Last week, instead of using their opposition day to force a debate on C-30, the re-written environment bill that the Conservatives have been stalling and Liberals used to say was important, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion moved a motion to push for income trusts to go tax free.
Only the Liberals think it makes sense to give special tax status to trusts so that taxes that should be paid by corporations are pushed onto the rest of us. It's an absurd position that actually puts the Liberals to the right of Stephen Harper.
So why are Liberals making such a priority of something that most Canadians rank well behind Romblomanon as an official language and tax deductibility of ski-lift passes?
It might just have something to do with the close connections between the Liberals and the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors, a group whose founding members are the big investment brokers in income trusts. In debating the Liberal motion, NDP finance critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis offered this possible explanation:
"[The] founding members of the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors made a total of $282,000 in donations to the Liberal Party since 1993 and, in the year 2006, made donations to the Liberal leadership contenders to the tune of $53,700. These are founding members of the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors who have lobbied this place day in and day out for many months and who are tied to the hips of members in the Liberal Party.
Does the member for Mississauga South and others think it is acceptable for that association to be putting out personal ads that reference me with words like "Hail Judy!" and, "What do you really know about finance?" What about the one that states my name and then states "Finance critic or Judas?" Based on the reactions of members of the Liberal Party, they clearly support this kind of irresponsible, unethical and libelous advertising."
As though to help make her point about being "tied to the hips of members in the Liberal Party", Liberal MP Paul Szabo gave a convincing demonstration in the debate:
10:25 - Wasylycia-Leis draws the connection between contributions to Liberal leadership candidates and the big income trust investors who founded CAITI.
12:15 - A furious Szabo rises and reads an email that CAITI sent at 11:04 to Wasylycia-Leis (CCed to Szabo as well, it would appear) into the record.
With rising gas prices, bad air, and stagnant incomes, ordinary folks clearly have it too good. That's why it's nice to see the Liberal Party standing in defence of the people who bankroll their party for a change.