Harper travel fee comments ‘shrewd’: Boston Globe


At the Boston Globe’s blog, The Angle, Alan Wirzbicki makes a good point about Stephen Harper’s comments on the proposed $5.50 travel fee on visitors to the US from Canada who arrive by air and sea:

Reading between the lines, though, Harper’s statements seem to reflect a shrewd understanding of American politics after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. Rather than just opposing the plan, he characterized it as a new tax.

And, as Harper probably knows, that is the magic word du jour, since Republicans have renounced taxes on principle — even, Harper must be hoping, taxes on Canadians.

Harper’s comments, as quoted by PostMedia News:

While he called America’s trillion-dollar-a-year deficit a “horrendous” budgetary situation, Harper noted travel levies run counter to economic recovery efforts.

“We want to ensure trade and travel between our two countries is easier, not more difficult, and we don’t need additional taxes on that kind of economic activity,” he said. “And that’s one of the reasons why this government has been very clear that it’s not raising taxes in the upcoming federal budget.”

After all, Congress controls the purse strings – not Obama.


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Harper travel fee comments ‘shrewd’: Boston Globe

  1. Credit where credit is due, this does seem like a very good response by the Prime Minister.

  2. I love the comment from the poster on the blog (assume he is an American)

    "Don't think it's going to work–Republicans only hate taxes that THEY have to pay."

    He makes a good point – we are easy pick'ns.

  3. Where's sourstud who insisted it wasn't a tax…

    • I only said it wasn't a tax in reference to your ignorant "no taxation without representation" argument.

      • If you don't understand the concept – just say so.

  4. As a Republican himself, Harp knows his audience.

  5. Don't show it to Coyne–he'll make a pathetic effort to discredit the Boston paper.

    • ???

  6. Wise move by Harper. What the heck is this stupid fee for anyway?

    Canada should clean up its own house as well, though. For a given airline ticket, there's over a hundred dollars in fees and taxes!

    • Agreed!

    • It's to pay for the border services personnel to look at our passports.

    • I would like to think that we can lower the fees or cancel some of them but I am afraid that the opposite will happen. I do not see the cost of operating an airport going down anytime soon.

  7. Of course he has a " shrewd understanding" of the issue. He has a personal copy of the Republican Playbook, 2nd Cdn Ed

  8. Don't we currently charge american travellers a similar charge or "tax" when they pass through our airports? I reacall hearing that it is actually more than what the American's are proposing.

    • ssh: that's not a fee or a tax, it's a "Welcome to Canada ticket": you know, like at Disneyland! (and, yeah, I heard it's, like, 20 bucks)

    • Are Americans returning to the USA going to be paying similar?

      Because whatever airport fees we have in Canada apply to all passengers, and are not determined by the citizenship of the passenger.

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