04.08.2016 07:58 AM

Questions for money, questions about money

Ontario’s Deputy Premier made a big, big allegation yesterday:

Ontario’s Liberals deflected calls for a public inquiry into their fundraising practices Thursday by accusing the Opposition of raising issues in the legislature on behalf of donors to the Progressive Conservative party.

Deputy premier Deb Matthews called it “pretty strange” that the first bill introduced by PC Leader Patrick Brown after he was elected as an MPP was to lower estate taxes. “The only people who would be advocating for that are the tax planners, and … he’s got substantial donations from those tax planners,” she said.

If this is true, it’s a clear violation of section 41 of the Legislative Assembly Act and a corrupt practice:

No member of the Assembly shall knowingly accept or receive, either directly or indirectly, any fee, compensation or reward for or in respect of the drafting, advising upon, revising, promoting or opposing any bill, resolution, matter or thing submitted or intended to be submitted to the Assembly or a committee thereof. R.S.O. 1990, c. L.10, s. 41.

Things are getting nasty down at the Leg. Has the election been moved up or something?

13 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Nah, throwing out wild accusations against others is standard operating procedure for the Wynne team when their ass is in the fire. Like yesterday’s CBC story that 50 corporations donated the maximum $9,975 and the Liberals used several fundraising, um, “loopholes” to take in more than $1.6 million in donations for just the by-election in Whitby-Oshawa. They only raised $2.7 million during the entire 2014 campaign for all 107 ridings total.

    Oh, and Matthews needs to be REAL careful about trying to link favours for donations considering what has so far, and what will be revealed about the Liberals fundraising quid pro quo.

  2. Mark says:

    This is just a distraction thrown out there for additional cover as the Liberals make a 180 and hasty retreat on the whole fundraising mess.

    I would imagine it would be the wealthy themselves, not their tax planners, who would most forcefully push for lower estate taxes. So the accusation seems a bit suspect to me. We’ll see if any more info is forthcoming, or if it’s just meant to displace headlines for a day.

    You’re right though that it is a very serious allegation. And one does get the sense that things are going to get ugly soon, and stay that way for a long while, in Queens Park.

  3. Kelly says:

    I always laugh that Conservatives pretend to believe in merit and individual hard work, yet they want to lower estate taxes. Estate taxes should be twice as high. Inheritances overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and underpin dynastic oligarchies. Lower income taxes and jack up estate taxes and capital gains taxes. That would reward work and punish the idle rich. But Conservatives are phonies so that’ll never happen.

  4. godot10 says:

    Ontario Tories are for lower taxes? Like who knew? What a surprise!

    Plus the argument doesn’t make sense. If there are lower estate taxes, there is arguably less need for tax planning, since tax planning is mostly about trying to find legal means of reducing taxes.

    Lower tax rates obviates the need for tax planning.

  5. Robert Viera says:

    No. A lowering of the political discourse is normal consequence of Patrick Brown entering a political arena.

    When Brown launched his political career with a run for Barrie city council in 2000, after having come up from Toronto just in time to meet the residency requirement for candidates, he accused the incumbent councilor of having “picked the taxpayers pockets” to “line her own” because city council had raised councilors annual salary to $25,000. While in Ottawa, Brown voted to raise his own salary from $147,700 to $167,400, an increase equal to nearly 80% of his city council salary.

    While on Barrie city council Brown sent out a newsletter accused the mayor and another councilor of taking a free vacation to Barrie’s twin-city in Germany on the municipal taxpayers’ dime. (The councilor had paid his own way.) While a backbench MP in Ottawa, Brown went on taxpayer-funded foreign trips to India and South Korea/Japan/Thailand, and has accepted over $60,000 in overseas trips from foreign lobby groups.

  6. Robert Viera says:

    In a video posted to YouTube, Patrick Brown, campaigning to sign up new members for his Ontario PC Party leadership bid, tells a group of people at a Hindu temple in Kitchener “The way this race works … anyone who signs the form, gets the ballot” (@3:34).

    Later in the video (@6:45) when asked about tax credits for political contributions Brown says “I don’t want donations. I just want memberships.”

    I’m not a member of the Ontario PC Party, but I don’t believe a person could have voted in the Ontario PC Party leadership race without being a party member and to become a member a person must have donate at least $10 to the Ontario PC Party, yet here is Patrick Brown telling people they can vote for party leader simply by signing a form.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJN-JygZXqc

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