a 3% tax on assets over $10 million, a 5% tax on assets over $20 million, and an inheritance tax on estates worth more than $5 million.

All three measures combined would raise $60.7 billion over five years, said the PBO, the equivalent of 8.8% of ongoing deficits over the period.

Analysts noted “uncertainty with respect to revenues raised by the tax” due to “behavioural responses” by millionaires. Parliament abolished the federal inheritance tax in 1972.

The Commons last November 16 by a 292-27 vote rejected a similar New Democrat motion to impose a 1% equity tax on assets over $20 million, and an excess profits tax on corporations.

“It is easy and wonderful to say to people we are going to tax the wealthiest and we are going to do this, do that, and take all that money and give it to the poor,” said Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North), parliamentary secretary to the Government House Leader.

“At the end of the day, we need to spend time focusing on Canada’s middle class.”

Conservative MPs opposed the motion in Commons debate and warned of higher costs of borrowing.

“In the future, in three, four or five years when interest rates get back to normal, the biggest spending increases will go toward paying the interest on the debt the government is racking up,” said MP Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, Ont.).

“The biggest threat to our health is this government’s out-of-control spending and debt,” said Poilievre, who predicted taxpayers “will wind up paying more for the interest on our debt than we spend on health transfers.”

 The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the government to rein in spending again.

“Politicians’ eat-the-rich mentality is just silly political posturing,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director for the CTF.

“The PBO data shows that the Trudeau government’s deficit spending would burn through the extra cash in about a month, so if the feds don’t start saving money, it will be everyday Canadians that get clobbered by the debt tab.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby769

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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. CodexCoder

    July 17, 2021 at 9:02 am

    If the federal government, under the control of people like Natty Erskine-Smith, had listened to the EMO organizations across the country, and had implemented the plan that they had spent years developing, instead of borrowing and printing money like the vapid, mindless losers that they are, the deficit would not have ballooned, and this asset and estate taxation would not be necessary.

    IF…

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  2. Baron Not Baron

    July 16, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    No to that. Have them politicians and their enablers pay for the destruction they created and profited from.
    We, the people, want (this illegal) tax elimination. For good.

  3. Steven

    July 16, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Commie Justin Trudeau in five years of platitudes & spending taxpayers money like a drunken sailor has amassed a Trillion Dollar taxpayer debt in 2021.

    I say: All Family Foundations, in Canada, especially the Trudeau Foundation be assessed a tax of 50% to help pay back the debt platitude Justin has given Canadians. With all that spending by Trudeau are we as “long term Canadians” any better off? Nope!

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While calls for Chu to resign grow, the Recall Act still awaits cabinet approval

Bill 52: The Recall Act, now awaiting proclamation, “creates a process that could lead to the recall of elected officials, including members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), municipal officials and school trustees,” states the Alberta Government website.

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Calls from politicians for Calgary Ward 4 incumbent Sean Chu to resign are growing in light of news around dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct against more than two decades ago.

Premier Jason Kenney said the allegations were “appalling” while mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek has called for Chu to step down.

Michelle Rempel Garner, Calgary-Nose Hill MP overlapping Ward 4 said she’s “formally withdrawing her endorsement of Councillor Sean Chu,” adding he’s no longer a member of her Constituency Association.

A new bill allowing Albertans to recall elected officials throughout their term was introduced in the spring of this year and and was passed by the legislature in June.

But Bill 52, the Recall Act, is still awaiting proclamation, leaving it in a state of legislative limbo.

The Western Standard reached out to Government House Leader, Jason Nixon for comment as to when Bill 52 will be proclaimed into law, but no response has been received as of publishing.

According to the Government of Alberta’s website, the bill “creates a process that could lead to the recall of elected officials, including members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), municipal officials and school trustees.”

The process to recall a municipal official involves applying for a petition to recall the politician with the city’s chief administrative officer (CAO). If approved, the applicant is charged with gathering signatures from 40% of eligible voters in the official’s ward within 60 days. If successful, the CAO would make a declaration at the next council meeting and the official would be removed at that time.

According to the bill, an elected official cannot be recalled any earlier than 18-months from the date they were elected, meaning that even if the bill was proclaimed by the Alberta government, Chu would still be ineligible for a recall petition until 2024.

The Western Standard spoke with Chu in an exclusive interview before Monday’s municipal election to discuss the incident referenced in a series of documents leaked from the Calgary Police Service just days before the election.

Chu called the leak of the documents “politically motivated”, stating the timing of the release was “decades after those matters were resolved” and denied any wrongdoing.

In 1997, Chu was investigated for complaints alleging sexual assault and threats. The investigation found no grounds for charges, but Chu did received a letter of reprimand for caressing the leg of a minor while in uniform that he said he believed at the time to have been over 18.

The Western Standard had a follow-up interview with Chu the day after winning Monday’s election in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes when he reaffirmed his innocence, said he would not resign, and responded to allegations first published by CTV Calgary.

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013 and is now looking at his legal options for a possible defamation suit.

Because Chu was not charged in the incident, it appears any bid to try and remove Chu at this point would fail.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Whistlestop’s Scott launches new anti-COVID lockdown advocacy group

“We never thought we would be in the world that we are in today, yet here we are,” Scott said.

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Whistlestop Cafe owner Chris Scott — who rose to fame fighting Alberta COVID-19 lockdowns — is starting an advocacy group to continue the battle.

The new group, FullSteamAhead, is becoming a non-profit membership association which links individuals and businesses and lawyers affected by government’s plans for forced vaccination for employment in some areas.

Scott said his group has a mission:

• To actively seek out credible information.

• To advocate for those who are mandated out of work.

• To effectively influence change in order to protect Constitutional Rights & Freedoms.

“We never thought we would be in the world that we are in today, yet here we are,” Scott said in a Facebook posting.

“And we want you to know that you are not alone. There are thousands of individuals and businesses across Alberta and Canada that are asking themselves how to navigate this new world.

“We want individuals and businesses to team up with a group of lawyers that are ready to take on the government and companies that are stripping away our rights and freedoms. And we want to help those individuals and businesses that are being discriminated against in order to keep their job or their business running.”

Scott was arrested May 8 after a protest which saw 1,500 people show up in support of his business in Mirror, 50 km east of Red Deer, which has faced repeated crackdowns by the provincial government.

That week saw the RCMP seize all of the establishment’s beer and then days later padlock the restaurant after a dawn raid.

Undeterred, Scott continued cooking pancakes, making burgers and serving coffee to his customers the next day in the parking lot outside his shuttered restaurant. The UCP government had recently banned outdoor patio service for restaurants.

Scott made a solemn promise to Alberta Health Services and the RCMP he would no longer open his establishment.

So when he was inside May 29, cleaning damage up after someone broke the glass in his front door, he was shocked to see AHS and RCMP speed into his parking lot, and re-padlock the restaurant.

Last week saw him receive a $20,000 fine and an 18-month probation period.

The Whistle Stop Cafe has become a flashpoint in resistance to provincial lockdown orders and restrictions imposed by the Kenney government, as Scott defied the orders and “illegally” reopened in mid-January of 2021.

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

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AHS says at least 1,200 employees don’t want the jab

A total of 7% of AHS employees have yet to submit their proof and AHS is “actively working” to confirm their vaccine status.

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Despite Alberta Health Services reporting overwhelming support for their proof of vaccine policy, at least 1,200 AHS staff have requested an exemption.

In a live address to Albertans on Tuesday, AHS President and CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu said, “there is very broad support of the vaccine policy,” referring to AHS requiring all medical staff to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by October 31.   

Yiu said 92% of physicians and nurses have submitted their proof of vaccination along with 97% of all ICU staff.

But 7% of AHS employees have yet to submit their proof and AHS is “actively working” to confirm their vaccine status.

Approximately 1,200 medical staff have asked for vaccine exemptions provided for in the policy with 838 already submitting the necessary paperwork to be considered.

Yiu said those seeking a vaccine exemption, whether medical or religious, account for less than 1% of AHS staff and confirmed only 61 employees have resigned to date.

Any staff who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to do so and “address any concerns they may have with their leader or healthcare provider,” said Yiu.

“We stand by the policy and it will be fully implemented.”

Those without accommodations or proof of full immunization will be placed on unpaid leave at the end of the month.  

AHS says with such low numbers, they don’t anticipate “having any significant impact on our ability to provide care to Albertans.”

Yiu also took the opportunity to thank Albertans for helping to bring case numbers down and “reduce the strain on the healthcare system.”

She also confirmed that with “pressures easing” AHS has been able to allow for more surgeries to return to the hospitals.

“It’s a fine balance and we must ensure that we have adequate ICU capacity should COVID numbers increase again,” said Yiu

There are currently 376 general adult ICU beds available with 75% occupancy. The “surge beds” will be reduced incrementally as volume allows.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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