Ms. Sheila Copps, former Deputy Prime Minister wants us to pay more taxes to fix all our problems such as infrastructure woes, environmental pollution and even youth crime. It would be pointless for me to argue that we should pay no taxes and hopefully Ms. Copps doesn’t believe that we should pay everything we earn in taxes. She writes:
Most of us feel we probably pay too much in taxes and a “freedom day” is a simple way of signalling that enough is enough.
Of course, we pay too much in taxes. In Ontario, we pay federal income tax, EI, CPP, GST, gas taxes, provincial income tax (including the health premium, thanks Mr. McGuinty), PST, property taxes, “sin” taxes, assorted government fees and taxes, land transfer tax, our share of the corporate taxes etc. It is very difficult, if not impossible to tally the total taxes we pay (How much GST did you pay last year? How much corporate taxes were paid on your investments in stocks and mutual funds on your behalf?) and the Fraser Institute should be applauded for taking a stab at estimating our tax burden. In fact, I think that their numbers are reasonably accurate.
Predictably, Ms. Copps cites the Walkerton tragedy to argue against tax cuts. She should pay more attention to the findings of the Walkerton commission, which determined that incompetence, nepotism and mismanagement directly caused the tragedy:
For years, the Walkerton Public Utilities Commission operators engaged in a host of improper operating practices, including failing to use adequate doses of chlorine, failing to monitor chlorine residuals daily, making false entries about residuals in daily operating records, and misstating the locations at which microbiological samples were taken.
Ms. Copps makes no mention of the waste and mismanagement that makes efficient government an oxymoron. Case in point: As Heritage Minister, Ms. Copps oversaw a program that spent $45 million on a million unflyable Canadian flags. So, instead of picking more money from our pockets, Ms. Copps is welcome to think of creative ways to fund movie nights to “stimulate bored young minds on a Friday night” with our existing taxes.
- Linda Leatherdale, Sun Columnist: Sheila Copps, give your head a shake