Letter to the Editor - Regarding Government Tax Proposals that will Affect Incorporated Small Business Owners, Farmers, Other Professionals, and All Canadians
A 2007 Hyundai isn’t exactly the vehicle of a wealthy tax-cheat, is it? Don’t rich advantage-takers drive luxury vehicles with plush interiors?
Not according to the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance. According to them, incorporated farmers, doctors, and family business owners are the wealthy tax-cheats, who've been taking advantage of other Canadians, through unfair perks and benefits.
$1,652.76 dollars: that’s what my spouse’s Medical Professional Corporation paid last year for office supplies. He paid $30,000.00 for a part-time secretary, $6,999.96 to rent an office, $194.68 to park at one hospital, and $1,200.00 at the other; with no time to walk between clinics, due to his tight schedule. Envision a chicken running around with its head cut off. WE live in a small-ish university town. Those expenses in larger centres would blossom.
In a doctor's life, every second counts, and so does every dollar. The single biggest expense, his Corporation paid last year, next to employee salaries, was taxes: $71,931.76.
He doesn’t eat at work. 'Patients before self', seems his motto. So, on a run-of-the-mill day, from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., my ‘doctor’ runs on the fuel of pure charm and intellect, not food.
On weekends, he’s at the computer, surrounded by paperwork, inundated with the 80+ emails he receives daily, laden with administration; seeking grants, like needles in a haystack, to subsidize his clinic nurse; doing research, and planning seminars to impart knowledge.
And weekdays, while the rest of us are buckling down to Netflix, he dictates, writes notes, and records assessments. Nightly, he has insomnia, and worries for his patients. How do I know all this? Because for twenty-five years I've been privy to the inner life of a dedicated physician.
There’s a big shroud of myth and mystery around a doctor’s life. People think doctors make the big bucks, and live in the lap of luxury; and while we recognize our many blessings, it’s time to remove that shroud.
People have no idea what it takes to be a doctor, or farmer, lawyer, family business owner, etc., or what it takes to stay one! A smart government would want to encourage this kind of character, with the spirit and perseverance it takes to achieve such great things. It would want to give them more incentives; not accuse them of being cheaters or taking advantage of others!
It took my spouse eighteen years, of grueling post-secondary education, to become the medical specialist he is. A Medical Degree, two specialties, a Master’s Degree, and a PhD, full stop, and entry to practice.
For many years we lived on a 'luxury budget' of scholarships, yard sale furnishings, and credit card debt. By the time he landed a position, at a reputable university, he had accumulated a spouse and several other mouths to feed; and boy do they eat!. Let's not even talk about medical school debt.
Current med school tuition rates, only at U of T, are around $24,000.00 per year. Rent and food cost extra. And while everyone thinks doctors are super-human, they do actually require food and shelter.
Those graduated physicians, all shiny and proud, run their practices like small businesses. They’re self-employed, ineligible for EI, and contracted by the government, and universities, to do the work of health care. Operating expenses might include everything from the lowly paperclip to paying the educated personnel who assist them in being efficient. And doesn't our government love efficient doctors!
So, let's do the math. My husband’s department pays, their highly trained specialists, a gross salary of around $200,000 each, on par, and my husband’s corporation has a monthly business turn-over, required spending, of at least $20,000 dollars. He paid himself a whopping $39,000 last year. There was slightly less than $10,000 surplus, after all expenses and taxes were paid. 100% legal. No 'loopholes' whatsoever! This was a good year. The only reason why he had surplus was because his conference travel was paid by pharmaceutical companies. Normally, he pays that too.
There's a term used in psychology called projection: when you place the negative qualities on others that you see in yourself. So I ask you this, between the expertly trained medical sub-specialist who slaves, yes, slaves, in the workplace for fifteen-hour days, funds his own business expenses, and his own retirement, feeds his family, and employs several others in this economy; and those elite, super-wealthy, government officials who run The Tax Show, well, who is taking advantage of whom?
Please write to your MP, the Minister of Finance, and the Prime Minister himself, in support of small businesses, family farmers, and incorporated professionals. The tax measures being proposed will harm all Canadians, as costs in every arena will rise, in order to off-set the higher taxation. Inevitably, staff will be laid-off, public spending will reduce, and any kind of donations to charitable foundations will certainly get chopped, if small business owners are forced to choose between feeding and educating their own children, and paying more money into the deep gut of an insatiable Leviathan, called Deficit.
We need much more time, in-depth study, and analysis, to make effective, necessary reforms, based on concrete evidence that will benefit the majority without penalizing, or vilifying, those who make up the substantial portion of backbone in our economy. Quick, call an Orthopedist!
Signed, A doctor’s wife
Hi Everybody, today I'd like to talk to you about time, particularly, our use of it. I'm an older brother, as well as a younger one, and I've recently come to another recognition, of how important our time spent with our siblings, other family members, and anyone, really is.
There are many moments in life that challenge us to make decisions, to turn and look in a different direction, or view someone we've known for a long time in a different way. The truth is, we never really know someone or something in it's fullest sense.
This sense of knowing can happen in an instant, like love at first sight, or finding our purpose, or the feeling we are where we belong. This was not unlike the moment when I met my birth Brother, a few short years ago, who had been adopted out as a child, like I had. Recently, he passed away from brain cancer. So, for 2 plus years out of fifty plus, we had the opportunity to connect. Email, the phone, pictures and a family get-together, allowed us to flow into each others lives.
We had only one face to face evening, alone. So we made the most of it, through to the wee hours of the morning, discovering each others ways, thoughts, aspirations and beliefs, and solving the worlds problems, and we had done it together as brothers. The problem remaining was, we had no one to tell. It was like we'd known each other for a life time. There was an affinity, a mental familiarity, a knowing and ability to relate beyond the years. It was the recognition of family.
We had only a mild physical similarity, but mannerisms, thought patterns, depth of passion, and a desire for honesty, was uncannily similar. These things, one would assume come from growing up in a mutual environment. Though some positions were different, at the beginning, we delved deeper, to seek the rationale for our views of life, to find the moments that birthed our views, all with without prejudice to understand, our brother. This led us to disconnect from the conclusions we had made and re-ask the questions behind them, together.
You know my background from previous editorials so I will share a bit of my brothers instead.
He was a very hard worker: a metal worker, in a smelting plant in the Sault; in construction, at other times; a line worker, at GM in Oshawa years back; and more, all using his hands. Seen by most as this one dimension, he was thrilled to be approached for what he contemplated inside.
Like our own version of the United Nations, formed to bring understanding, for nations to other nations, we entered in.
We needed a common basis to function in, so the idea of morality, not ethics that change, was important, and so a moral being, who had design and purpose in creating us, was a foundation we accepted.
Without this, we are left with a fatalistic wandering in life, based on our personal ideas and impulses, with no real sense of unity with anyone else, certainly not on the inside, not really. That leads to conflict not unity. That's why governments and the UN find real unity.
Why most people only appear to agree together, if they don't dig any deeper than the surface. We could see, very evidently, when deeper questions are asked, real meat is chewed on, the proof comes out of the pudding, so to speak. We agreed not to conflict with each other's beliefs but rather explore them, as a desire to walk a moment in each others moccasins, fit them on and look around, for the best effort to know each other. This led to a genuine experience.
The raw material given, is only a starting point, how we apply it, what and who we apply it to, who we allow ourselves to be touched by, and the things uncovered along the way, all conspire to help us be who we become. I wouldn't have known my Brother, for real, if we hadn't taken the time. So, enter in, talk with someone you love today, it's worth the time spent.
Letter to the Editor,
It is inconceivable that we are expected to accept submissively an indeterminate and possible lengthy completion date for our Lakeridge Hospital at Port Perry.
We trust that our elected municipal and provincial representatives will absorb their responsibility and act without delay to remove all hindrances to an early re-opening of our vital hospital service.
Leon J. Hogg, Port Perry
Letter to the Editor,
Mr. Trudeau needs to follow through on the rights of "people" (indigenous and non-indigenous) over corporations that promise jobs and progress. Jobs that are created through flawed energy projects are transient and will mostly profit corporations and their interests.
Mr. Trudeau can truly represent all Canadians by stirring our economy towards a sustainable future and environmental well being for all.
Mr. Trudeau must implement the U.N. Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples and oppose destructive energy projects.
Daniele Fiorindi, Ashburn
Special to The Standard
Morris W. Dorosh/Agriweek
The Trudeau government is standing fast against mounting outrage over its proposals to change taxation of incorporated family companies and their owners. It is doing two things: showing its disconnection from the people who own and work at such companies, and badly underestimating the political risk it is taking.
The 63-page paper that started this was issued in July, including 25 pages of draft legislation. Some provisions will be retroactive to the date the paper came out (July 18th), and others would apply for the 2017 and 2018 tax years. The tax proposals are so complex that tax accountants and lawyers, including the largest national accounting firms, cannot explain them in plain English.
A public consultation period, during which the government is pretending to receive feedback, ends on October 2nd. However, no finance minister, or prime minister sincerely interested in taxpayer and tax planner comments and suggestions, would be going around defending the plan against all comers.
This is not the place to even try to describe this monstrous scheme. Just, Google canada tax plan morneau and talk to a tax accountant, if you can find one: the good ones are already up to their eyeballs. Tax accountants say these are the most serious tax reforms since 1971, when the government of Trudeau 1 introduced taxes on capital gains, on the advice of the infamous Carter Commission. With confiscatory income tax rates, it put Canada on the road to the highest tax burdens in the western world, while continuing to run the biggest budget deficits Canada has ever seen, before or since if in constant dollars.
The government, that is to say, elected members and ministers, are not smart enough to think this up all by themselves. This has the fingerprints either of Gerald Butts, the prime minister’s unknown, unelected, unseen, one-man brain trust and the Steve Bannon of Canada, or a cell within the tax department that has noticed while auditing tax returns, some small business taxpayers are not paying taxes at the rates they are paying. This reeks of envy and jealousy, on behalf of the lowest class of the Liberal support base. Probably similar suggestions were made by the career professional tax collectors to the Harper government, which had undoubtedly told them where to go.
It’s a done deal. The finance minister, the prime minister and the tax department never had any intention of being influenced by anything the public or tax professionals had to say, let alone the small business lobby.
Even if they were closing loopholes, the changes will increase federal revenue by a peanuts of $250 million a year, out of the total tax take of $300 billion. This is not about raising revenue or cutting the deficit, it is about persecuting and victimizing a particular small class of people and preventing their success from being aided or abetted by the tax system.
But these are not tax loopholes. They were put in the law to reflect differences between the situations of salary and wage earners who take no business risks, and entrepreneurs who put their livelihood and savings on the line every morning. Once upon a time, taxation of small businesses took into consideration, the ways in which their situation is different from that of large corporations, and the way the situation of entrepreneurs differs from that of salary and wage workers.
Taxation of farms, as proprietorships, partnerships or corporations, also reflected the uniqueness of farming; once upon a time.
Small business owners are excluded from unemployment insurance, who pay themselves the minimum wage only if their companies can afford it, have no backstop in case business goes badly, and benefit from no labor law or code. They are on their own, including against this savage socialist attack. Like Karl Marx, this government thinks tax fairness is achieved by cutting down those who are successful. The more successful they are, the more harshly they are to be treated.
The finance minister said, and the prime minister parroted, that the two-thirds of small business owners who earn $73,000 a year or less will not be impacted by the changes, the other third are going to be impacted heavily. Compare that to the average federal civil servant who costs the country $114,100 a year, has lifetime job security, the most powerful union to wring out regular raises and the sweetest pension benefits in the western world.
This is the Liberal value scale. The Trudeau government is exposing itself for what it really is. There is no way out of this, except regime change, in Ottawa. No Conservative government would ever do this. Any NDP government would do it. It’s not the first Liberal assault on small business.
The Harper government had set phased reductions in the federal income tax rate on small companies, from 13% when it came into office; it would have reached 10% in 2016, had Morneau not cancelled it as soon as he could.
Durham PC Candidate, Lindsey Park misled readers in a recent issue of The Standard. According her, our government is “negotiating a secret deal with Hydro Quebec” that will put jobs in the Durham Region at risk.
This story has already been thoroughly debunked, and the PCs know it.
Here are the facts. On August 8th, La Presse, a Montreal newspaper, reported that Ontario was close to a new deal with Hydro Quebec, to import a large amount of electricity. It was true that Quebec had sent Ontario a proposed deal earlier this summer; but La Presse missed a key point, our government had already emphatically rejected the proposal in a letter to Quebec weeks earlier.
In the letter, the Minister of Energy clearly stated our government’s goals: improving the efficiency of our electricity system, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and, above all, reducing costs for Ontario ratepayers. This is why every household that pays for electricity in Durham saw an average of 25% reduction in their bills, starting with their July bills. A move that Patrick Brown and the PC caucus voted against.
The rejection of this deal has been public for weeks, and Ms. Park should know full well about it. So, she either purposely misled Durham residents, or she is as uninformed about our energy sector as her leader Patrick Brown. Either way, she also used the phantom agreement to fearmonger over the future of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. According to her, our government’s commitment to the plant is somehow in question, because of the (rejected) Quebec offer.
In reality, our government has been unreservedly committed to nuclear power, which is one of the cleanest, safest, and most reliable sources of energy our province has. That’s why we have committed to the refurbishment of the stations at Darlington and Bruce, which is expected to generate an additional 25,000 jobs for our region. That’s also why we’ve committed to continued operations at Pickering to 2024. Contrary to the PC Candidate’s accusations, this commitment is unwavering. In fact, the license submission for the Pickering plant has already been submitted to the federal regulator for approval.
With the provincial election looming, less than a year away, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Durham PC Candidate would see fit to fearmonger and make false accusations. After all, this has been the consistent style of her party and her leader. The Conservatives have never bothered to put forward any plan of their own on the energy file, preferring the tactic of criticizing and refusing to support policies that will make life easier for Durham residents. Policies like free tuition, pharmacare for those 24 years old and under, bringing good paying jobs to our region, paying a living wage of $15 an hour, transit improvements and much needed action on climate change. If she is actually committed to serving the best interests of Durham residents, it’s time that she becomes better informed about the facts.
Granville Anderson MPP
Letter to the Editor,
Why we need legal protection for navigable waters.
Right now, the federal government is reviewing the Navigation Protection Act, that’s the law that should give all Canadians the right to paddle up and down this land’s waterways. That right is very important to me.
In recent years, 99% of Canada’s waterways lost navigation protection under the act. Unless our waterways have full legal protection we’ll all lose our right to enjoy and play in streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Even worse, when waterways are blocked by development or land owners, sensitive ecosystems are put at risk. There is currently no law that makes it mandatory to evaluate the environmental impact of blocking and obstructing waterways, which can seriously harm fish, fish habitat and water.
Long lasting decisions are being made right now about our basic right to explore this country by kayak and canoe.
Fellow outdoor enthusiasts, I hope you’ll join me in writing or calling your MP, to tell them to make sure the Navigation Protection Act protects our environment, heritage and way of life.
Robert Ewles, Pefferlaw
Letter to the Editor,
Port Perry Fair has come and gone for another year, thanks to a lot of tired volunteers.
I would like to commend some special businesses, who have supported the Market Steer Auction for years: St. Helens Meat Packers, Toronto, at least 20 years; Herrington Butchers Shop, Port Perry, about 10 years; Ron Hall Meats, Manilla, probably close to 10 years; and Langille Scrap Yard has sponsored prize money for years.
Many people help with this class and deserve a lot of thanks.
So please remember these dedicated businesses, and thank and support them, as they support our fair, town, and farmers.
We would like to invite everyone, young and old, to the Scout Hall on Saturday, September 23rd, to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday and the 150 Good Deeds our youth and leaders have done.
We are holding an open house, from 1-4 p.m., where we will be showcasing our good deeds. Outdoor activities for kids will be held from 2-4 p.m., and a Campfire for everyone will be from 7-8:15 p.m.
For info call Ellen, 1st Port Perry Scout Group, at (905)985-8047
1st Port Perry Scout Group
Letter to the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers and the community for making our 46th Annual Heritage Day event a very successful one. Nature was again on our side, for which we were very grateful.
It takes an enormous amount of time and effort, but with those who attended, supported, organized, volunteered and sponsored this event, it all came together.
As a volunteer board, every dollar raised goes directly to maintain and enhance the Uxbridge Historical Centre. While heritage is the main focus of the day, we welcome suggestions that would make your day more enjoyable, and we are always looking for volunteers to join our board.
If you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Gloria Eng, President, Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society