Saturday October 21, 2017
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday October 21, 2017
Bill Morneau bristles at questions about personal finances
Finance Minister Bill Morneau dodged questions about his use of numbered companies to hold investments Friday, suggesting he does not have to defend his personal financial choices to journalists.
After a week of questions about his own fortune, Morneau showed signs of exasperation during an event in Waterloo, Ont., where he was pitching the government’s “step back” on proposed changes to the small business tax regime.
Morneau batted away a question about why he held some of his investments in an Alberta company rather than one domiciled in Ontario, where he lives.
“So, is the question why are they numbered companies and they don’t have names?” he said with a shrug.
“Seriously, what I’ve done is expose all my assets to the ethics commissioner. The process we have in our country isn’t that I report to journalists on my personal situation. It’s that I report to the ethics commissioner and I make sure she fully understands my situation so we can get to the recommendations.”
Owning investments in a personal holding company can provide various tax and non-tax benefits. Income in an operating company can face a lower tax rate by using small business deductions, for example.
Morneau said he has now agreed to do more than what the commissioner, Mary Dawson, recommended he do when he took office.
Morneau did not place his considerable holdings in a family company — the publicly traded human resources firm Morneau Shepell — in a blind trust because Dawson had only recommended the creation of an “ethical screen” to ensure he wasn’t making policy decisions to his own financial benefit. The screen was to be administered by Morneau’s chief of staff. (Source: CBC News)
Letter to the Editor
One-sided cartoon unfair to Morneau
RE: Oct. editorial cartoon
This amusing cartoon, portraying our finance minister doing hoops for his salvation from not putting his family business in trust, is surely very one sided.
He originally sought the advice of our ethics commissioner, who told him that it was not a necessity for him to do so. Now that he is trying to rectify his “mistake” he is subjected to much scorn by the opposition parties.
A cheering Justin Trudeau reminds me that it is hard to recall one MacKay cartoon with something positive about our PM.
A bigger concern is the lack of media support for left-wing Canada. It is easy to list six families/corporations who own the majority of our major print and broadcast media and are all supporters of the Conservatives. Even the CBC, with its president and eight Harper-appointed directors, too often follows suit.
The Star and Spectator used to provide regular support but these days, I find that to be hit and miss. All issues should be subject to scrutiny but it would be refreshing to have more balance.
Richard Ring, Grimsby