If you asked average Canadian families what their largest expense is, many would probably say housing. And you can’t blame them. Mortgage and rental payments are a painful monthly reminder of how much we pay for this basic necessity.
Premier Couillard's government will table its first budget on June 4 and early signs suggest it's not going to be business as usual.
Like other Canadians, you work hard for your money.
Faced with essential expenses such as food, clothing, and shelter, your household budget may feel squeezed. But what if we told you, your family's biggest expense is taxes?
Sure, you know how much you pay in income tax. After all, it's right there on your income tax return. In fact, income tax is the largest and most visible tax, taking $14 out of every $100 your family earns.
But that's just scratching the surface.
"Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf," said the American humourist Will Rogers. Indeed, but lets not stop there. In Canada, debates over taxes, government and civilization lead some journalists and others into the land of make-believe, this by setting up straw men to knock down.
For example, consider a recent CBC story headlined "Not all business people hate taxes - but just try to get them to admit it."
To which one can only say: This is news?
For decades, Quebec and its governments have been petulant and demanding. The tendency has been there since at least the first avowedly separatist Parti Quebecois government, elected in 1976. That habit continued regardless of the party in power, and of course, depending on the party, there was always the threat to separate.
No normal person pays close attention to who is "in" or "out" as finance minister, and that's a good thing. It means the politician in question has avoided messing up the lives of ordinary Canadians. Still, their actions can and do matter, for better or worse.