Jim Flaherty Maverick Watch - Macleans.ca

Jim Flaherty Maverick Watch


Days after a report that he’s been told to zip it, the Finance Minister dares express his personal opinion on sales tax harmonization.

Harmonization of the federal GST with provincial sales taxes remains the most important thing provinces can do to improve their competitiveness, says Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

“It’s good longterm economic policy for the people of Canada,” Flaherty said in Brampton, Ont., on Friday at the launch of the city’s new rapid transit bus service called Zum.


Jim Flaherty Maverick Watch

  1. Nice blog Aaron.

    Does this mean Flahetry is vindicated?

    • And it's his wife who has it all wrong?

  2. Well, well, good for Flaherty! I still hate most of his ideas, but at least he's finally remembered he has some.

  3. At least he's not insulting the last few holdouts as he did one of the most recent converts. Guess that suggests he's not quite in synch with His Narcissist Harper….

  4. I imagine last week's Ontario by-election, in which Tory candidate Sue-Ann Levy made opposition to the HST the cornerstone of her campaign and got royally hosed, has something to do with Flaherty's flip-flop.

    • How is this a flip-flop? The feds gave BC and Ontario billions to help them implement the HST. Maybe Flaherty didn't go out and hold the Ontario Liberals hand while they made the change but he's hardly been against them doing it.

    • A PC leadership candidate (and current MPP) was also quite vocal about her opposition to the HST…

      One Christine Elliot. (The ''Mrs.'' Jimbo calls dear)

  5. The harmonization of the ST's should be a nobrainer. In addition, to savings by companies the provincial government will save millions starting next year (Ontario is getting rid of hundreds of positions in the Ministry of Revenue). Of course the Federal government will have to add some positions, but less than 1/3 of the ones lost by Ontario. As a result the HST passes the most important test I have for governments and charities: collect money efficiently so you can spend it on things that make a difference.

    Gawd I hate agreeing with Flaherty!

    • My sentiments also, although I am a bit worried that when the hit comes, I'll feel differently. They've already reassigned or got rid of positions, since Ontario doesn't do its own corporate tax returns anymore, either. Now if only that money saved doesn't go into some "entitled" persons pocket (or huge raises for the few Ministry personnel left), this will be a very good thing.

      I especially agree with your agreeing iwth Flaherty part.

  6. My problem with the HST debate is that the opposition parties in BC, Ontario, and the federal parliament won't make any meaningful changes to get rid of the HST if they ever form the government in their jurisdictions.

    The HST debate is a façade.

    Boycott the next federal and provincial elections. We Canadians live in a shamocracy.

    • Well, maybe we as an electorate are getting smarter. Okay, I can hope, can't I? If the Tory candidate's drubbing in the by-election comes because nobody believed her principled opposition to the HST, I'd say we are making progress. Soon, they might not even bother lying to us over such obvious things as this.

    • "Boycott the next federal and provincial elections. We Canadians live in a shamocracy. "

      While the far right gets their vote out?

    • Don't vote?
      What a doofus move.

  7. So we've reached the point where a government minister making a public statement in favour of his own policies – even while trying to duck responsibility for them in accordance with his party's direction – counts as a "maverick" move? Yikes.

    • "Maverick" was merely in the keyboard strokes of the beholder, J.

  8. What you know about fiscal policy would fit in Stephane Dion's codpiece, Eh Where. Stick to writing infodramedy.

  9. The elimination of regressive sales tax should be the first priority. Jim has to stop hanging with Mulronrey and other tax and spend red tories and liberals by other name.

    Dalton and Gordon are crowing "we have to do it because the harm it does to business and an HST will do less harm." Well, no GST/PST or HST would do less harm. Income taxes would cover the lost income and an unfettered business would boom to keep the income taxes low.

    • No. 10-15% VAT on just about everything is far more intelligent than escalations up to about half of the next dollar of income. You tell me which economic activity is more highly rewarded for diving under the table. And anyone who crybabies "regressive" has lost sight of the GST tax credits and all other forms of income support on offer to low-income folks.

      • The rebate was a just a bribe made with our own money. It takes a fool to fall for it. The GST made Canadian business do the work of tax collection and is a complicated burden on us all.

        It's far better to be simple and less expensive.

        • Not sure how old you are, or how aware of your surroundings you were at the time of the introduction of the GST, but there already was a thoroughly uncompetitive (actually, a self-defeatingly national embarrassment of a) hidden tax on most products manufactured in Canada. It actually put our home-grown industries not on a level playing field with imports, but at a great disadvantage. So most Canadian businesses were already "doing the work" of collecting a tax that ultimately made Canadians see a built-in price advantage to the imports. It was dumb, dumb, dumb, and thank heavens that finally got fixed.

          And your bribe-with-our-own-money silliness: Dude (dudette?), EVERY government expenditure uses "our own money." It is, sometimes more or sometimes less, a refund of what poor people might be spending on the tax to begin with. It takes a fool to suggest that mitigating the burden of a measure on the most vulnerable is some sort of bribe.

  10. Really? Maverick watch? Based on the mild comments of an anonymous source to the Toronto Star? Here's what the source actually said:

    "They asked Jim to stop talking about (the tax) so much because it's not helpful”.

    From that single, flimsy scrap of evidence, we get the following rather interpretive statements:

    "Shush now, Jim" – Wherry

    "Days after a report that he's been told to zip it, the Finance Minister dares express his personal opinion…" – Wherry

    • "Maverick" was merely in the keyboard strokes of the beholder, CR.

  11. Brampton's calling its rapid transit initiative "Zum?"

    Oh for the love of…

    • Wait until you hear how much Brampton paid someone to come up with that name.

    • Maybe with an umlaut?

    • Seems like the Brampton bus depot is housed within the IKEA store…

  12. I have a sinking feeling that the good people of Ontario and all of Canada might have had a chance to contribute, too…