Recently in the news, Finance Minster Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney have been lamenting the fact that big business is sitting on over $525 billion that should instead be invested in the Canadian economy.
As more information comes to light about Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's meetings with Canada’s corporate elite at his annual summer economic policy 'retreat,' it is becoming increasingly clear that the federal Conservative Government is warming to one of the recommendations that was put forward at last year’s gathering. According to the country's fat cat CEOs and rightwing politicians, corporations can no longer afford to pay for 'overpriced Canadian Workers.'
The federal Conservative Government's criticisms of taxes are intended to make Canadians believe that taxes are evil and unnecessary and that we as citizens are better off paying lower taxes. However, these criticisms are completely false – taxes benefit all Canadians and are the foundation of a just and caring society.
When Stephen Harper was running in the 2006 general election he rallied against the Liberals for the ‘sponsorship scandal’ and the first line of the Conservative platform claimed “the time for accountability has arrived”. Six years later the lack of accountability is glaring.
In the last few months Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government has included right-to work legislation as part of its labour law reforms, and Alberta’s Wildrose Party campaigned on a right-to-work platform in the province's April 2012 election. Now Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak has released a white paper calling for right-to-work laws in Ontario. Sadly right-to-work proposals are no longer restricted to the right-wing Tea Party movement in the U.S. – they have become part of the mainstream political discourse in Canada.