Entries from September 2006 ↓

Room 200

Let’s leave global warming for a day. But thanks for all the input. We can match your ideas and mine against those of Rona Ambrose and her bureaucrats, when the new green plan comes out. In a few days, I hear.

West Block As you know, I have other pots boiling. One of them moves to the front burner on Tuesday, when I co-chair a conference on pension-splitting in the beautiful and ornate Room 200 of the West Block of The Parliament Buildings. There will be people there from 16 pension and seniors groups with membership of two million Canadians. I believe it is that greatest number of seniors ever to be represented at one meeting.

There are two expert speakers every MP should hear. Malcolm Hamilton is the country’s leading pension authority and a man who believes only suckers save for retirement and use RRSPs. The reason: Our tax system is so screwed up and punitive that most people are better to live off the public teat than save, then be taxed to death. And Jack Mintz will be there, president of the C.D. Howe Institute, professor of taxation, member of outstanding corporate boards, author, wizard. He argues pension-splitting makes sense, even if the feds don’t get it yet.

On Thursday I put a hand-addressed invitation on every MP’s desk on the House of Commons. I have promoted this at open meetings of the Finance Committee, to MPs one-on-one, to the Ontario caucus of Conservative members, to all the Ottawa Parliamentary media, on radio stations and in newspapers across Canada. And, yeah, here.

I will say it again. Our tax system, based as it is on individual income, rather than what a family earns and lives on, is structurally flawed. Single-income families suffer as a result. Couples bringing up children suffer. Seniors suffer. In fact, pensioners are among the most affected, since they are usually on fixed incomes and unemployable. Their options are severely limited. Surely we can stop taking their money, now that we have $13.2 billion to make a surprise debt downpayment on a Tuesday afternoon.

Anyway, I understand this is not government policy, that it needs explaining to MPs, that the minister of finance needs to be shown and that the argument needs to be made. That is why I suggested a national conference to a bunch of motivated people last Spring, and why I have worked with them to make it happen. Activists like Dan Braniff, Bernard Dussault and Frank Stokes have been outstanding. I know they will ensure Tuesday is a success, that awareness is raised, and the issue takes a giant step forward.

To my knowledge, this is the fist and only all-party, issue-oriented conference to take place on the Hill during this Parliament. It is a gamble, for sure. I am but one MP, and my ambition on this file could just as well cause the geniuses in Finance to recoil, as it could to infect them with enthusiasm. But the way I see it, this is my job. I am a lobbyist for my constituents, and the voters and taxpayers of middle class Canada. Pension-splitting and income-splitting are goals that millions of people share and it is my privilege to get it to the Hill. Every other MP has now been told about it, and if they want to show support, well, they know where to go, or who to write.

So, I’ll say it again: Canadians expect this Conservative government to cut taxes, support families, promote fairness, reduce the burden on programs, honour those who got us here and worry more about the mainstream than the special interests. I managed to turn a red riding into a blue one by giving my commitment to fight for exactly these things.

Have not forgotten, have not strayed.

If you’re in Ottawa Tuesday morning, come. Ask for me.

Canada’s front lawn

Every year several hundred thousand people journey to “Canada’s front lawn.” They come to celebrate, explore, protest and attract attention. The sweeping expanse of grass in front of the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings is almost never empty while MPs are in session and the national media is watching, and this week was no exception.

One of the most recent groups were Falun Gong practitioners, trying to gain eyeballs for their protest of alleged organ harvesting taking place among colleagues in China. You can view a report written on these atrocities at www.organharvestinvestigation.net, plus watch this MPtv video of the way the issue was handled on a September afternoon in Ottawa.

To watch the video, click here.

Red Friday

Hey Garth

I was about to go to the Rally in Toronto, but I received some bad news and had to stay home.

Just a few moments ago, the news channels started broadcasting that another Canadian soldier has died in Afghanistan. According to the news, the family does not want him identified and I can respect that. However, I did lower my flag. I took a picture of it and was wondering if you would be so kind as to post it to the site.