Oh, those wacky Conservatives. It's hard to believe we're so afraid of taking these guys to an election some days.
Take these two stories, both to do with tax policy, both written today.
Story the first:
TORONTO — The federal government has returned a volley in the war of words over Ontario's corporate tax rate.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to Bay Street Friday to urge provinces to cut the corporate rate to 10 per cent by 2012.
Ontario's rate of 14 per cent is one of the highest in the country and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has outraged Premier Dalton McGuinty by saying that makes the province unpalatable to foreign investors.
Story the second:
OTTAWA — The chances of Canadian parents getting a $5,000 tax deduction by saving for their children's education grew slimmer Friday as the government vowed to kill the private member's bill and its author offered to compromise.
The Conservative government was taken off guard Wednesday night when Liberal MP Dan McTeague's bill, estimated to cost the treasury $900 million, passed third reading and was sent to the Senate for approval.
Short form version: Conservatives say tax breaks for corporations good, tax breaks for working parents for their childrens' education bad.
BONUS IRONY, SENATE EDITION
Story the first, from a few weeks back:
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has warned the Liberal-dominated Senate to pass the Tory government's violent crime bill by the end of the month or face a possible early election.
And story the second, from today (from story two above):
If passed unamended in the Senate, the bill would likely get Royal assent and Canadians would be able to put up to $5,000 in a registered education savings plan for each child - and deduct the amount from their taxable income like an registered retirement savings plan.
But Conservative Ted Menzies, the parliamentary secretary for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, said Friday that he has confidence the Senate will kill the bill and, if not, the government would resort to other measures.
Short form version: When it doesn't do what we want on crime the Senate is thwarting the will of the elected House, but we Conservatives would love it if they'd thwart the will of the elected house for us on tax cuts for parents to send their kids to school.
And here's a parting shot, from the same story:
One option is for the government to introduce legislation to undo the bill, or seek to amend the budget implementation legislation, making both a matter of confidence.
"But that might be contested because there's a rule in the House that you can't consider the same business twice in the same session, so there's no guarantee it would get through," said Ned Franks, a professor emeritus at Queen's University, who is an expert in parliamentary procedure.
No, no don't contest it! Please! An election triggered by the Conservatives trying to kill a tax cut, and not just any tax cut, but one for RESPs? If the nervous nellies can't get out and campaign on that then there truely is no hope. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers