Five minutes ago I found a press release in my email from the Liberals entitled “Anatomy of a cover up” concerning the Harper government’s cover up of the possible torture of Afghan detainees.
Well, you know what? As important as that issue may be, every time that I hear the Liberals championing the cause of blacked out documents and seeking to know the truth about possible detainee torture, I am reminded of how the Liberals are NOT championing the cause of blacked out documents and knowing the truth Harper’s phony tax leakage claims, thereby allowing all Canadians, and not just themselves, to know that Harper’s claims about tax leakage are indeed patent lies and the resultant double tax of Canadians retirement income in RRSPs has lead to 51 takeovers of trusts by foreigners and non-taxable entities causing THREE TIMES as much tax leakage as was fraudulently claimed to exist in the first place,
Why are the Liberals hiding that under a rock?
Afghan is a failed mission, which doesn’t mean that Canada has to be a failed mission in which we have Opposition Parties turning a blind eye to patent lies being told by the government the continued takeover of cash flow rich Canadian businesses, causing the crystalizing of $35 billion in Canadians life savings. If that isn’t a form torture, then I don’t know what is. Perhaps these comments might bring the torturous aspect of this inane double tax into perspective for the Liberals
From over 600 comments from across the country at: http://marshallplan.ca/comments.html
(470) Belleville ON: I am 78yrs old and have been fighting throat cancer for 6yrs and survive on liquids. I do not have a pension and have a RRIF which was totally invested in energy trusts which I was advised to keep invested after the Harper Flaherty promise. My RIFF dropped about 80 thousand dollars and the cut the annual minimum payment in half. The result was that any enjoyment I hoped for was lost for ever.
(608) Calgary AL: I have found that most of my income trust units in my RRSP have been sold to foreign companies. We continue to sell our country at bargain basement prices to foreigners.
My income has been cut in half due to this. and I am afraid I will have to be applying for a old age supplement soon.
Where are the Liberals of today on these demands (below) of of yesteryear under the Leadership of Stephane Dion. Would it help move things along for the Liberals if I was able to find some Afghan income trust investors? What part of the Marshall Savings Plan solution do the Liberals not understand? The part that says it is in the interest of ALL Canadians and is the ONLY solution available today:
Report of the Standing Committee on Finance
It is imperative that a democratic government be as transparent as possible when levying a new tax so that it can be held to account by its citizens. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the federal government release the data and methodology it
used to estimate the amount of federal tax revenue loss caused by the income trust sector.
The proposal to tax income trusts is of such significance and has had such a devastating effect on Canadian investors that Members of Parliament deserve a clear vote to best represent the interests of their constituents. The federal government
should, therefore, separate it from the other sections of the Ways and Means Motion and table it in a stand-alone piece of legislation. The pension income splitting, the 0.5% reduction in the corporate tax rate in 2011 and the increase in the age credit
amount should proceed as quickly as possible in their own separate piece of legislation.
Overwhelming evidence indicates that superior and far less damaging alternatives were available to the federal government. The Committee urges the government to consider implementing one of two such alternative strategies: a) the federal government reduce its proposed 31.5% Distribution Tax on income trusts to 10%. This tax should be instituted immediately and should be made refundable to all Canadian investors. Furthermore, the government should continue the moratorium on new income trust conversions while remaining open to representations from sectors that feel they are well suited to the income trust structure; or
b) the federal government extend the proposed transition period from 4 years to 10 years.
Just the Facts: Anatomy of a Cover-up
The Harper Conservatives have employed a coordinated, full-court press to keep details regarding the Afghan detainee scandal from becoming public. Here are the top ten strategies they’ve used to cloak this affair in secrecy:
1. Refusing Access to Information requests: 639 days after the Liberal opposition requested documents relating to Canada’s decision to stop detainee transfers under the Access to Information Act, the Harper government refused to provide them on the grounds that they might be used in “anticipated or contemplated litigation.” Similar requests have been denied on national security grounds. The government has yet to demonstrate how censoring these documents serves the public interest, in contravention with the Access to Information Act.
2. Proroguing Parliament to shut-down the House of Commons Special Committee on the Mission in Afghanistan: By shutting down Parliament, the government ended politically damaging committee hearings into the Afghan detainee issue. This means that government or military officials who played a role in what happened could not be required to provide testimony under oath, on the public record, in a setting where their comments would not be free from legal sanction.
3. Boycotting the Afghanistan Committee before Parliament was prorogued: Even before Stephen Harper shut down Parliament, Conservative MPs took the unprecedented step of refusing to attend an official meeting of the Afghanistan committee, effectively shutting down its work. With only the Conservatives refusing to participate, the committee didn’t have quorum and its work could not be on the public record.
4. Directing Canadian officials not to write down reports of abuse and censoring reports on detainees: After newspaper reports appeared alleging the torture of Canadian-transferred detainees, the Prime Minister’s advisor on Afghanistan directed Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin to keep quiet and refrain from putting torture allegations on paper. Mr. Colvin later testified that “the paper trail on detainees was reduced” and “reports on detainees began sometimes to be censored with crucial information removed.”
5. Harassing Richard Colvin and attacking his character: After complying with Parliament’s request to appear before the Afghanistan committee, Conservative MPs falsely said that Mr. Colvin had “spent about a day out of his entire tour outside of the wire” and called Mr. Colvin’s testimony “not credible,” “unsubstantiated,” “hearsay” and “Taliban lies.” More recently, the Conservatives harassed Mr. Colvin by refusing to pay his legal costs, only to relent days later under pressure from the media and opposition MPs.
6. Putting a legal chill into other civil servants: In addition to the example set by the Harper Conservatives’ harsh treatment of Mr. Colvin, federal government lawyers threatened witnesses not to participate in the MPCC hearings.
7. Refusing to cooperate with the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) and firing its chair: The Department of National Defence first argued that the MPCC has no jurisdiction to look into detainee transfers, and then refused to provide necessary information requested by the Commission. The Harper government asked the Federal Court to prohibit MPCC hearings, and then sought to indefinitely delay them. The MPCC was ultimately forced to shut down its hearings after the federal government blocked witness testimony and failed to produce documents. The Conservatives finally refused to renew the mandate of Peter Tinsley, the chair of the MPCC.
8. Refusing to comply with a House of Commons motion to produce unredacted documents: The Conservatives have yet to comply with a legally binding, Liberal motion passed by the House of Commons. The motion forces the Harper government to release unedited documents so that Parliament can examine whether Afghan prisoners handed over by Canadians forces to Afghan authorities were tortured, and what the government knew about this issue.
9. Shutting down Order Paper Questions: Shutting down Parliament also means that the written MP questions to the government that should have been answered on January 25, 2010, may not be answered until April 17, 2010 – 82 days later. Unanswered Liberal Order Paper Questions include:
• Who was responsible for redacting the documents and what role did the DFAIT, National Defence, the Privy Council Office or any ministry play?
• How many times has the government notified the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) of allegations of abuse, mistreatment, or torture of Canadian-transferred detainees?
• Did the government follow-up on these or any other investigation with regards to allegations or evidence of abuse, mistreatment, or torture of Canadian-transferred detainees to ensure that each of the allegations had been investigated?
• What were the results of these investigations?
• What did the government do to assure itself that the allegations had been sufficiently investigated by the AIHRC or any other entity? Were any records or files kept on these investigations?
• Were any of these investigations deemed to be insufficient and, if so, what was done to remedy this?
• Did the government ever request legal opinions regarding Canada’s domestic and international legal responsibility for detainees captured by the Canadian military or military police in Afghanistan and transferred to Afghan authorities?
• Did this legal advice contribute to the formulation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's diplomatic contingency plan related to detainees?
10. Refusing to hold a public inquiry: Overwhelming evidence shows that the Harper government knew that Canadian-transferred Afghan detainees were being tortured, and yet did little to monitor or prevent abuses until sixteen months later. Despite this, the Harper Conservatives continue to refuse to hold a public inquiry that would give a full accounting of what happened, who knew about it, and how can we prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future.
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Posted by Fillibluster at 11:50 AM