Pubdate: Sat, 23 Sep 2017
Source: Guardian, The (CN PI)
Copyright: 2017 The Guardian, Charlottetown Guardian Group Incorporated
Author: Alan Holman
Page: A15


Liberals election platform vowed to bring in changes to both pot and

The federal Liberals are being castigated in some quarters over two
promises they made in the last election. And no, they are not being
hammered for breaking their vows. They're being pilloried for keeping

Well, pilloried might be too strong, but it is not for lack of trying
on behalf of the opposition, especially on the Liberal promise to have
some high-earners pay more taxes.

If passed into law, the tax changes will limit incorporated business
owners and professionals from sprinkling their income among family
members to lower their tax rate, the changes would limit the corporate
owners ability to convert regular income into capital gains (typically
taxed at a lower rate) and they would also limit a private
corporation's ability to invest in stocks and real estate.

According to the Prime Minister, the goal of these changes is to
curtail a system "that encourages wealthy Canadians to use private
corporations to pay lower taxes than the middle class."

For some, this kind of language constitutes a form of class warfare,
an 'us versus them' scenario.

Taking advantage of 'tax loopholes' such as incorporating, is not
doing anything illegal. Changing the system to close or limit such
loopholes in the interest of tax equality is not class warfare.
Unless, you are somehow wedded to the idea that you are entitled to a
tax-rate not available to the 'hoi polloi.'

The small business owners who are against the changes use the
arguments that they're entrepreneurial, they take risks, and they
employ people. No doubt they are, and they do.

But, most people who run their own businesses do so because they don't
want to work for someone else. They want to be their own boss. They
take risks to sell more, and they employ people to make even more
products or to provide more services. And, yes, they expect, or hope,
to make more money than being an employee.

So, outside the desire to be they're own boss, it's the money that is
the driving force, not a lower tax rate. They take the risk hoping to
make money; they employ people to make more money. There's nothing
wrong with that, it's admirable and they should be rewarded. But, they
shouldn't be entitled to a different tax rate.

In spite of all the recent rhetoric and brouhaha from the vested
interest groups, the proposed changes, maybe with some minor
tinkering, will become law. And on the age-old political premise that
there are more worker-bees than there are queen bees, the Liberals
will pay little or no price for it come election time.

The other promise the Liberals are keeping, though it's not getting
quite as much ink as the tax issue, is the legalization of marijuana.

The government has said it wants to have legal marijuana available by
July 1, 2018. However, it's doubtful they can meet that target. While
some strong concerns have been expressed by both the medical and
police communities, no one doubts the Commons will pass Bill C-45, but
it might face some generational pushback in the Senate.

The establishment of rules and regulations surrounding the sale and
distribution was handed to the provinces and some are a bit reluctant
to jump into the fray. But, New Brunswick has already named two local
companies as its suppliers, and Ontario has announced it will sell pot
through a government agency.

There has been no indication of how marijuana will be marketed in the
Maritimes, but The Eastern Graphic recently suggested it would be an
excellent chance for the three provinces to get together and create a
regional agency. However, the move by New Brunswick is likely an
indication that isn't going to happen.

Legal marijuana is a concept whose time has come, and unlike the tax
issue, few think it will move the political needle very much.
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