by Bill Woollam
A newspaper columnist recently mentioned “the way the government brought the HST in, leaves more than a little to be desired.” Yes, that method has ‘hopelessly poisoned the well.’
He also mentioned there is an “apparent widely held prejudice against business and industry.” He stated that the majority of people earn their incomes and benefit from the taxes which big business contributes. However, that is where the truth becomes a little hazy in my view.
Firstly, it is the corruption and greed due to deregulation, out-sourcing of labour and the avoidance of tax contributions that have concerned citizens wary of big business today.
Presently, a multi-national oil corporation (Imperial Oil) is lobbying the federal government to drop the requirement for secondary, safety-drill-shafts in oil-extraction projects in the Beaufort Sea. These secondary safety shafts provide pressure relief in case of any oil ‘blowout’ and are considered vital in the Gulf of Mexico projects, yet, due to costs, are now undesirable in the Canadian north.
Similarly, when the BC provincial government out-sourced the building of a BC ferryboat to Germany, we sent the $500 million expenditure out of province and put our own shipyard workers on unemployment insurance. The tax-paying public lost out on the benefits of in-province recirculation of almost three quarters of a billion dollars. Instead, we have public school and elderly care-home closures.
Over the last 10 years, we have witnessed the lies and falsified evidence used to take Canadians into two illegal wars in the Mid-East – wars that seem to benefit no one except the military/industrial complex and the contractors who feast off the billion dollar rebuilding contracts.
The World Health Organization is presently answering for its insidious activities concerning the ‘bogus’ flu pandemic. This alleged independent organization, by making changes to the term “pandemic,” allowed pharmaceutical companies to bilk the tax-paying public across the Western world out of billions of dollars for an unnecessary and untested vaccination program. BC is sitting on $20 million worth of unused and unnecessary swine flu vaccine. Note: Those vaccinated for seasonal flu are more susceptible to the swine flu.
And lest we forget the revolving door of Monsanto executives and Food and Drug Administrative positions, where government and industry are so intertwined that the genetic seed and herbicide industry is wreaking havoc on Canadian and American crops that were once uncontaminated. The genetically manipulated seeds don’t produce well without the expense of the additional products. What a nice business arrangement.
Regarding the issue of corporate taxation, free trade has been nothing but a free ride for corporations to avoid paying domestic taxes and domestic labour costs, i.e.: eliminating the working class of Canada by producing the cars, lumber, ships, furniture and appliances all outside of Canada. Free trade seems more like a corporate give-away, where the expense of health, safety and environmental standards can be avoided by setting up in Mexico or China.
Here on Vancouver Island, we have witnessed the international Catalyst pulp/paper giant refusing to pay its local taxes. Also, due to the American protectionist tariff charges at the BC/US border, BC is left without a lumber mill industry. Now, we are left shipping out raw logs to American and offshore plants to be processed.
Due to unregulated and known corrupt banking practices, the banking cabal has bilked the taxpayers of billions more for bailouts, while banking corporate executives have maintained their multi-million dollar bonus plans.
These corporations have no intention of paying fair wages to the Canadian or American working class and intend to pay little in local/domestic taxes. It all comes under the guise of ‘being competitive on the global market.’ My response to all this corporate pandering is to ask what good is a cheaper car or truck made offshore when there is no local employment to pay for the ‘free-trade’ product?
Is it not understandable how Canadian healthcare and education services have become underfunded when government collects increasingly less taxes from the corporate sector? Even in America the IRS collected no income taxe from the likes of Exxon and General Electric.
The HST will not result in any reduction in costs to the consumers by the manufacturers; those tax savings will be kept by big business.