TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the province to stop plans to impose a new foreign buyers tax and rent control. The Ontario government is planning impose a 15% tax on homes purchased by foreigner buyers and will impose rent controls, while provincial regulations and the real causes of housing shortages that drive up prices.
“When Minister Charles Sousa and Premier Kathleen Wynne talk about the causes of housing unaffordability, they need to look in the mirror,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. “The biggest problem is a shortage of homes, and that’s because of the government’s vision for a high density Ontario and its desire to use taxes and regulations to squeeze as much money out of sales and development as it can. Those taxes and fees, especially Toronto’s double land transfer tax, have added huge unnecessary costs.”
This column was originally published in the Winnipeg Free Press and is now free to reprint.
Sometimes procrastination pays off. There’s always a chance a bonus at work will come just in time to cover a credit card balance that’s been ignored. But putting off today’s problem usually leaves a bigger problem for tomorrow.
The Manitoba government is procrastinating on the province’s financial problems. It’s ignoring that fact that it’s spending too much and hoping higher revenues will balance the budget. Theoretically, that might work, but procrastination comes at a high price.
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released access-to-information documents showing a troubling lack of transparency and accountability surrounding corporate welfare handed out by the federal government, with virtually no information available regarding the number of jobs created from nearly $12 billion in taxpayer subsidies dispensed since 1967.
“We are constantly told by governments that corporate welfare creates jobs,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “And yet there is often no requirement that the recipients of the taxpayer subsidies report back to government on the number of jobs created as a result of these handouts.”
REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on Premier Brian Pallister to oppose Ottawa’s imposition of a carbon tax in the wake of a new poll showing a majority of Manitobans don’t support the tax. The CTF is also calling on Premier Pallister to reaffirm his commitment to hold a referendum before imposing any major tax, including a carbon tax.
“Manitobans don’t want a carbon tax that costs people money without actually helping the environment,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “Manitobans are sending Premier Pallister a clear message: don’t impose a carbon tax without a referendum.”
REGINA, SK: Flights taken over a six-month period by David McLaughlin, a Manitoba government contractor working on climate change policies, have produced more greenhouse gas emissions than an entire Winnipeg household, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation through freedom-of-information requests.
“It takes a special kind of hypocrisy to personally run up emissions by flying across the country every few weeks while pushing a carbon tax that will make it more expensive for families put gas in their minivans,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “If the government really wants to reduce emissions, it should hire someone who doesn’t commute to work in a jet.”
TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) calling on the government to get a grip on bureaucrat pay, after todays release of the Sunshine List of government employees earning more than $100,000 has grown by 7 per cent in the last year.
This year’s list, released on March 31, 2017, shows that the number of bureaucrats earning six figures has a record 123,410 government employees on it.
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) Federal Director Aaron Wudrick released the following statement in response to today’s joint Federal-Ontario announcement regarding Ford Canada:
“The federal and Ontario governments continue to double down on the failed strategy of taxpayer subsidies to private businesses. It is ludicrous to suggest that Ford ‘needed’ a $200 million handout from Ontario and Canadian taxpayers, as the company earned a global pre-tax profit of more than US$10 billion in 2015. If the federal and Ontario governments are concerned about business competitiveness, they should eliminate misguided policies that drive up costs (such as the Green Energy Act and carbon cap-and-trade) and lower business taxes.
Corporate welfare is an unsustainable, wasteful and unfair approach to economic development that creates perverse incentives and teaches businesses that the key to success is to cozy up to governments for free taxpayer money.”
(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun on March 24th, 2017)
Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the Trudeau government’s second budget this week, and in many ways it wasn’t a new budget at all, but just a clarification of many measures from last year.
In some ways, that’s a relief, because last year was a veritable spending spree, with Morneau plunging the country into a $23 billion deficit (a far cry from the Liberals’ promise of three years of ‘modest’ $10 billion deficits) and didn’t even provide a plan on how they would climb out of it—ever. One can be forgiven for bracing for yet another multi-billion increase in the deficit.
The middle class dream is slipping through the fingers of families in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and the fault lies with our politicians.
Forget about a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot—with parking spots in downtown condos selling for between $45,000 and $60,000 per space, who can afford a garage, let alone a house attached to it. In February, detached homes in the GTA sold for an average price of $1.21 million and Toronto home prices are expected to grow by 20 to 25 per cent this year. Compare that to average Ontario weekly earnings of $963, or $50,000 per year, and you can see the problem.
MONTRÉAL, QC: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a study demonstrating the perverse effects of federal transfers on Québec. The report also challenges the Quebec government to achieve “Zero Equalization” by 2025.
The authors of the study relied on two underlying problems to arrive at this goal: federal transfers discourage competition of different public policies amongst the provinces and create a dependency effect among Québec politicians, who can always ask for more federal money without taxing their citizens more.
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today expressed concern about the Trudeau government’s second budget which failed to provide a clear fiscal path to eliminate the deficit, while repackaging existing subsidy programs as “innovation” measures.
“The good news is this budget did not contain larger than expected deficits, like budget 2016 did,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “The bad news it does nothing to address the massive fiscal hole it created last year, and provides few specifics for its so-called ‘innovation’ agenda.”
REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Manitoba government to trim spending as interest payments on the provincial debt are going up by millions, according to the province’s third-quarter fiscal update.
“Manitoba has a choice: it can make the tough choices to trim spending now or it can wait until rising interest costs force deeper cuts later,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Runaway deficits simply aren’t sustainable and the government needs to take action to trim spending.”
HALIFAX, NS: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is warning Canadians about a new report from the University of Waterloo released by a coalition organizations proposing a new tax on pop, saying it would be costly to Canadian families and useless since it would do nothing to make them healthier.
“Pop tax advocates seem to think that we can solve all our problems by simply raising taxes. It’s time for the Trudeau government to tell them they won’t create kooky new taxes like one on our pop,” said Kevin Lacey, Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
The CTF says there are four reasons pop taxes won’t work in Canada.
There are lessons to learn from British Columbia’s carbon tax, and the biggest one is for the leader of Ontario’s official opposition, Patrick Brown.
The lesson is a simple one. Revenue neutrality doesn’t happen.
Politicians sold a carbon tax to British Columbians on the promise of revenue neutrality—the idea that the overall tax burden on the public remains the same because the carbon tax is offset by tax reductions in other areas.
REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Manitoba government to amend balanced budget legislation that fails to protect taxpayers from major tax increases—such as a new carbon tax. The province released its draft legislation March 13, 2017.
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