It’s amazing the difference in how Justin Trudeau and his Liberals treat different groups depending on how they see you. Are you a friend or an easy target?
If you are a friend of the Trudeau Liberals, the world is your oyster and the public purse is yours for the looting. If you are perceived as an easy target, look out.
Right now the perceived easy target is Canada’s small business community.
Sold as targeting rich doctors and lawyers, Trudeau’s finance minister Bill Morneau dropped the most significant changes to Canada’s small business tax policy in 50 years in the middle of summer and announced there would be 75 days of online consultation before implementation starting in October.
The Liberals and the federal public service have literally been on a public relations campaign, with heavy use of social media to claim this is about fairness, about making the wealthy pay their fair share and about stopping tax cheats.
But this isn’t about going after rich doctors who pay their spouse or kids to do nothing all in an attempt to lower their income tax.
Simply put these changes will impact every small business from coast to coast. The dry cleaner down the street. A target. The local barber shop. A target. The neighbourhood mechanic. A target.
It looked last week that the Liberals might be getting ready to back down as Liberal MPs reported back to their party bosses about the angry phone calls and emails, but then on Friday, Trudeau doubled down saying again this was about fairness and making the rich pay more.
Trudeau said he would “make no apologies” for his policy.
“We’re doing more for the people who need it and doing less for the people who don’t,” Trudeau said.
He also said the he wants to make the wealthy pay “a little bit more.”
Here’s the reality, as told to me by Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, two-thirds of Canadian small business owners make less than $73,000 a year. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the average annual earnings for a small business owner runs at about $60,000.
That’s not near the one percent.
If Justin Trudeau and his office want to look at getting at the wealthy, they should look at their friends, the ones they reward handsomely.
It was just two weeks ago that we found out that Rana Sarkar, a twice failed Liberal candidate and personal friend of Justin Trudeau and the PM’s right hand man Gerald Butts was being paid nearly double the posted salary for taking the job of Consul General in San Francisco.
Butts defended the move to pay his buddy somewhere between $221,300 and $260,300 for a job that was posted as paying between $119,600 and $140,700. (The feds only release salary information in bands, not specific numbers.)
Sarkar is a friend and left a Bay Street job to work in the federal civil service was the response from Butts.
Never mind that Sarkar has twice tried to be elected as a Liberal MP, which would have seen his salary be a paltry $172,000, Sarkar is a friend and therefore deserves special treatment. And a salary that sits at least 4.5 times what the average Canadian working full time earns.
Of course, Sarkar got the job because Gerry Butts wanted him to have it, another privileged Liberal at the trough who makes a similar salary and billed taxpayers $127,000 to move from Toronto to Ottawa so he could take the high paying job he now has.
Trudeau has been waging class warfare trying to pit regular Canadians against the wealthy, the one percent, since long before the last election. It helped him win the last election in some ways and so he is keeping it up.
It is truly bizarre that Justin Trudeau, born into a family that hasn’t had to work since his grandfather Charles-Emile struck it rich with oil and other business ventures in the 1930, is teaming up with Bill Morneau, a man who had his company handed to him by his father to tell small business owners about fairness and how they should run their affairs.
Small business owners are the middle class that Trudeau says he is trying to help, he and his friends are the one percent he likes to rail against.