Tax cut for the rich shows Scheer is a Harper mini-me - 2019-09-18
The election is barely a week old and Canadians are already getting a good picture of what Conservative leader Andrew Scheer would offer as Prime Minister: little more than a policy mini-me of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper, who once said that he didn't think there were any good taxes, had a simple answer to just about any social, environmental or economic issue outside of his priorities: give it a tax cut, usually followed by program spending cuts. Pressure to support the arts? Give artists a tax cut. Want to encourage children's fitness? Introduce a tax credit. Support for public transit? Another tax credit. Encourage volunteerism? Yes, a tax credit for that, too.
It became very clear early on with Harper that there wasn't much point in proposing anything to his Finance Ministers unless it involved some form of a tax cut or tax credit. The compulsion to cut –and complicate the tax system with ineffective credits– got so out of hand that even the right wing Frontier Centre put out a scathing report criticizing "Harper's tax boutique". It came down especially hard on two of his highest profile tax credits, the Children's Fitness Tax Credit and the Public Transit Tax Credit (both of which Scheer this past week promised to re-introduce).