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Friday, February 26, 2010

The Tories Raise Taxes

The Conservative government is increasing flying fees to pay for security at airports. At the same time Minister John Baird is denying that this is a tax increase. His argument is that it is a user fee and thus not a tax.

John Baird was once removed from the Ontario Parliament because he threw a violent fit at Dalton McGuinty for bringing in the Health Premium. I can hardly believe that this is the same person.

Not a tax? It has all the characteristics of a tax. If you want to fly in Canada you don't have a choice but to pay this 'fee.' If you try to avoid paying the fee you will go to jail. Just because it is meant to pay for security doesn't make it not a tax. It just makes it a dedicated tax, much in the way the Health Premium is a dedicated tax.

A friend of mine commented that Mr. Harper should rename the income tax to the "government services fee," thus, by Mr. Baird's argument, eliminating taxes in Canada. I somehow think that the Canadian people won't notice the difference.

I suppose the point is that a flower by another name smells the same, and so does a pile of manure.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on February 26, 2010 | Permalink



"If you want to fly in Canada you don't have a choice but to pay this 'fee.' "

Yes, and if you want to see Avatar in the movie theatre you don't have a choice but to pay an $11 user fee.

"If you try to avoid paying the fee you will go to jail."

Same for trying to see Avatar without paying.

Given that expensive security equipment is being installed, it is silly to argue that it is a tax rather than a user fee. What one could argue is that requiring airports to use such equipment is an unreasonable restriction, but if having the equipment is reasonable, then having it paid for by those who use it is the right way to pay for it.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2010-02-26 10:18:42 AM

If there was any demonstrable evidence that all of the airport security actually decreased the terrorist threat, I would be glad to pay. Until the powers that be start profiling likely suspects this is all expensive window dressing. We concentrate on finding weapons not likely terrorists.

Posted by: b | 2010-02-26 11:13:08 AM

Wow FC is total moron. The difference is that the money is charged between private entities (cinema and me) not collected by government fiat ya 'tard.

Posted by: Cytotoxic | 2010-02-26 11:32:14 AM

The problem is that gov't is forcing the airlines to adopt the security and then charging the fees. How do we know it's reasonable? The only way to know would be for the airlines to have the choice of whether they wish to install the equipment or not based on consumer preferences.

In any case, the situation does not at all compare with going to the movies. I'd find the following situation more comparable: the gov't forces all movie theatres to have security guards at all entrances and then implements a "user fee" to pay for it.

So I agree with Hugh, this is a tax to pay for the security (which is imposed).

Posted by: Charles | 2010-02-26 11:43:42 AM

FC is correct concerning this post. A user fee is a user fee be it collected by the state or a private entity. One may very well question the amount, or if one is getting value for money, but to call it a tax is incorrect.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-02-26 11:46:46 AM

Its a tax, plain and simple. Airport security is a joke, always has been, always will be. Not through any fault, but just by the nature of the air travel business. I worked for Westjet and have several friends who still work there, and this is what they are telling me. There is no way they can catch everything. If you want to cause troubles, you can find a way. Throwing more money at security will not solve the problem. I don't know what the answer is, but this is just throwing money down a hole. Perhaps trying to solve the root of the problems that cause these issues is a better way to spend the money.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-02-26 12:26:22 PM

If they really wanted to do this new spending, they could have chose to take the money from elsewhere. Just because all taxes recieved gets spent on something specific, doesn't make it not a tax.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2010-02-26 1:18:37 PM

Nothing like electing a tax and spend government!

Posted by: Deficit Steve | 2010-02-26 1:54:12 PM

If only Mr. Harper had a majority so that he could go after the sacred cows like the CBC and "Global Warming" in earnest. This is not the time to turn away from him - the others are far, far worse.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-02-26 3:20:33 PM

I disagree Zeb. I think Harper is equally as bad as all the others. IMO we don't have a viable party in Canada at the moment.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-02-26 5:16:34 PM

All politicians are Tax Addicted, no matter how they attempt to disguise their money grabbing ways. Here is my take on them all:

Tax Addicted Politicians
By Stephen J. Gray

There are dangerous tax addicts ruling our land. The junkies are politicians of all political stripes who are hooked on confiscating money from the people. The people are being burdened by all kinds of taxes, the GST and the PST are some examples, and now the latest one being proposed is the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

The Ontario and B.C. Liberal governments intend to impose this new tax on July 1, 2010. This Hammer the Serfs Tax, pardon me, Harmonized Sales Tax will be a tax-grab of massive proportions.

An article by CBC news of October 7, 2009 said this:
“…the fact is the federal government is aiding and abetting the provinces. It plans to pay B.C. and Ontario almost $6 billion to ease the transition to the HST.” [1]

So there you have it, “$6 Billion” of our tax dollars are being handed over to the Liberal governments of Ontario and B.C. by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “conservative” government to bring in the HST. Could this be called political bribery paid with our own tax dollars?
And Stephen Harper, leader of the “conservative” government, is on record as saying this: “I don’t believe any taxes are good taxes.” [2]
Read full article at:

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2010-02-26 5:30:08 PM

I'll take Mr. Harper over the Opposition Party (the Liebrals, NDP and Greens) who want to implement Kyoto and destroy everything, including medicare, just so that they'd look cool before their leftie friends in Europe.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-02-26 6:41:59 PM

There's an interesting way to look at this statistically. Let's say one has a good screening procedure that is 99% accurate, to use some jargon it is 99% specific at correctly identifying a terrorist and 99% sensitive in picking up a terrorist. Well if half the people are terrorists and half not the test might be useful. But, and to be generous here let's say one in ten thousand is a terrorist (probably more like one in hundred thousand or one in a million). This means when the test is wrong the vast majority of the time it is wrong in the group of innocent people, because nearly everyone is innocent. While I won't bore you with the math if we say 1/10,000 people is a terrorist and the screening is 99% sensitive and specific, then

The test will be falsely negative only about one a million times,
but it will be a falsely positive test 99 times out of a hundred or 99% of the time.

Oddly enough we did have a false negative screen with the underwear bomber. While statistics, and commonsense, indicate that the vast majority of people harassed as terrorists are innocent law abiding people.


Posted by: Paul | 2010-02-26 8:43:43 PM

Then I guess Harper has your vote. He won't get mine.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-02-27 2:47:53 AM

I guess we will have to see if the money collected is actually used at the airports or is funneled away some where else. That would be a good indicator of whether it is a tax or a user fee. A tax and a user fee are essentially the same thing except that a user fee only "taxes" those who use the service.

For a lot of great information on taxes and government waste in Canada you should check out the Canadian Taxpayers association website http://www.taxpayer.com/

I am sure most of you know it but thought I would throw it out there.

Posted by: Bret | 2010-02-27 5:10:13 AM


Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-02-27 7:28:51 PM

All the security measures are related to being safe inside the plane.
Once the inside is really really safe, some bright spark will stand on a big building with a stinger missle and fire at a arriving or departing plane, and then what ??. Tax and price increases are not the answer. Common sense would go further.
Flying is so miserable already that the airlines will go broke all on their own without all the imposed increases on the customers.
I have nail clippers and this is a highjack !!
How stupid does it have to get ?

Posted by: peterj | 2010-02-27 7:48:35 PM

Not sure if you are making fun of my post or not Floyd? As you can see It was early in the morning after a night shift so thought I would clarify a bit.

Firstly, I would rather have user fees than general taxes. It is a direct way of people paying for what they use and we do need some of these services. If I don't use airports I don't have to pay the "tax".

Secondly, in order for the first point to be relevant the user fees collected should also be put back into the service/infrastructure that users were paying to use.

Posted by: Bret | 2010-02-27 8:50:39 PM

I consider it a tax. If you want to call it a user fee then it is from a state monopoly. So the net result is the same.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-27 9:01:57 PM

I have always wanted the local library to be funded soley on a user fee. Why the 99% who don't use it have to pay for it?

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-03-01 2:43:21 PM

I`ll pay library user fees , Looney [ I do - a very small amount ] , if you pay for your upkeep at the local asylum .

Posted by: daveh | 2010-03-01 3:46:36 PM

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