Columnist Robert Vairo’s ‘That’s What I’m Thinking’

Mr Trudeau, there is an alternative to more taxation!

Robert Vairo

I’m afraid the news is not good. It’s bad enough already that we are forced indoors with no social gatherings, police vans roaming the mountain with loudspeakers booming alert notices, and ‘tele-warrants’ allowing police forced home entry. Some seniors in their 80’s and 90’s ordered to move out of long term care homes because our fractured health system needs short term beds.(CTV) These are very scary times for any society. This is having a horrible impact on us socially and psychologically. And it’s about to have a huge impact on us financially. Having spent 350 billion dollars on various relief programs, somebody, some how, at some time, will have to start clearing up this disaster. Financial markets will not stand for Canada’s highest ever trillion dollar plus debt, (2 trillion, provinces included) and rising monthly deficit. And there’s more downside to deal with. The Trudeau liberals had already sent us into growing deficits during those ” sunny days”, and now during ‘stormy days’, not only did it spend a lot more, but Covid has crippled our economy. There is a projected “$71.1-billion decline in tax revenue, including a $40.8-billion loss in income taxes.”.  Working or retired, we will be paying for it. Heating our homes, gasing up, electrifying the new ride, buying eggs, lettuce or fish, new phone, clothes or toys. Dentists are already charging added fees to cover their PPE. Everything and anything will cost more, in some cases much, much more.The only way our left of center Liberal NDP partnership knows how to generate income is through unimaginative, unoriginal, uncreative new and increased taxes. Here’s what I think we can expect. A new home equity tax. That’s a tax when you sell your principle residence, so far tax free. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation rightly says this tax on home owners will take “big chunks of the proceeds of a home sale that will leave owners with less to buy a new home or provide for retirement”. A GST increase perhaps from 5% back to 7%. The carbon tax on our gas, heating oil, electricity to heat our homes and now power our EV’s, is on a continuous climb. We may also see an increase in the current capital gains tax from 50% of profits on stocks and revenue property to 100%, further discouraging investments. A cut in contributions to the TFSA and RRSP is being discussed. But, there are other ways of raising revenue without hurting us. Two senators want to fix a national embarrassment and simultaneously raise revenue. Inter provincial trade. We arguably have freer trade with Europe and the US than we do amongst our provinces. It’s preposterous. Quebec senator Diane Bellemare and Nova Scotia’s Jane Cordy conclude in their report “these inter provincial trade constraints cost the Canadian economy up to $130 billion every year”. For heaven’s sake it’s the reason Confederation was founded, to create a free trade area. Premiers need to stop this confusing concoction of protectionist measures separating us.

Here’s another way to raise revenue. A Canada Revenue Agency crackdown on Canadians who hide their billions off shore, tax free. 20 billion dollars worth, if CRA would start a serious eradication of this fraudulant practice.

Controverial as it may be, our natural resources, actually just gas and oil alone “provided $108 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product and supported almost 530,000 jobs “. It’s 20% of our economy! We have the highest standards on the environment, human rights, and indigenous participation in the world. Why are we allowing foreign pseudo enviro groups dictate our agenda! Yes oil and gas is a sunset industry but let’smilk it during this crisis.

I watched the new conservative leader Erin O’toole the other day say “we need a private sector boom”. He’s right because 2/3’s  of us work for small and medium size businesses. One business closure means dozens, hundreds of job losses. Let’s encourage and offer incentives to small business to create and maintain jobs.

You may have seen Michael Sabia head of Canada’s Infrastructure Bank with 35 B$ of public money to plow into “clean power, home retrofits, broadband, irrigation and zero-emissions bus systems, creating thousands of jobs.”  Stop the talk monsieur Sabia, and do the walk, now.

I am not an economist but how about a think tank of such people as well as every day 9 to 5 folks, small business owners, a cross section of professionals. Outside of government, we have brilliant minds in Canada that would get us out of this without punishing and painful taxation.

That’s What I’m Thinking.

Robert Vairo