I read with great interest the column regarding newly elected Green Party MLA Hannah Bell and the judgement taken against her by Canada Revenue Agency for unpaid taxes. MLA Bell doesn’t appear to be concerned about her $25,000 debt to the Federal Crown, but apparently the tax department is.
Unfortunately, the MLA finds it acceptable to present herself as a poor single mother fallen on hard times and the big bad tax man giving her a hard time. That argument is just nothing less than offensive to single mothers and persons of low income who struggle on a daily basis to get by. Most of the disadvantaged people that I have been exposed to do not possess an MBA from UPEI or have the benefit of business dealings which include a consulting firm and partnership in at least two other businesses.
I have to tell you that I was genuinely impressed with her resume on the Green Party website. There’s a couple of points which need to be mentioned here. First off, you need to earn a substantial amount of money to wind up with a $25,000 tax bill. Second, the CRA does not arbitrarily file a judgment against every tax debtor. A judgement is taken in the worst of scenarios where payment options have been exhausted and the tax debtor either won’t cooperate with payment or there is a risk of loss to the Crown. And third, MLA Bell might want to get wrapped around the fact that all of these social programs that we enjoy – Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Disability Benefits, free Health Care, free Education, paved roads, snow removal, Police Protection, Fire Protection and on and on are ALL funded through our tax system.
With public office comes a higher expectation of standards from the general public. That bastardization of those principles is what upsets me in this situation. MLA Bell may want to have a second read through the Green Party website….”living within our ecological and financial means” is the first of the Party’s 6 core principles.