Power Play, a daily look at Canada’s political landscape. Recorded in Ottawa featuring all the political news and issues that matter most.
Hosted by CTV’s Don Martin, the program is a must for political insiders.
It usually takes a full term or two for a government to achieve a level of sufficiently arrogant entitlement to boldly spew patronage, wildly squander money or rule by secretive decree - and it usually hits just before voters throw the bums out. But there are disquieting signs an early outbreak of second-term-itis is already infecting the sunny ways Trudeau government, writes Don Martin.
It always seemed so inside baseball, a big problem for the public service but not a pressing concern in the real world, but the federal government’s severely boondoggled Phoenix payroll system has now reached the level of implementation disaster that’s cause for national taxpayer alarm, says Don Martin.
When crisis communicators of the future need an example of a reputation-shredding failure to enact timely damage control, they will point to the Bill Morneau debacle. By pledging today to sell his Morneau Shepell shares and put all other assets in a blind trust, a minister who had a Boy Scout reputation lost the ability to claim a principled high ground response and was forced into surrender at knife point, Don Martin says.
The updated edict from the Canada Revenue Agency clearly indicated that, while this is an extreme example, discounts and freebies were taxable benefits and must be declared as such on company and individual tax forms. In other words, the government unleashed a Big Mac tax attack, Don Martin writes.
Staff confide Bill Morneau avoids the obligatory MP glad-handing in his Toronto riding. Maybe it’s understandable. This extremely wealthy businessman didn’t enter politics to deliver small talk in church basement dinners. But the Finance Minister’s apathetic attention to his Toronto Centre turf is noticeable enough for inside whispers to suggest he might not seek re-election two years from now.
Here’s some interesting political trivia: No provincial premier has ever become prime minister of Canada. That’s what makes the phenomenon of Stephen Harper’s political children so bizarre, Don Martin writes.
It’s time for the T4 taxpayers of the nation to rise up. With professionals rolling out sob stories of proposed changes cramping their ability to hide taxes through incorporation, the most influential group remains silent on the sidelines, Don Martin says.