One rule for Liberals, another for rest of us
For champions of the middleclass, Canada’s federal Liberals sure seem to have little in common with average people.
Over the weekend, a large dump of documents called the Paradise Papers revealed the top fundraiser for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals is listed among the thousands of names connected to offshore accounts and firms.
Stephen Bronfman, grandson of Seagrams creator Samuel Bronfman, is the current “revenue chief” for the federal Liberal party. He’s also a longtime friend of Trudeau’s.
The papers have not been made publicly available but, as The Canadian Press puts it, “according to the Toronto Star and CBC/ Radio Canada, the records suggest Stephen Bronfman and his family’s Montreal- based investment company, Claridge Inc, were linked to an offshore trust in the Cayman Islands that may have used questionable means to avoid paying millions in taxes.”
Bronfman’s representatives denied any impropriety, saying they’ve always acted in full compliance with the law.
Regardless, this story didn’t sit well with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
“Justin Trudeau’s well- connected Liberal friends get away with paying less and you pay more,” Scheer said. “There is nothing fair about that.”
For the past few months, we’ve watched Trudeau and his finance minister, Bill Morneau, tour the country to justify wringing more taxes from the hides of the middleclass ( by eliminating tax credits) and small businesses ( through new tax changes), all in the name of “fairness.” Farmers, doctors and others rebelled. What had they been doing wrong, they asked? Why did the rules need to change?
Neither Trudeau nor Morneau ever clarified what was wrong with the status quo and from our perspective it looked and smelled like a cash grab masquerading as “fairness”.
Meanwhile, news broke the Canada Revenue Agency was considering taxing low- income workers for the discounts they receive at work on store products like clothing or food.
And then there was Morneau’s failure to place his wealth in a blind trust and a $ 200 fine under the Conflict of Interest Act for failing to disclose his interest in his French villa. Now this news about Bronfman. The trouble with all this is the distasteful double standard.
Liberals pay lip service to middle class woes, but play by a different set of rules themselves