Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fiberals push hard sell for blended tax

Premier tells ministers to go on the offensive to counter voter anger

Robert Benzie

A backlash is brewing over Ontario's move to a new harmonized sales tax and the Liberals are clearly spooked.

The combined sales tax doesn't come into effect until next year, but already is proving to be such a bust with Ontarians that Premier Dalton McGuinty is giving ministers new marching orders to go out and aggressively sell it, the Star has learned.

McGuinty is forcing his cabinet to go on a communications blitz to promote the move that will see Ontario blend its 8 per cent provincial sales tax with the 5 per cent federal goods and services tax.

As of July 1, 2010, Ontarians will pay a blended tax of 13 per cent on hundreds of items that had previously been subject to only the 5 per cent GST. That move will boost the price of items such as gasoline, heating fuel, fast food, newspapers, magazines, taxi fares, dry cleaning and new homes costing more than $400,000, among other things.

Fallout was evident last week as MPPs returned to Queen's Park following the Easter break.

A week off in their ridings, listening to constituents' concerns about the revamped tax, left some Liberal members worried about their chances in the next election, in 2011.

In debate on the budget in the House, Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman (Thornhill) struck a nerve when he heckled Liberal MPPs who were trying to defend the blended tax.

"You know you're getting the same calls we are," thundered Shurman, leaving some Liberal MPPs staring uncomfortably at their shoes.

While Progressive Conservative and NDP MPPs can deflect angry constituents by opposing the tax reform, Liberal MPPs have been placed in the awkward position of being forced to defend higher prices for consumers. Against the nervousness in his caucus, McGuinty's office has ordered his cabinet to take action.

After a closed-door meeting of communication advisers Friday, media staff spent the weekend adapting messages so each minister can discuss the merits of the new tax as it relates to his or her department in every speech and public appearance.

"Here is stock language for your minister's speeches on our package of tax reforms," an internal email from McGuinty's office instructs ministry aides.

"Please take a look at that language and resubmit to us the `top and bottom' that would tie the tax reform message with the efforts your ministry is making," the missive continues.

Aides have until 4 p.m. today to submit their ministry-specific messages, which will then be vetted by the premier's office before being inserted in ministers' speeches.

A deal to blend the taxes was secretly signed last month by the premier, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. It was done without the knowledge of other cabinet ministers.

Many businesses like the streamlined levy because it will save in paperwork and reduce costs.

McGuinty's new talking points for ministers insist "the tax reforms that will take effect July 1, 2010 are the single most important thing we can do to strengthen our economy."

"We know that, for some items and for some people, it will mean price increases. That's why items like diapers, children's clothing, infant car seats and books are exempted," the premier's office message says.

"To help with the transition to a single sales tax, families with an income of less than $160,000 will receive $1,000. Individuals, earning $80,000 or less, will receive $300.

"And we're moving forward with permanent income tax cuts for Ontario families and businesses. In all, 93 per cent of Ontario taxpayers will get a permanent income tax cut."

It remains to be seen how successful the campaign will be.

Privately, some ministers and MPPs complain the new tax is a tough sell with recession-battered Ontarians – and they aren't even paying it yet.

Publicly, Ontario ministers and backbenchers point out that the federal Conservative government is the Liberals' partner in the scheme, but in private some complain that they could pay a political price for Ottawa's initiative.

They note that the $4.3 billion in federal funding that McGuinty received in exchange for harmonizing the taxes could be long forgotten by the October 2011 election.

Ministers and MPPs report constituents are flooding their offices with angry letters and email.

The Toronto Star

McGuinty get you're head out of you're a$$ and keep your hands out of my pocket full of lint!

Families spend more on taxes than basic necessities.

28th April 2009

The average Canadian family is spending more money – nearly half of its income – on taxes than on food, clothing and shelter, according to a new study from the Fraser Institute.

The Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2009 shows that despite significant income increases since 1961, the total tax bill for a family – which includes single parents – has increased at a much higher rate.

In 1961, a Canadian family earned an income of $5,000 and paid $1,675 in total taxes – 33.5% of its income.

In 2008, the average Canadian family earned an income of $71,765 and paid total taxes equaling $31,535 – 43.9% of its income.

The Toronto Sun

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good thing this Stand up Liberal is'nt in Ontario

No ridducule or name calling from the asses????

B.C. safety minister suspended from driving for 'excessive speeding'

B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen, the province's top law enforcement official, has been suspended from driving because of traffic tickets for what he said was "excessive speeding."

Van Dongen, who is also the minister of public safety and is running for re-election as a Liberal in Abbotsford South, issued a written statement Friday, saying he "accepted the temporary prohibition."

In an interview with CBC Radio on Friday afternoon, van Dongen said he received two tickets in the last 18 months stemming from "excessive speeding" on a Saanich highway in Victoria and on Highway 99.

His vehicle was going 41 km/h in excess of the highways' speed limit, he said. Van Dongen told another local radio station that the driving prohibition is for four months.

Van Dongen said he received last Thursday a letter from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) — which is part of his cabinet portfolio — giving notice of "a driving prohibition due to tickets I have received for speeding."

"I will not be appealing the decision and have mailed my driver's licence to the OSMV," van Dongen said in the statement. "I fully understand and accept responsibility for my driving behaviour and believe it is my duty to fully and completely comply with the decision."

Van Dongen has asked the government to have his responsibility for the OSMV and the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia reassigned.

"While I am not currently involved in any active decisions as minister with respect to these agencies, I feel it is important that both my actions and this latest decision do not have any detrimental impact on public confidence in either ICBC or OSMV.

"I fully recognize the importance of public safety and compliance with the law on our roads. The law applies equally to me as it does to everyone else and I strongly support that," van Dongen said.

Round Three

April 20, 2009
The Canadian Press, 2009
TORONTO - Ontario's top court has agreed to hear the province's top cop argue an adjudicator is biased against him.

Two previous court decisions have gone against provincial police Commissioner Julian Fantino.

He wants retired judge Leonard Montgomery thrown off a disciplinary case against two senior officers.

No dates have been set but the court did direct the appeal to be expedited.

Fantino's lawyer says he will now seek a stay of the discplinary hearing pending the appeal, possibly as early as this week.

Fantino was under cross-examination last fall when his lawyer accused Montgomery of bias, bringing the proceedings to an abrupt halt.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Retired Peel officer facing sex charges!

This is priceless, but tasteless on my part!

April 22 2009
A retired Peel Regional Police officer has been charged with several sex-related offences against a 13-year-old girl.

Halton Regional Police said today the accused and the victim met through an online dating service in October 2008. Police allege that sexual encounters ensued over a period of time.

Mike Chaddock, 57, of Brampton, has been charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

He is to appear in a Milton court on June 1.

Earlier tonight, Chaddock said he will vigorously defend himself against the charges and he is confident he'll be exonerated.

Chaddock is the executive assistant to Brampton Springdale MPP Linda Jeffrey.

He he retired from the Peel force as a sergeant in 2004.

Back in 2003, Chaddock received a police commendation from the Police Services Board for making a significant contribution to the police force and community and his "demonstrated continued excellence" in the performance of his duties and dedication.

Chaddock has worked on a number of community organizations, including the Brampton Santa Claus Parade Committee, and was a member and executive director of the Brampton Downtown Business Association. He was active in promoting the popular Motorcycle Ride For Dad program, an initiative that sees police officers and others ride their motorcycles to raise money for prostate cancer research and education.

Chaddock was also the long-time president of the Mississauga-based Region of Peel Humane Society.

Louie Rosella, Mississauga News.

105/kmh limiters are working well Ontario!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Cop gives abused puppy a good home!

From The Toronto Star
Apr 10, 2009
Sunny Freeman
staff reporter

An OPP sergeant giving a home to Charlie, the 4-month-old puppy abandoned in a Toronto dumpster last month, says the addition to his Port Hope family is an Easter blessing.

The pup – rescued by a janitor from a slow death in the condo dumpster, then turned over to a Toronto Animal Services shelter where he was dubbed "Charlie" – joined new owner Mark Collins and his family at their 190-hectare farm on Tuesday.

That the little Lhasa Apso was found alive inside a sealed cardboard box in the Willowdale dumpster was "like the hand of fate," Collins said in a phone interview.

"We call him Sir Charles Phoenix ... he's like the phoenix rising from the ashes."

The OPP officer, his wife Laura and their 12-year-old daughter were intending to get a dog when he heard Charlie's story on a newscast.

"Call it luck or fate or God, but there was something else going on," said Collins, pausing at times to stop the pup on his lap from chewing off his buttons. "Given the timing and it's Easter, I'll go with God."

He added, "I want to spend the rest of my life making him feel loved and wanted, instead of like refuse."

The animal shelter got about 100 applications for Charlie, from as far away as British Columbia and Newfoundland, but Collins' bid stood out, said supervisor Fiona Venedam.

He was among the first to apply, then hounded shelter staff with over 20 emails and phone calls, frequent visits, reference letters from his vet and groomer, and a heartfelt poem he wrote in the pup's honour.

When the shelter advised his bid had been chosen, "being a big tough cop, I burst into tears," Collins said.

Collins, who works out of his home on Alcohol and Gaming Commission investigations for the OPP, said he and Charlie are now "attached at the hip."

"He's a cuddle monster, wants to be with people and will follow any one of us around."

The family is watching for signs of trauma from the abandonment but so far, he's a regular happy pup.

Collins says he has spoken with Toronto police detectives working on the case and they are pursuing several leads.

"A story like this touches a lot of people's hearts, and police officers are not immune to that," he says of reaching out to Charlie.

Collins said the toughest day he's faced as an OPP officer was dealing with a scared dog who ran onto Highway 401 and was hit by cars.

"I knelt down and he was licking my hand. He had to be put down. That day resonated with me when I heard Charlie's story," Collins said between gulps and pauses.

His wife and daughter are equally ecstatic about Charlie's arrival in the household.

But their other pets are having adjustment pains. Brinkley, an 8-year-old Shih Tzu, is showing signs of an older-sibling jealousy complex while Puff, their 3-year-old longhaired cat, is ignoring the pup.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

My take on the Fantino circus!

In my opinion, here's what is going to happen in the disciplinary hearing up in Orillia!

Julian Fantino said it best "Hysterical Nonsense"

This disciplinary hearing is on the third appeal from the Fantino camp to have the adjudicator tossed, retired judge Leonard Montgomery was personally selected for the disciplinary hearing by Fantino himself!

On Monday March 30 2009 The Fantino circus, the same day as the appeal was to be heard, MORE allegations surfaced from another officer, the complaint, which has not been proven, alleges Fantino "engaged in unlawful acts of reprisals against defence witnesses.

The Messham probe came as a Divisional Court panel was still weighing a Fantino request to force retired justice Leonard Montgomery to step down as adjudicator in the misconduct case.

In a letter to the lead investigator filed with the Appeal Court, Messham's lawyer Scott Fenton called the probe of his client a "gross misuse" of criminal investigative power.

"The decision to direct a criminal investigation against Insp. Messham (ret.) appears to be part of a broader pattern of misuse of authority by the commissioner of the OPP against current and former senior officers who the commissioner perceives are disloyal, recalcitrant or disrespectful of his authority and his particular methods of enforcing discipline," Fenton wrote

After so many appeals and heel dragging by the Fantino camp, and now rumors floating around, about Fantino retiring next year and running for the Mayor of Vaughan, which would be a great place for Mr. Accountability.Would this mean that under the PSA(police services act) that all this TAX payer money and time would be a waste, as the allegations would be considered NULL and VOID as he would no longer be a police officer?

You can find more info here: http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/canada/article/204632

Two Toronto Police Officers who get the red carpet out the back door!