Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Stephen Maher points out why we shouldn't believe the Cons for a second when they claim to care about cracking down on offshore tax evasion:
The top level of Canadian society is a small club, and it includes politicians. The people who run the country are on excellent terms with the business people who squirrel away money in offshore tax havens.

Shea's meaningless tough talk was prompted by a CBC report that said Saskatchewan lawyer Tony Merchant has $1.7 million in a Cook Islands bank. Merchant's wife, Pana, was appointed to the Senate by Jean Chretien in 2002.

Do our politicians want the CRA to crack down on their friends and relatives?

Cockfield points out that the government is ruthless in prosecuting welfare cheats, but offshore cheats are able to skate.

"Super-rich people get tax breaks from tax officials," he said. "It's just part of the power structure."

It's clear that neither the CRA nor the government likes talking about the huge amount of Canadian money sitting in offshore bank accounts.
- Don Braid notes that Alberta's brief attempt to pretend to care about climate change has given way to a familiar "we'll do the least we can get away with" approach, accompanied by attempts to back away from an already-weak trial balloon. Barry Saxifrage highlights why Alberta can't be seen as anything but one of Canada's worst provincial offenders when it comes to exacerbating climate change.

- Meanwhile, Nathan Cullen writes about the impact of new pipelines on the people who stand to be affected - and who the Cons want to cut out of the process. And Andrew Nikiforuk (with help from Robyn Allan) points out that the arguments for massive new pipelines extending in every direction from the tar sands represent nothing but false promises.

- Trevor Herriot takes a closer look at the community pasture program the Cons have trashed without any apparent interest in what's being lost.

- Karl Nerenberg wonders what additional information investigators will be able to get from Michael Sona now that he's been officially charged (and again thrown under the bus by the party apparatchiks who controlled access to the Cons' voter database).

- And finally, Marc Spooner and Paul Orlowski make the case for revisiting the Saskatchewan Party's decision to impose standardized testing.

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