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February 2007 Archives

February 28, 2007

Reminder of upcoming amendments to fairness provisions in

As a reminder to Canadians, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued the following news release:

Ottawa, Ontario, February 28, 2007... The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reminds goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) registrants that they have until March 31, 2007, to review their records and send in any requests for penalty and interest relief under the fairness provisions for a reporting period that ended on or before December 31, 1996.

Legislative changes to the fairness provisions in the Excise Tax Act (both for GST/HST and non-GST/HST purposes) were introduced in 2006. Starting April 1, 2007, the Minister's discretion to waive or cancel penalties and interest will be limited to requests for reporting periods that ended within any of the 10 calendar years preceding the calendar year in which the request is made.

For more information on this news release, please visit:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/releases/2007/feb/nr070228-e.html

Posted by Taxes.ca Editorial Team [permalink]



February 22, 2007

"Do You Think It's Easy to Hail a Cab?"

$14,200 in hotel expenses in Montreal for Stéphane Dion’s chauffeur
$5,550 spent on hotel/hospitality during Kyoto Conference in Montreal

OTTAWA: Access to Information documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that Stéphane Dion’s chauffeur billed taxpayers $14,225 for Montreal hotel and travel expenses. In addition, documents show during the 2005 Kyoto conference in Montreal, Mr. Dion opted to lodge at a hotel at a cost of $5,548, even though he maintains a residence in Montreal where he is the Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent–Cartierville.

Another Limousine Liberal –

For the period July 2004 to November 2005, records show Mr. Dion’s chauffeur billed $14,225 in 98 separate expenses for trips between Gatineau (the capital region) and Montreal. The expenses include transportation costs, meals, telephone charges, etc. Review the expenses: http://www.taxpayer.com/pdf/PDF_driver.pdf

"Mr. Dion is quick to lecture Canadians on the need to cut greenhouse gases yet as environment minister he opted to drive to Montreal, keep his chauffeur in the city and bilk taxpayers $14,225,” stated CTF federal director John Williamson. “Canadians have had enough of politicians instructing us to change our driving habits when the same elites, like Mr. Dion, refuse to heed their own advice. Mr. Dion should practice what he preaches, take the Ottawa–Montreal train and hail a cab when in Montreal."

"Under the Liberals, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions drove upwards, while Mr. Dion was driven back and forth in a taxpayer-funded government car,” noted Williamson.


Hotels in Montreal? That is Mr. Dion’s Hometown –

Other documents report that during the first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, held in Montreal from November 28 to December 9, 2005, Mr. Dion expensed another $5,548 for hotel and hospitality expenses. The hotel was over $300 per night and a $700 room service bill was picked up by taxpayers. Review the hotel bills: http://www.taxpayer.com/pdf/PDF_hotel.pdf

"Despite the fact that Mr. Dion lives in Montreal he opted to stay at a hotel,” concluded Mr. Williamson. “If Mr. Dion had the interest of taxpayers at heart, he would have slept in his own bed.”

John Williamson
Federal Director
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Posted by John Williamson, Canadian Taxpayers Federation [permalink]

CRA Tax Tip: Save on gas, get your transit pass!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued the following Tax Tip reminding Canadians about the tax credit for public transit passes. Save those transit passes!

Did you know...

That individuals can claim a non-refundable tax credit for public transit passes? You will be able to claim the cost of buying a monthly (or longer duration) pass for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and local ferries for this proposed non-refundable tax credit.

You can claim the full amount paid for a public transit pass, or for the cost of passes for multiple transit systems, for the amounts you have paid for travel that occurred after June 30, 2006. You can include the cost of passes for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner or your children under age 19.

You will need to keep the expired monthly transit passes for the months after June 2006 to support your claim.

For more information, visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/whatsnew/items/transit-e.html or www.transitpass.ca.


Posted by Taxes.ca Editorial Team [permalink]

February 20, 2007

9th Annual Teddies Waste Awards

Taxpayers Honour Senator Colin Kenny, Hydro One (Ontario), City of Edmonton, and Dalton McGuinty

OTTAWA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its ninth annual Teddies Waste Awards Ceremony to honour the best of the worst in government spending at a black tie news conference today on Parliament Hill. CTF Manitoba Director, Adrienne Batra, acted as master of ceremonies.

The Teddies are named for Ted Weatherill, a former senior public servant, who was terminated in 1999 for “expenses incurred by him … incompatible with his position as Chairman of the Canada Labour Relations Board,” according to the Office of the Minister of Labour. In the spirit of the entertainment awards season, Teddies are awarded annually to a government, public office holder, civil servant, department or agency that most exemplifies government waste, overspending, over-taxation, excessive regulation, lack of accountability, or any combination of the five.

"Sadly, 2006 has been yet another blockbuster year for government waste,” said Ms. Batra. “Politicians and public officials must realize that hardworking Canadians will not tolerate those who use tax dollars to live the high life. Our Teddies are an appropriate way to recognize those who abuse the public purse.”

Federal Nominees:

The Departed…MP – Nominated for “Best Disappearing Act”

The movie is set to be filmed in Scarborough, Ontario, a riding where the film’s star Jim Karygiannis, has been a Member of Parliament since 1988. Like many that let fame and fortune go to their head, showing up to work has never really been his thing.


He routinely skips votes, hardly ever makes statements in the Commons and has little time for the normal day-to-day duties one would expect from a Member of Parliament. In short, Mr. Karygiannis is the taxpayers worst nightmare. His no-shows would make even Lindsay Lohan – Hollywood's current truant-du jour – blush. In the 39th session of his latest Parliamentary film, Mr. Karygiannis showed up for zero of 32 votes.

Where was he? He was busy working on another project – a little independent project called “The Liberal leadership campaign of Joe Volpe.” Perhaps Mr. Karygiannis was hoping to “win” a coveted Teddy as Mr. Volpe did in ’06. Yes, taxpayers were paying Mr. Karygiannis a cool $147,700 to be in Parliament yet he was busy with partisan politics.

Letters & Bills from Dubai – Nominated for “Best Comedic Performance by an Unelected Official”

At the film’s premiere in October, 2006, Colin Kenny is overheard remarking that office budgets for senators should be increased from $135,000 to $200,000. “I’d like us to move up to match the House of Commons,” the unelected senator was quoted as saying.

The good senator really incurs the wrath of taxpayers and critics when as chair of the senate’s National Security and Defence Committee, he and a supporting cast head off on a $150,000 magical mystery tour that they claim will eventually arrive in Afghanistan. Documents clearly show that military officials told them in advance that a trip to Afghanistan was not an option. Undeterred, the good senator leads the crew onwards where they stay in a luxurious hotel in Dubai for seven days even though only one three-hour meeting is scheduled. The hotel bill is a cool $30,000.

Upon being questioned, Senator Kenny immediately calls a press conference and lashes out saying the delegation stayed in Dubai because there was a chance they’d be able to travel to Afghanistan. With earlier scenes already confirming that this was never an option, Senator Kenny brings the house down when he maintains everything was above board since the committee worked on a “report” while in Dubai and alleges a PMO conspiracy against the entire Senate. The film ends with all critics and voters alike agreeing it is time to clip Senator Kenny’s wings.

A-SPEND-alypto – Nominated for “Best Taxpayer Horror”

As taxpayers wonder if Ottawa will be successful in trimming the Department of Public Works’ $13-billion annual procurement budget the saga takes a turn when Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints Michael Fortier to the Senate and as Minister of Public Works – all in the same scene!

After the election, Ottawa moved to reduce the amount of money it spends on goods and services. Tasked by the New Conservative ™ government, Public Works awards a $1.75-million contract to discover ways to cut costs. The film fast-forwards nine months and suddenly the “cut costs contract” has increased in value to $24-million.

Curse of the Golden Banana (Heritage Canada) – Nominated for “Feature and Visual Effects”

Artist Cesar Saez has a dream. He dreams of a 1,000 foot-long banana flying over the great state of Texas. Saez plans to make a banana-shaped, helium-filled, synthetic-paper airship that will fly 20 to 30 kilometres above the Lone Star state for one month.

This story is about making sure people’s dreams come true and luckily for Mr. Cesar, the Canada Council for the Arts shares this dream. They wanted so much to ensure this movie got made that they kicked in $49,800 of taxpayers’ money for the project. The Quebec government’s Council for Arts and Letters threw in another $15,000. With governments firmly behind this Big Banana in Space Project, the film is sure to be a “success.” Yet taxpayers and officials from NASA are curious to know if the sequel will feature the banana being peeled by the Canada space arm? Stay tuned!

Pirates of the Marine Atlantic: The Hungry Man’s Meal – Nominated for “Best Plundering of the Public Purse”

In the opening scene Marine Atlantic President Roger Flood declares that reports of excessive executive spending at the federal Crown corporation are complete balderdash. In what some are calling this year’s undisputed “Teddy moment,” Mr. Flood cries, “It is deliberately taken out of context.”

The scene in question reveals that Martine Atlantic executives expensed a dinner in December, 2003, at the Hungry Fishermen restaurant in St. John’s, Nfld. The cast was hungry indeed. The bill totalled $1,038.76. The plundering had only begun. The pirate crew pillages $1,313.71 at the Casbah restaurant in St. John’s; $1,237 at Java Jack’s in Rocky Harbour and another $666.33 at Da Maruizio in Halifax.

The closing credits reveal three Marine Atlantic executives and their chairman bill $18,857.81 to attend a convention in Greece to do some “research” on new ferries. The Marine Atlantic executive sticks to his script and calls the story “inaccurate.” Critics aren’t impressed. Taxpayers and moviegoers demand the pirates get off their tax dollar diet and try packing a lunch.

Federal Award Winner:

"And the federal Teddy goes to Senator Colin Kenny, once again showing that the last institution to get the memo regarding Canadians’ demands for accountability from lawmakers is the Canadian Senate. Rest assured Senator Kenny, the days of unaccountable officials thinking they can fleece Canadian taxpayers with impunity because they’ll never have to face the electorate will soon be over,” said Ms. Batra as she unveiled the first Teddy of 2007, a beautiful golden sow.

Provincial Nominees:

Bon Horse, Bad SONACC – Nominated for “Achievement in Living High on the Horse’s Hog”

In this business, when the provincial auditor is the one reveling the saga you can be sure it’s going to be a smash hit. The case of the Quebec government’s ‘Societe nationale du cheval de course’ (SONACC) is no exception. The story begins with SONACC’s founding in 1999 to help promote and develop QuebecR17;s horseracing industry. As the film progresses, it quickly becomes a taxpayers’ nightmare as the narrator explains that between 1999 and 2005, SONACC was handed $260-million.

Midway through the film, things turn downright ugly as officials with SONACC take rule-breaking and living high on the hog to a whole new level. The auditor explains that officers received 20 to 30 per cent annual raises while doing the same job. Bonuses of $10,000 to $30,000 were paid out without any performance evaluations or measurement criteria given.

One officer whose salary was almost six figures received an $82,500 severance, only to be rehired as a consultant. Over the next two years, he collects $350,000 to perform work related to his former duties. Other shocks include $17,000 to $22,000 on automobile allowances; spending $300,000 in “unjustified” expense claims; and almost $400,000 in reimbursements for expenses without explanation.

By movie’s end, millions have galloped out the door leaving taxpayers feeling as though they’d just been kicked, and moviegoers wondering why pigs are in charge of horses.

Little Miss-appropriation of Funds – Nominated for “Best Achievement in Public Money Mis-Direction”

This is one of those dark movies where the bulk of the actors are bad guys and it becomes even more chilling to learn it is based on a true story. The story is brought to life by the movie’s protagonist Newfoundland & Labrador provincial auditor John Noseworthy. The film stars politicians from all three political parties and opens with a scene revealing a spending scandal that begins in April 1997 and continues until filming is finally completed in 2006.

In his narration, the auditor details how $1.6-million in excessive expense claims were filed by five provincial politicians, including three former cabinet ministers. The narrator states in one scene that “the vast majority of these expenditures went directly, via cheque and that sort of thing, to (their) bank accounts.”

In addition to overspending office budgets, later scenes reveal $2.7-million was misappropriated by the same cast to buy a variety of trinkets – no doubt for adoring fans – which include gold rings, fridge magnets, pins and key chains. Outraged moviegoers demand a refund and hope the sequel keeps better track of all legislators’ receipts.

The Last Pork of Saskatchewan – Nominated for “Achievement in Editing and Mixing”

While critics and buffs alike are used to hearing stories of “political pork,” taxpayers are particularly unimpressed with new editing and spin techniques being used by the Government of Saskatchewan. The film begins with the government announcing a $1.5-million subsidy, in addition to an already outstanding $2-mllion loan to the bankrupt ‘World Wide Pork’ in Moose Jaw. The tale quickly turns dark when despite the handout and loan, workers are axed and bills to suppliers remain unpaid.

The government’s solution? Why yet another $1.5-million tax dollars! Moviegoers should be aware that this is not a good flick to see if you like happy endings because as the film winds down – six months after the latest taxpayer-funded handout – the company permanently closes its doors leaving many workers with no job and taxpayers on the hook for millions more.

Rating: Not suitable for vegetarians or those who hate to see their money go down the drain.

The CEO Wears Prada – Nominated for “Best Display of the Culture of Entitlement”

Like all good political thrillers this one begins with the resignation of a high-ranking government official. In this case, Tom Parkinson, CEO of Hydro One, the public utility responsible for managing OntarioR17;s electricity grid is forced to quit his post after damning revelations come to light.

Moviegoers learn the CEO billed $45,000 in personal expenses to his secretary’s credit card, having himself approved the expenditures. You could hear a pin drop in the theatre when it is also revealed that the same big wig is the highest paid public employee in the entire province drawing an annual salary of $1.5-million. If only it stopped there. Later scenes have the CEO using Hydro One’s helicopter to visit his private cottage in the Muskoka’s.

With his resignation taxpayers thought they’d finally gotten justice, but that was just the beginning. Hydro One’s board implies they see nothing wrong with the behaviour of their lead actor only accepting his resignation with “deep regret.” But the shocking twist comes in the last scene when Hydro One writes a $3-million severance cheque for the CEO who voluntarily resigned. Moviegoers no doubt leave the theatre scratching their heads wondering if the same rules would apply to them at work.

Provincial Award Winner:

"And the provincial Teddy goes to the politically-appointed Board of Hydro One for showing that the culture of entitlement is alive and well in Ontario,” said Batra as she presented the second golden sow. “This Teddy is for Hydro One’s board to share as it shows that a good team always sticks together through thick and thin, even when it is taxpayers getting the shaft.

Municipal Nominees:

Yo-Yorat: Cultural Gifts for America to Make Benefit Glorious City of Edmonton – Nominated for “Best Dim-witted International Idea”

This movie’s opening scene should have been shot at a prestigious business school because whoever came up with this idea is truly gifted. If taxpaying moviegoers in Edmonton wonder why ticket prices on their property go up year after year, look no further than this film’s opening scene. In it, ratepayers learn that the city of Edmonton spent $30,000 to hire 30 actors from Washington, D.C, to hand out yo-yos in the U.S. capital on Canada Day.

Edmonton officials were scripted in the film saying it was a “fun way” to promote the city and a way of connecting with the ordinary Joe. One critic called the film “absolutely ridiculous” but the Academy of Taxers and Spenders likes to set trends and always looks for the diamond in the rough.

According to sources, Canadians must wait for the director’s cut to see if anyone in Washington clutching their yo-yo said “Dad, Can we go to Edmonton next year?”

Dream Jobs – Nominated for “Achievement in Looking Busy and Beating the Stress”

What makes this film so good is the simplicity of its plot. The main actors in this movie are City of Montreal roadwork crews and the plot unfolds as follows: The workers drive around. Shovel a little gravel. Stop for a poutine. Repeat. Occasionally, they sub in the odd smoked meat sandwich instead of poutine but by and large the script stays the same. In the end, three work crews, all paid about $22 an hour and spend 90 man-hours fixing 9 potholes.

The movie’s end makes clear a sequel is in the works as the City of Montreal announces plans to “track” its workers using GPS devices. Will electric shocks be administered to workers who are eating poutine when they should be filling potholes? Fans will have to wait for Dream Jobs Part II.

The Pursuit of Taxing-us – Nominated for “Best Big City Villain”

It is rare that a film captures both the genres of comedy and horror in one feature. But taxpayers have come to expect such motion picture ingenuity from the City of Toronto – arguably the most fiscally incompetent city in Canada. Critics and movie buffs should have seen what was coming when trailers for the movie showed a beaming Mayor David Miller in response to news the feds were cutting the GST.

When the film finally arrives in theatres the opening credits reveal that Toronto is not going to pass along the savings from the one-point reduction in the GST to citizens. After all, it is a costly administrative headache to change billing systems, websites and publications to reflect new – and lower – fees. So why bother. Critics wonder whether the city would also find it too costly if prices and taxes were raised. But the mayor – oddly – never addresses this.

However, plot twists are what separate the great films from the good ones and Mayor Miller quickly reverses himself upon learning that to not pass along a tax reduction runs contrary to the federal Excise Tax Act. If he doesn’t pass it along to consumers he’ll have to pass it along to Ottawa and what’s the point in that? Rating: Warning to viewers of this film in Toronto is watch your wallet.

An Inconvenient Prize – Nominated for “Accomplishment in Civic Embarrassment”

Have you ever thrown a party and nobody showed up? That’s how the city of Edmonton is portrayed in yet another half-baked tourist promotion film. The city’s promotions department is featured prominently in the early scenes as a $50,000 budget for three all-expenses-paid vacations are offered to lucky randomly selected Canadians. But this is where the plot takes an unintended comedic twist. It turns out that city staff offers the trip to 25 people before they can find three will to accept the prize!

In one memorable scene, a woman from British Columbia explicitly states she doesn’t want to come to Edmonton!. The promotions department remains convinced that this is a good idea and that contest winners will ensure Edmonton become’s the talk of their communities upon their return which will in turn cause tourism to skyrocket. Taxpaying critics are skeptical and hope no sequel is planned.

Municipal Award Winner:

R20;And the municipal Teddy goes to the city of Edmonton for their brilliant production handing out yo-yos in Washington to drum up tourism in Edmonton,R21; said Batra. “Edmonton taxpayers should feel extra proud knowing their city managed to garner two nominations this year in the municipal category– a first in Teddies history.”

Lifetime Achievement Teddy – Dalton McGuinty

All the great ones own a memorable line that confirms iconic status. These lines usually become ingrained in peoples’ minds and can instantly be associated with the person who said it and what show it was articulated in. There are numerous examples. Clark Gable had his “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” in Gone with the Wind. July Garland said “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” in the Wizard of Oz.

Which bring us to our latest inductee in the Teddies lifetime achievement category, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Mr. McGuinty made two significant statements that ensure he will be long remembered by taxpayers. First, as Liberal Opposition leader on the election trail in 2003 he repeatedly told voters: "I won't raise your taxes, but I won't cut them either.

But he didn’t stop there. He showed up at a downtown Toronto hotel and signed a pledge drafted by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation that committed a Liberal government to abide by the Taxpayer Protection and Balanced Budget Act. Above his signature, read: "I, Dalton McGuinty, promise that if my party is elected as the next government, I will not raise taxes or implement any new taxes without the explicit consent of Ontario voters."

The Liberals won that election and Dalton McGuinty became Premier of Ontario. Yet, six months later, he broke that promise, ushering in the largest tax hike in OntarioR17;s history in the form of a so-called “health premium.” Voters called it a tax and the Big Lie.

Since then, Premier McGuinty has continuously blamed his predecessors for all his troubles, delivered 3 deficit budgets, ramped up spending, and continuously whined to the federal government for more handouts. Handouts for what taxpayers ask? In December, 2006, the McGuinty Liberals ushered in a 25 per cent pay increase for MPP’s. Does this sound like someone to be trusted with tax dollars?

A Teddy is awarded to Mr. McGuinty in recognition of his many accomplishments. “In just four years, Dalton McGuinty truly has amassed a lifetime of achievements and for that we honour him as this year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement Teddy. Congratulations Premier McGuinty,” concluded Batra.


John Williamson
Federal Director
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Posted by John Williamson, Canadian Taxpayers Federation [permalink]

February 14, 2007

CRA Tax Tip: It's all here!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued a Tax Tip reminding Canadian tax filers about the convenient My Account feature.

"Did you know...

That you can use My Account for individuals whenever and wherever you want to manage your tax and benefit information online? With My Account you can track your refund, check your benefit and credit payments, check your registered retirement savings plan limit, change your address, change your return, and so much more! To use My Account, you have to register for a Government of Canada epass, which includes the mailing of a Canada Revenue Agency security code."

For more information on this tax tip and other tax tips, visit the CRA web site at:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/taxtips/2007/tt070212-e.html

Posted by Taxes.ca Editorial Team [permalink]

February 10, 2007

CRA Tax Tip: It pays to get fit!

The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a Tax Tip reminding Canadians that starting in 2007 you may be able to claim some expenses for your children's physical fitness programs.

"Did you know...

Starting in 2007, you may be able to claim the fees paid for physical fitness programs for your children under the age of 16? The newly proposed children's fitness tax credit provides parents with an annual credit of up to $500 per child to help cover the cost of their child's physical fitness programs or sporting activities fees."

For more information on this tax tip, visit the CRA web site at:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/taxtips/2007/tt070208-e.html

Posted by Taxes.ca Editorial Team [permalink]

February 5, 2007

Where Are Tory Tax Promises?

Conservative rule? This was the pledge Stephen Harper made to Canadians, but it hasn’t come to pass. During last winter’s election campaign, his candidates vowed to end wasteful programs and control government spending, which increased dramatically under the old Liberal regime. Opposition Conservatives told Canadians that if elected they would prioritize spending and govern responsibly. Certainly, no scandals have erupted under Prime Minister Harper, but that does not mean all is well in Ottawa. The federal government is growing as fast as ever and this puts the prospect of meaningful tax relief in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Harper was applauded last year for limiting the size of his cabinet to 26 members. His streamlined executive was down significantly from 37 under former Prime Minister Paul Martin. Taxpayers were told this smaller cabinet would save them $48-million.

Yet just last month, Mr. Harper decided bigger is better by adding six secretaries of state to his team. These junior ministers are paid an additional $53,000 on top of an already generous MP pay package of $147,700. When a government spokesman was asked what additional expenses might crop up, he responded there wouldn’t be any, “They do in fact get a car and driver, but there’s no added cost to the taxpayer because the costs are being absorbed within the departments through reallocation.” Oh boy, if the Conservatives believe their own spin, taxpayers are in big trouble.

Additional limos, chauffeurs, and pay are the tip of the iceberg. Junior ministers do not attend Cabinet meetings, but each is nonetheless entitled to additional political staff. And what is Ottawa’s starting salary for a “senior” twenty-something staffer fresh out of school, who reports to a junior minister, who in turn reports to a minister, who reports to the Prime Minister? Try $85,000, up to a maximum of $110,700. Throw in benefits, travel and suddenly taxpayers are shelling out real money. It might not be $48-million, but it’s closer to that figure than zero – notwithstanding the government’s absurd denial.

Forget cutting the size of the state; the Conservative government is unwilling to even abide by its own commitment to hold the line on spending or change the pork-barrel culture. The party’s 2006 election manifesto stated spending had grown to an unacceptable level: “Far too much taxpayers’ money is absorbed by the Ottawa bureaucracy or spent on ineffective or inefficient programs.” To fix this problem Mr. Harper’s team said it would begin by limiting future growth of government to the inflation plus population growth rate.

But it hasn’t happened. Instead Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay tells voters in Atlantic Canada that electing a provincial Tory candidate will open regional development taps, “He’s going to come knocking and we’re going to deliver,” he said. In Quebec, Public Works Minister Michael Fortier demands military contracts be directed to his province. In December, Senator Fortier announces industrial giant Pratt & Whitney will receive a $350-million subsidy. Bombardier has also been informed it will receive a similar sized corporate welfare handout – courtesy of taxpayers – should the aerospace firm build a new regional jet. On top of this, the government recently resurrected goofy environment programs it cancelled after assuming office last year. What’s next, Rick Mercer plugging the Two-Tonne Challenge?

Remember the days when opposition Tory MPs lampooned the government for boosting annual government spending by an average 8.2% each year during the Liberals’ final five years in office? This expansion meant the state was increasingly interfering in the lives of Canadians, at work and at home.

The federal government continues to meddle by imposing regulations on businesses, over-taxing families and adopting the vote-buying policies perfected by the Grits. According to the finance department, Ottawa will grow by another $12.4-billion this fiscal year. That increase works out to 7.1% – well above inflation and population growth. Spending is budgeted to grow by another 4.5% in 2007/08. Taxpayers have no reason to believe this lower figure any more than the previous commitment to reduce spending.

When a government uses a fire hose for spending, they are left with only an eyedropper for tax relief. The Conservatives obviously find it easier to spend the rising surplus rather than control expenditures and cut taxes – just as the Liberals did. But can they really believe re-election efforts will be any easier when taxpayers cannot see a significant difference between Conservative and Liberal spending levels or their records on lowering taxes?

John Williamson
Federal Director
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Posted by John Williamson, Canadian Taxpayers Federation [permalink]

February 1, 2007

CRA Tax tip: Apprenticeship job creation tax credit

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued a tax tip pertaining to a tax credit for apprenticeship job creation:

"Did you know...

That businesses with an eligible apprentice may be able to claim the apprenticeship job creation tax credit? This is a non-refundable tax credit equal to 10% of the eligible salaries and wages payable to eligible apprentices for employment after May 1, 2006. The maximum credit is $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice."

For more information on this or other Canadian tax tips, visit the CRA web site at:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/taxtips/2007/tt070201b-e.html

Posted by Taxes.ca Editorial Team [permalink]

CRA Tax tip: Cool cash for your tools!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has published the following tax tip:

"Did you know...

That if you are a tradesperson you may be able to deduct your tool expenses? The newly proposed tradesperson's tools deduction provides employed tradespersons with an annual deduction of up to $500 to help cover the cost of new tools necessary to their trade. The deduction applies to the total cost of eligible tools in excess of $1,000 acquired by an employed tradesperson after May 1, 2006."

For more information on this or other CRA tax tips, visit the CRA web site at:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/taxtips/2007/tt070201-e.html

Posted by Taxes.ca Editorial Team [permalink]