Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Scheer’

It is time to fire Bill Morneau, Justin.

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Bill Morneau has a straight-forward job. As complex as the Finance Department might appear to the average Canadian, the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre has the credentials that say he should be capable of handling the finance portfolio. He is also considered to be a generally good guy. It is really too bad that Prime Minister Trudeau needs to fire him.

But Mr. Morneau does not appear to be getting the best efforts from his department. He does not appear to be effective in selling his department’s new programs. Maybe the job requires someone more political by nature. And when you are not even effective in communicating with your party’s back bench, all is lost.

This is not to suggest that the tax reforms Morneau is proposing are not complex and need thorough debate. And that was the intent when the reforms were proposed two months ago. All this accomplished is an opportunity for those who fight any reform to go after these reforms with renewed vigor. They have been sewing discord and confusion. They have deliberately misled Canadians with false information.

This time frame has allowed Conservative MPs to rail constantly against the tax reforms. A local Tory MP published an opinion piece in our local Sun rag the other day saying that Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau believe that small business owners “are tax cheats and that they are rich people abusing the system to avoid paying their share of taxes.” Talk about false news!

The Conservative caucus in Ottawa under Leader ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is saying that the reforms are going to impact all small business owners and will mean a massive tax hike. This obviously comes as a surprise to Morneau when all he is looking for it to do is close some of the loopholes that have been enabling the wealthy among us to escape paying taxes.

Here Morneau thought he was closing loopholes that benefitted people making over $150,000 a year and the Conservatives are claiming these people are part of the middle class. If he cannot get the justice of his reforms across to Canadians, he is obviously in the wrong cabinet portfolio.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

‘Chuckles’ cheers the cheaters.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

There are two types of people who take advantage of Canada’s tax laws and form private corporations. There are those who legitimately pay family members (and others) for their work and there are those who sprinkle the income among family to avoid taxes. It is this second group that is so delighted that Conservative Opposition Leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has taken up their cause. Cheating on your taxes seems to be a game for some people and they welcome politicians foolish enough to try to help them.

But cheating on taxes is not a game and Canadians have put up with a system that panders to the rich for too long.

I will never forget a comment by my late brother the first time he made more than a few million dollars. He was a convinced capitalist but he admitted to me that he was actually embarrassed by the small amount of money he had to pay, once one of the large accounting firms had done his taxes.

Canada’s tax system relies heavily on the honesty of its citizens in reporting their income. When the loopholes in the system are mainly used by those who can afford expert help in preparing their taxes, the system is wrong. What the tax avoidance schemes of the very wealthy tell us is that it is alright to cheat on your taxes. As this attitude trickles down, the response is to build the underground economy. The tax system is being attacked at both ends.

What we must do is convince Canadians of the fairness of the system again. We can only do that by proving that it is fair.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has his work cut out for him. His problem is that his department has built up a fiction over the years that there are different types of dollars. There are earned dollars and capital gains dollars, there are dividend dollars and wage dollars, there are dollars earned in Canada and there are off-shore dollars. To add more confusion there are expense accounts that help companies make money and there are expense accounts that are purely benefits. And why do employees who earn the most have the most benefits?

When every dollar is recognized for what it is—taxable—we will have a tax system that everybody can trust. Politicians who rant over perceived unfairness to their friends are not very smart politicians.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

‘Chuckles’ challenges Canadian compassion.

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer will not let it go. He is raising troops among the bigoted to fight against the compensation to Omar Khadr. He must intend to keep scratching at that wound until the pus from it corrupts or repulses all responsible Canadians.

What sickens us the most in this disgusting argument is the impact and discord it is sewing in various communities. Visiting a friend in Peter Kent’s Thornhill riding recently I was taken back by the vehemence that erupted when the Khadr subject came up. Listening to one Jewish individual castigating another for his lack of understanding was disquieting.

But to hear people repeat the Conservative’s ugly suggestion that Prime Minister Trudeau wants to make Omar Khadr a rich man is ludicrous. Nor is the award about to make Khadr’s lawyers rich. The Supreme Court told the government to apologize for what government agents did and compensate the victim. And how would you compensate someone for 15 years of pain, suffering, torture and false imprisonment?

It is obvious that Chuckles did not write the op-ed that was run over his name by some newspapers. It was a crafted piece that used inflammatory words, innuendo and careful half truths.

But since when is it a heinous crime to be recruited as a child soldier and sent into a firefight against well armed, equipped and trained soldiers? What happens is that you get shot!

Chuckles needs perspective.

And he needs to explain to us what enjoying the benefits of the Canadian justice system means. Does it mean you are not going to be water-boarded, sleep deprived and suffering extremes of heat?

The Opposition Leader in the House of Commons failed to make it clear to his writers that as an official of the Canadian Parliament, he has responsibilities. He is not there to promote hatred. He is not there to twist the truth. It speaks badly of him to bluntly say the Prime Minister is arrogant. The Opposition in parliament is there to criticize the government, not to demean it.

Saving the best for last, Chuckles asks a rhetorical question about Mr. Trudeau’s ‘secret’ payout to Omar Khadr. Gee! Who leaked it?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

‘Chuckles’ leads from the rear.

Friday, July 14th, 2017

It is embarrassing. ‘Chuckles’ Scheer showed up on television last week from the Calgary Stampede to blast the federal government for its generosity to Omar Kadr. It was a classic illustration of a political brain fart. It was bigoted, it was inaccurate, it was mean-spirited and it was knee-jerk Conservatism from the newly chosen Conservative leader.

But what was really wrong was that he was feeding the growing sentiment of anti-Muslim bigotry in Canada. It is getting out of hand.

We have to understand that Omar Kadr was born in Canada and is a Canadian citizen. He has the same rights as any Canadian under the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

When the Canadian government refused to intervene in his illegal confinement, torture and kangaroo court justice under the Americans, it denied him his rights as a Canadian citizen. We should all worry about that. The Canadian courts ruled in favour of Kadr when his lawyers sued the government. The Supreme Court ruled on it three times. He deserved an apology. He had to be paid. It was a modest amount for 15 years of injustice.

And yet, the narrow-minded bigots among us resent the size of the settlement. They resent it because he is a Muslim. They resent that it is being paid to him (and his lawyers). It is hoped that it will finally buy Omar Kadr some peace and anonymity.

But when the Official Opposition uses the settlement as a stick to flail at the government (and Muslims), they are failing us as Canadians. They are promoting bigotry. Their attacks on Kadr are creating further attacks on the Muslim religion and the Canadians who follow that religion. They are promoting hatred.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer should not be proud of his performance to-date as Conservative leader. So far, he has been taking his lead from the red necks.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

 

‘Chuckles’ Scheer is no attack dog.

Friday, June 30th, 2017

It was two Regina MPs who helped Vassy Kapelos to wrap up her West Block show on Global TV for the summer. As she had Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the week before, she brought on the new Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer this week. She also took another shot at asking Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale questions he might answer.

These two men are very different in some ways and very much the same in others. ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is a social conservative and a Catholic and he votes against abortions and against the right to physician-assisted death. He was a lacklustre Speaker of the House of Commons under Prime Minister Harper and was the final choice of a convoluted preferential vote for Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. He will be a lacklustre party leader until he is likely to be ousted after the next election.

Vassy Kapelos had Chuckles on first and threw him a few lobs as to why he disagrees with what Trudeau and his Liberals are doing. The opposition leader stuck gamely to his talking points and tried  very hard to look serious. It was over quickly but it was still boring.

Ralph Goodale is a long-time Liberal survivor from western Canada. He has never found an interviewer that he could not talk over. Vassy had done some serious study obviously of the new security act and wanted her audience to learn what was different between this new act (if any) and the previous Conservative act.

Ralph was ready for her. “It is all in the oversight,” we learned. By the time Goodale was through, we knew more about the Liberal Party’s oversight, than we wanted. It all seemed to come down to having the right, elitist, Liberal overseers for our myriad security agencies. Even Canada’s ancient communications security agency people are being turned into attack dogs instead of just listeners—but even there, Ralph Goodale assures us there will lots of elite oversight.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Choosing a Conservative caretaker.

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The Conservative Party hierarchy could not have the better fall guy for the next federal election. Whomever came up with the convoluted voting system that was used to choose this poor guy last weekend might have saved the party years in the wilderness.

It will likely be 2023 before the Conservative Party comes roaring out of the west again. Caretaker Andrew Scheer will be expected to fall on his sword after the 2019 election and make room for a more dynamic leader.

The party’s real leader, to be chosen in 2021, could be young enough today to just be completing a dissertation at the right school. There is still much planning to be done to define the challenges and words of this new leader.

In the meantime, caretaker Scheer has his job defined. He has a caucus to cull. Lacking the tools that the job of Prime Minister offers, he has to make sure that the right MPs get the right opportunities to speak for the party. You need to watch and see who the key shadow ministers are that he selects. He has the experience as speaker and in caucus since the loss in 2015 to make the right selections.

In the background, he has to help build the team that will take the party through the cleansing cauldron of the next election in 2019. Knowing how unlikely it is to squeak through a win, it is the selection and placement of candidates that will create the strong base for the next leader. One of these new candidates is likely to be the pre-selected next leader. This leader will need a stronger, more determined and directed caucus.

The only danger for the backroom politicos pulling the strings on this scenario is that caretaker ‘Chuckles’ Scheer gets the bit in his teeth and goes for the long-shot win in 2019. It is unlikely because it is not his style nor is he ready to defy the odds or the party.

And, when you think about it, the only reason Scheer won the Conservative Party leadership was the strength of the social conservative members of the party combined with the anger Maxime Bernier earned from his province’s dairy farmers. Those farmers came close to defeating Bernier in his own riding. It was only Kevin O’Leary’s unwelcome interference in the race that gave Bernier the early impetuous in the voting.

In the meantime, Justin Trudeau can look forward to the 2019 election as a free pass. We should only hope that he makes good use of the time.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me