ichael Ignatieff claims his Liberal government will freeze corporate taxes when it takes power until the federal budgetary deficit has been eliminated. The Stephen Harper government has plans to bring corporate income tax rates down to 15 per cent by 2017. By freezing the rate at its current 18 per cent, the Liberal leader said, Ottawa would have $6-billion annually in additional tax revenues.
But first, the Liberals have to win an election, and there seems little likelihood of that for near term. By the time they do re-gain office, the conservatives will have done the heavy lifting and already lowered the corporate rate, making the Liberal leader’s promise a hollow one.
Mr. Ignatieff was speaking yesterday at the close of what was billed as “Canada at 150”, a supposedly non-partisan forum at Montreal to discuss challenges faced in the lead up to Canada’s 150th anniversary. About 70 local events organized by the Liberal Party were held in conjunction with the Montreal conference, which was attended by about 300 participants who paid a $700 to attend. Liberal MPs were, apparently, told to remain in their ridings.
Always looking for the empty, cost-us-nothing gestures, Mr. Ignatieff promises, “The last thing we want to do is burden our children with debt, and we will not do this as a government.” Yet, at the same time he says, “We have to give ourselves room to realize some dreams,” and promises to allow new spending—but only if sources of funding that would not increase the deficit can be found.
When a government is running a deficit, just how it can allow new spending without increasing the deficit is not clear. But I guess it sounds good, and that’s what really matters, I suppose. By “room for dreams,” does the chief of the Grits mean day dreams.
Mr. Ignatieff tells us that Canada needs to “think big” and adopt a stance that allows Canadians to “shape the world.”
Bold words indeed from the former Harvard Professor who not too long ago confessed that “The thing he missed most about Canada was Algonquin Park.” And has referred to himself in Blood and Belonging as an alien looking at Canada, an outsider.
Certainly seems like an alien, eh?
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© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
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