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Posts Tagged ‘Quebec’

The flags of Canada and the United States of A...

There are two major factors that keep Canada’s federal government on a tighter leash than that of the United States.

One is the French-speaking majority province of Quebec, which represents almost a quarter of Canada’s population.

While 50 U.S. states are divided and conquered to repeatedly hand over more of their exclusive constitutional authority, Canadians have a friend in Quebec, which is always sure to assert its interests, competency and exclusive jurisdiction in order to protect its unique cultural heritage within Canada.

Another major factor is the better representation in the House of Commons than in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the start of 2012, there was an elected representative for approximately every 110,500 Canadians and 719,300 Americans.

The United States has the second-lowest representation in its lower chamber in the world — less than Communist China, and second only to India.

These are two political reasons that I propose would have rendered Canada more free than the United States had it been proportionately attacked as the U.S. was on September 11, 2001.

With the 2008 financial crisis, some Representatives were getting 1000-to-1 calls against the bankster heist bill. If they had a representation factor like Canada’s, there would have undoubtedly been at least several Representatives who would’ve held firm to their original no vote and the bill may have failed to later pass the House in the form it did.

The U.S. Constitution allows up to one Representative for every 30,000 Americans, so there’s no need for the current level of representation, unless you’re a bankster or one of their agents.

It is the result of these two major factors, among others, that the United States federal government is now more centralized and expansive than Canada’s.

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Jack Layton on the 5th anniversary of his lead...

Since Jack Layton’s untimely passing on August 22, 2011, much has been said in the mass media about what a great guy he was, and how he was such a great uniting figure in Canadian politics.

For all the talk about what a great uniter he was, here are some things you probably didn’t know about:

  • He was extremely belligerent and overly confrontational, to the point of being downright rude, in the 2004 English-language television debate. To his credit, he did mend his ways in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 debates.
  • He preached more openness and representation in Canadian politics, yet tried to keep Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, out of the debates, by threatening a boycott, until the Canadian people eventually forced him to relent.
  • He called for abolishing the Canadian Senate under the guise of it being an undemocratic and outdated institution, yet his efforts to keep May out of the debates shows that it really had everything to do with the fact that the NDP didn’t have a single senator.
  • He huffed and puffed about how bad the Harper minority government was, yet propped them up to eventually become the longest-serving minority government in Canadian history.
  • When it became evident that NATO had violated the terms of the UN Resolution that called for enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians in Libya, he delivered the war-mongering Harper government full NDP support for extending the mission until September, 2011, which is conveniently when the deadline was set for Gadhafi to be ousted from Libya. Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, was the lone MP to vote against the extension.
  • In a bid to pander to soft nationalist Quebec voters in the 2011 election campaign, he undermined the Clarity Act, saying that a simple majority was all that was necessary for Quebec to separate, despite the Clarity Act being the law of the land, and requiring a “clear majority.”

His pandering is most evident with his waffling tone from this interview aired on the April 24, 2011 episode of CBC’s, The House. Despite the Clarity Act being a disingenuous and impractical piece of legislation concocted by Jean Chrétien, Layton didn’t call it as such, and instead tried to play both sides by giving the false impression that a simple majority is in accordance with the Clarity Act.

Looking at the history of the Clarity Act, it is clear that a “clear majority” is something greater than a simple majority, given that former Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, panicked the night before the 1995 Quebec referendum where the country was nearly broken up with what was almost a simple majority.

Layton did do some very positive things, especially in bringing an end to official party representation in Parliament for the Bloc Québecois, which originally promised to disband if they hadn’t achieved independence for Quebec after a certain amount of time, which had long since passed.

Underneath all the rosy reviews of the past two weeks, there is a more balanced picture of Jack Layton — that of the consummate politician.

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RRSP withholding taxAs the RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) contribution deadline approaches on March 1 in Canada, a regular reader of this site pointed out to me that you can divide your RRSP withdrawals into $5000 chunks to limit the withholding tax.

Taxtips.ca shows that the withholding tax brackets for lump sum withdrawals outside of Quebec are:

10% for withdrawals of $1 to $5000
20% for withdrawals of $5001 to $15,000
30% for withdrawals greater than $15,000

In Quebec, the tax is half those amounts.

Therefore, if you want to withdraw $20,000, as an example, you can do so with four separate withdrawals of $5000 each and only be liable for $2000 in immediate withholding tax instead of $4000, leaving you with $2000 to spend or invest before the April 30 tax filing deadline of the following year.

At that time you will be required to pay the remaining amount of tax owed on those withdrawals.

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In a little town in Quebec, Canada, a gold mining company is just one property away from developing Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine.

From the July 22, 2010 episode of CBC’s The Current:

Ken Massé is literally sitting on a gold mine. And he refuses to budge. Massé is the last thing in the way of Osisko Mining Corporation’s plan to develop Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine in tiny Malarctic, Quebec. All of Massé’s neighbours have sold out to the mining company, or have been relocated. But Massé won’t give up his childhood home without a fight.

What strikes me most about this case is the possibility of the taking of private property for private use, without the owner’s consent.

Unlike the U.S. Constitution, Canada’s constitution doesn’t require just compensation for the taking of private property for public use. Even worse, it doesn’t require any compensation, which even the communist Chinese Constitution requires.

Here, we’re talking about the taking of private property for private use, without the owner’s consent — something that the U.S. Constitution implicitly prohibits, but which, unfortunately, has been permitted with cases like Kelo v. New London.

The CEO of Osisko disclosed that they had sought an expropriation order of the property, which is understandable from the perspective of a publicly-traded corporation whose primary responsibility, both in law and dominant business culture, is to maximize shareholder’s wealth (as the Board and executives best see fit).

However, from the perspective of higher principle, as I believe is embodied in the U.S. constitutional requirement for just compensation, Canada’s lack of such a provision, both in law and practice, I believe, will lead to its long-term decline in the economic prosperity it currently enjoys.

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