The “Sir” David Beckham Controversy: Knighthood, Tax Evasion, What Canada Should Do?


This story is of great interest to me because it covers many areas which I feel passionate about. Taxes, Sports, Canada, and Social Media.

In this case, David Beckham, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, and husband to former Spice Girl Victoria was denied knighthood for his involvement in a tax avoidance scheme, however the presence of some leaked emails have really stirred the pot recently and caused damage to the Beckham brand.

A Unicef goodwill ambassador since 2005 – Beckham is furious that the leaked emails appear to show him as cynically using his charity work to curry favour with the honours committee and identifies his frustration with having to kiss up to the Queen in order to achieve his knighthood.

He is also furious that they depict him as demanding money from the United Nations children’s charity to pay for flights and hotels to visit its projects with children in places such as the Philippines and in one email he apparently complained about being asked to match the highest bidders at a Unicef auction in New York, stating: “Chloe asked me an outright which I was p***** . . . I don’t want to do it and won’t do it with my own money.”

He comes across as a petulant child.

The hacked emails were obtained by website Football Leaks which had, up to now, focused on exposing players’ contracts and third-party ownership arrangements considered illegal by FIFA.

Beckham and his advisors knew about the existence of these emails last year, and had obtained an injunction preventing a major British newspaper and others from publishing the information. Beckham was also the subject of blackmail, with the perpetrator asking for $1-million dollars from “Becks” in order to prevent the emails from becoming public.

The email hack is believed that have been executed on a server associated with Simon Oliveira – Beckham’s communications spokesperson – in 2015. The 2 had worked together for more than a decade.

Oliveira was also the spokesperson for another tax cheat, former Tennis player Boris Becker, which might be a coincidence, or might not.

In 2002, Becker became a convicted criminal after judges found him guilty of tax evasion. Becker was given a stiff punishment: a two-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, a 500,000 euro (£315,000) fine, and the entire cost of his trial after he pleaded guilty to evading about 1.7m euros tax by claiming to live in the “offshore” haven of Monte Carlo at a time when his main residence was really in Munich.

Beckham was nominated for knighthood by the head of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee, Lord Sebastian Coe, however UK Tax authorities, HM Revenue and Customs, flagged Beckham’s involvement during a screening process and it seems that it was enough to block the proposal.

The couple got caught up in a £434million tax avoidance dispute.

Over a decade ago the Beckhams joined Inside Track Productions LLP, set up by notorious investment firm Ingenious.

David went on to invest in two further Ingenious tax schemes in 2005 and 2006. Along with 140 other Inside Track Productions investors, the couple have been hit with tax demands by HMRC.

Ingenious invested hundreds of millions of pounds through schemes aimed at backing the British film industry.

But the company claimed £1.6billion in losses – and clients, who were made partners of limited liability partnerships, were lawfully able to write off any losses from the schemes against their other income. Companies House records show Victoria and David are still listed as members of the LLP.

After a tax tribunal ruling last year, investors in Ingenious schemes have faced a bill for £434million in unpaid tax plus interest. Ingenious, of course, denies HMRC’s allegations and the sides are still in a legal dispute.

HMRC boss Jennie Granger said: “The schemes involved people claiming far more in tax than they invested.”

So what should Canada do, and how does this impact us?

Well, if the UK offers knighthood to their top political donators, and famous people around the world and it is viewed as an honour, its’ about time for Canada to step up to the plate and recognize our elites and respected Canadians.

Since “Sir” is already taken, we should consider another honour, maybe adding “Eh?” after someone’s name. So once the tax matters are resolved, someone like David Beckham could become David Beckham, eh?  That’s 100% Canadian!  And… If he gets his tax problems resolved, and his knighthood, he could become Sir David Beckham, eh?

Pretty awesome!

 

The moral of the story is this:

Pay your taxes, don’t slag people in emails, and be kind to everyone, all the time!

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Liberal Majority Government! Stephen Harper Resigns. I Hope the Tax Increase Was Worth It!


Well, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada are forming the next government of Canada – a Majority government, no less.

I cannot help but feel deep down inside that there was so much hatred directed at the Prime Minister and that people voted to remove him from office and chose the Liberals over the NDP to do so.

Unfortunately, the electing of the Liberal Party also brings with massive debt and after the spending spree the Liberals intend to go on, the deficit is going to increase at a rapid rate, and as we all know, the Liberals need money to pay for their promises and that money comes from you and I, the taxpayers of Canada.

UGH.

I hope the desire to remove Harper is worth the headaches we’ll be suffering with Justin in command, and I’m not just talking about their out-of-control spending.

Here are some great Justin oops which hopefully will not be occurring as leader of the country;

Unlike Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne who has made MANY mistakes but covered them up with flat denial, avoidance and threats of lawsuits, Justin Trudeau has not appeared to understand the importance of thinking before he speaks.

During the controversy surrounding Bill C-51 – a bill where by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), and 17 other government agencies are granted the authority to combat threats to Canada’s national security, preferably without infringing on Canadians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Liberal leader who voted for the Bill, has now admitted that his support for the Conservatives Bill might have been a mistake…

During the Maclean’s Magazine leaders debate, Trudeau responded to the conversation around the Liberals’ support of C-51, with these four words: “Perhaps it was naive.”

Here is how he voted on the Bill;

https://openmedia.ca/blog/whos-our-side-heres-how-your-mps-voted-bill-c-51

To give Trudeau the benefit of doubt, it was a tough decision to make, I’m sure. I heard him stumble and bumble over the easy questions about which shampoo he uses and which Avenger was his favourite, so maybe this way just a difficult question for him to answer.

He does like to go (vote) with the crowd… He knows legalizing pot is popular with the kiddies.  Personally, I believe pot should be legalized and taxed because the government can use the revenue to counter the health care costs associated with medical issues stemming from drug use.  Heck, they should legalize it and then increase EI funding and the length of time EI benefits are in effect to accommodate all the happy people…

He knows taxing the “rich” or the “1%” is popular with the other 99% of Canadians, and he knows that increasing spending to get stuff done is super-popular.  What he will soon realize is that whatever tax increase he throws towards the “1%” is not going to be enough to offset their massive spending increase which is coming down the pipe.

Oh, and the 1%… Who are these awful rich people who get all the tax breaks according to Trudeau?!? In Canada the highest Federal tax paid is 29% for those making over $138K per year. Add that to the provincial rate, and in Ontario, for example, someone making over $138K can pay over 42% of their income in tax. (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html). Are these the people he will be targeting? Or, is Justin going after the REALLY rich people who based on very basic mathematics make the most money, but also pay the most back in taxes!

Trudeau hates small businesses, and this should become very evident in the Liberals first budget.  Trudeau believes small business owners create businesses as a vehicle to hide their massive incomes.  Doesn’t every 1%’er want to have to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency on a daily basis, be responsible for the income of their employees and paying taxes to keep the economy ticking so the Liberals can come in to power, increase taxes and call them frauds… Don’t think so.  I predict he’ll stop the small business tax decrease that the Conservatives brought in.  Even though the Liberals and the NDP have agreed to keep it, if elected, it’s a certain no go in my opinion.

I believe in discussing facts, so I went to the Liberal Party of Canada’s website, to the link for “My platform”, to make sure I presented his promises in a fair and reasonable manner. Unfortunately, because I was unwilling to click that I would be / or might be voting for Justin, I was not able to get in to the secret Liberals playground. Instead, I had the option to use a search option to add what I want from the Liberal Party.

I entered this; “Fiscal responsibility, Responsible spending, Respectful spending, Respect for Taxpayers money, Lower taxes, Do not raise taxes, accountability for words and actions.”

The search engine was not able to find a match for any of these items in the Liberal’s platform!

Oh my.

Deep down inside, I feel that the Liberals and their leader know that only in Ontario will citizens tolerate out of control spending and corruption by continuously voting in the same government which increased taxes, delisted services and has caused absolute chaos with teachers and soon doctors.

I believe there really is a left-wing media bias in Canada and sadly, I even predict that in their first (or second budget) the Liberals will even restore funding to the CBC, but not extend any funding to any other media outlets, especially to any who do not share their rosey view of the world.

When Trudeau said, “The budget will balance itself”, he believed it.

He also has very poor judgement. He accepted Conservative hand-off Eve Adams, who was being dropped by the Conservative party, and who then lost her nomination bid to Marco Mendicino. Where were the questions surrounding his judgement as has happened to Stephen Harper regarding his appointment of Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin to the Senate.

Trudeau also publicly mistook Russia’s opposition leader Boris Nemtsov (who was shot dead in Russia) with former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov (whom he had met with), in a press release.

Or when he called a Conservative member a “Piece of Shit”, then went on a potty mouthed tirade where you can see that he actually enjoyed it without thinking for a moment about the implications down the road (http://operationmaple.ca/laugh-out-loud/justin-trudeau-swears-house-of-commons.html)

So much like his Dad…

Or, when being interviewed on Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said, “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda.”

He also said Canada would be better served if there were more Quebecers than Albertans in charge.

Trudeau did apologize, and then tried to explain away his thoughtlessness by saying he didn’t hate Albertans but that his comments were directed the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who rose to power as an MP from Calgary, which he really thinks makes it all okay…

But he doesn’t just hate Alberta… He hates all of Canada, except Quebec. As a MP, Trudeau told Radio Canada; “I always say, if there came a point where I thought Canada really was Stephen Harper’s Canada … maybe I’d consider making Quebec a country. Oh yes. Absolutely. I know my values very well even if I no longer recognized Canada.”

(http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/14/trudeau-says-hell-help-quebec-separate-if-harper-gets-his-way)

There is even a story – recently removed from the Internet – where Justin Trudeau declared that if aliens came from outer space, they would have the same rights as human beings, and would be granted Canadian citizenship…

Now I’m sure that the puppeteers pulling the strings of Trudeau are in full spin control, teaching Justin how to correct his oops and explain that clearly each and every comment has been taken out of context or manipulated by the evil Right-Wing media in Canada – wait, we don’t have that option so much anymore – then it must be Stephen Harper’s fault for forcing Justin to speak this way.

He’s young… ish.

He’s hip… ish.

He’s trying to keep up with the success of Ben Mulroney, but he’s just going to promise himself into a corner and ask every Canadian to Ben Dover.

On October 19th the Canadian public have made a choice, and I have a few words for voters in Canada… Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer beware!

I hope PM Trudeau v2.0 doesn’t embarrass the country, because after all the selfies have been taken, he still has to do the right thing.  Having former PM Stephane Dion as his Minister of Foreign Affairs is laughable and quite frankly frightening…

Time will tell.  Wait until his first budget and we’ll see how these predictions stand up!

Liberal Majority Government, Stephen Harper Resigns! I Hope the Tax Increases Are Worth It, Canadians!!


Well, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada are forming the next government of Canada – a Majority government, no less.

Stephen Harper has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

I cannot help but feel deep down inside that there was so much hatred directed at the Prime Minister and that people voted to remove him from office and chose the Liberals over the NDP to do so.

Unfortunately, the electing of the Liberal Party also brings with massive debt and after the spending spree the Liberals intend to go on, the deficit is going to increase at a rapid rate, and as we all know, the Liberals need money to pay for their promises and that money comes from you and I, the taxpayers of Canada.

UGH.

I hope the desire to remove Harper is worth the headaches we’ll be suffering with Justin in command, and I’m not just talking about their out-of-control spending.

Here are some great Justin oops which hopefully will not be occurring as leader of the country;

Unlike Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne who has made MANY mistakes but covered them up with flat denial, avoidance and threats of lawsuits, Justin Trudeau has not appeared to understand the importance of thinking before he speaks.

During the controversy surrounding Bill C-51 – a bill where by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), and 17 other government agencies are granted the authority to combat threats to Canada’s national security, preferably without infringing on Canadians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Liberal leader who voted for the Bill, has now admitted that his support for the Conservatives Bill might have been a mistake…

During the Maclean’s Magazine leaders debate, Trudeau responded to the conversation around the Liberals’ support of C-51, with these four words: “Perhaps it was naive.”

Here is how he voted on the Bill;

https://openmedia.ca/blog/whos-our-side-heres-how-your-mps-voted-bill-c-51

To give Trudeau the benefit of doubt, it was a tough decision to make, I’m sure. I heard him stumble and bumble over the easy questions about which shampoo he uses and which Avenger was his favourite, so maybe this way just a difficult question for him to answer.

He does like to go (vote) with the crowd… He He knows legalizing pot is popular with the kiddies.

He knows taxing the “rich” or the “1%” is popular with the other 99% of Canadians, and he knows that increasing spending to get stuff done is super-popular… It’s Christmas in October and that pony you have always wanted?!? Guess what? Justin’s getting you one. Just vote for him and tell your friends!

Oh, and the 1%… Who are these awful rich people who get all the tax breaks according to Trudeau?!? In Canada the highest Federal tax paid is 29% for those making over $138K per year. Add that to the provincial rate, and in Ontario, for example, someone making over $138K can pay over 42% of their income in tax. (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html). Are these the people he will be targeting? Or, is Justin going after the REALLY rich people who based on very basic mathematics make the most money, but also pay the most back in taxes!

Trudeau believes small business owners create small businesses as a vehicle to hide their massive incomes. Doesn’t every 1%’er want to have to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency on a daily basis, be responsible for the income of their employees and paying taxes to keep the economy ticking so the Liberals can come in to power, increase taxes and call them frauds… Don’t think so.

I believe in discussing facts, so I went to the Liberal Party of Canada’s website, to the link for “My platform”, to make sure I presented his promises in a fair and reasonable manner. Unfortunately, because I was unwilling to click that I would be / or might be voting for Justin, I was not able to get in to the secret Liberals playground. Instead, I had the option to use a search option to add what I want from the Liberal Party.

I entered this; “Fiscal responsibility, Responsible spending, Respectful spending, Respect for Taxpayers money, Lower taxes, Do not raise taxes, accountability for words and actions.”

The search engine was not able to find a match for any of these items in the Liberal’s platform!

Oh my.

Deep down inside, I feel that the Liberals and their leader know that only in Ontario will citizens tolerate out of control spending and corruption by continuously voting in the same government which increased taxes, delisted services and has caused absolute chaos with teachers and soon doctors.

When Trudeau said, “The budget will balance itself”, he believed it.

He also has very poor judgement. He accepted Conservative hand-off Eve Adams, who was being dropped by the Conservative party, and who then lost her nomination bid to Marco Mendicino. Where was the questions surrounding his judgement as has happened to Stephen Harper regarding his appointment of Mike Duffy and Pamala Wallin to the Senate.

Trudeau also publicly mistook Russia’s opposition leader Boris Nemtsov (who was shot dead in Russia) with former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov (whom he had met with), in a press release.

Or when he called a Conservative member a “Piece of Shit”, then went on a potty mouthed tirade where you can see that he actually enjoyed it without thinking for a moment about the implications down the road (http://operationmaple.ca/laugh-out-loud/justin-trudeau-swears-house-of-commons.html)

So much like his Dad…

Or, when being interviewed on Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said, “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda.”

He also said Canada would be better served if there were more Quebecers than Albertans in charge.

Trudeau did apologize, and then tried to explain away his thoughtlessness by saying he didn’t hate Albertans but that his comments were directed the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who rose to power as an MP from Calgary, which he really thinks makes it all okay…

But he doesn’t just hate Alberta… He hates all of Canada, except Quebec. As a MP, Trudeau told Radio Canada; “I always say, if there came a point where I thought Canada really was Stephen Harper’s Canada … maybe I’d consider making Quebec a country. Oh yes. Absolutely. I know my values very well even if I no longer recognized Canada.”

(http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/14/trudeau-says-hell-help-quebec-separate-if-harper-gets-his-way)

There is even a story – recently removed from the Internet – where Justin Trudeau declared that if aliens came from outer space, they would have the same rights as human beings, and would be granted Canadian citizenship…

Now I’m sure that the puppeteers pulling the strings of Trudeau are in full spin control, teaching Justin how to correct his oopsys and explain that clearly each and every comment has been taken out of context or manipulated by the evil Right-Wing media in Canada – wait, we don’t have that option so much anymore – then it must be Stephen Harper’s fault for forcing Justin to speak this way.

He’s young… ish.

He’s hip… ish.

He’s trying to keep up with the success of Ben Mulroney, but he’s just going tp promise himself into a corner and ask every Canadian to Ben Dover.

On October 19th the Canadian public have made a choice, and I have a few words for voters in Canada… Cavete Emptor. Let the buyer beware!

(Geez, even Stephen Dion was elected!)

How I Explained Taxation to a Class of Kindergarten Students


How I explained taxes to children in a kindergarten classroom without having them lose focus or fall asleep on me:

 

Q: Do you know what a tax is?”

It’s something you have to pay.

Q: Why do we have to pay taxes?

We pay taxes for things we need.

We have to.

We pay taxes so poor people can have some money too.

Q: Any examples of things we need?  How about some examples of things we need that we all share.

1) Roads

2) Lights

3) Signs

4) Sidewalks

5) Playgrounds

6) Schools

7) Policewomen

8) Firemen

9) The trucks that come to take our garbage away.

10) Hospitals

11) Doctors

12) Food – Do taxes pay for food?

Not usually.

We have to pay for our own food. But taxes pay to make sure our food doesn’t make us sick.

Money we pay as taxes make sure we have clean water.

Q: Does anyone remember the ice storm, and when all those branches and trees fell on peoples houses and cars and all over the street?  Men and women had to come to take the branches away.  Taxes paid for that.”

Snack time – I brought cupcakes for the kids.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except (Hello Kitty) death and taxes,” and just as your children will gradually learn about (Hello Kitty) mortality, they will also find out about taxes and other financial issues.

There are taxes everywhere on almost everything to make sure that everyone has a chance to pay taxes and share.

Paying taxes is like this container of cupcakes.  This pile of cupcakes is the economy. This is the money that belongs to the whole country and everybody needs a piece – the schools, the street cleaners, the hospitals, and the TV stations.

Without their cupcake, the government can’t provide any of the things we need.

If we gave all of our cupcakes to the government we would have nothing left.  But taxes are like taking a little bit off – the wrapper, maybe – to give to the government while we keep the rest.  The government collects all the wrappers and uses them to keep all of us safe and healthy and helps us learn and grow…

Apart from enjoying a fun time, your kids will learn a very valuable financial lesson…sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

So how then, do we clean up this mess?


Boy, am I frustrated. I see tweets, status updates and posts on Facebook from all these really smart people – much smarter than me – who have all the solutions for how to handle Toronto’s almost $800 million dollar budget shortfall.

The common theme: Ignore it. David Miller ignored it and he’s a lawyer. He’s smart. He probably even goes into libraries. GASP. Rob Ford is fat. Him and his brother don’t use libraries. Therefore they don’t know what they are talking about.

David Miller was a New Democrat in every sense of the word. Rob Ford is (shame) Conservative. Ford runs a business and wants to run Toronto like a business. Toronto is NOT a business cries the left. Toronto is our city. Toronto is also our city that is going bankrupt because it does not have enough money to meet its current obligations.

Toronto needs to balance its books. Most in this city would agree. However the way to balance the books differs greatly across the spectrum. The view from the left is to not touch social programs and keep that spending set, but make up the difference by taxing the “wealthy”. Let those SOB’s pay! Good for nothing rich folks. The right, however, want to look at what the City is really responsible for, and trim some of the fat associated with the city’s duties. Do we need 32 librarians making over $100,000/year? Probably not.

I feel the biggest issue here is that people from the left think that Mayor Ford wants to cut, cut, cut and that once all the social programs are cut there will be nothing left for the poor, but that could not be further from the truth. What the Mayor as said repeatedly – however maybe not clear enough – is that the City needs to look at what the city offers first and foremost to see if the city needs to be in that line of business.

Should the city be funding parades? Should the city be contributing money for festivals? How about checking into city run organizations to make sure that there is enough work for the staff to do and that all the positions are needed. Not only is that fiscally responsible but it is morally responsible for this Mayor’s office and city council to do these checks and balances since the majority of the funding they get is from taxes of you and of me.

And as for the fact that there seems to be some sort of tie in between the “rich” and “conservatism”, it might have something to do with the fact that those who have more money pay more taxes. End of story. Sure they may pay less income tax than others, but property taxes are huge and growing and then there are all the additional consumption taxes that are being gathered from this class of Torontonian. To piss them off could mean a sudden mass move from Toronto to surrounding areas and their tax dollars too.

Surely even those on the left who want equality among all citizens even can admit that having wealthy and ultra-wealthy in the city is a boon for the rest of us as their taxes go a long way to keeping this city moving.

So I have clearly given a lot of thought to the predicament the City of Toronto is in, and I look around the world at countries in deep financial hardship like Greece – due to their unions and retirement at 52 years old – and Iceland, and all the countries seeking bailouts, then I look south of our border to the US where there is a deep divide between the democrats and republicans over how to get the US out of trouble and I worry.

I worry that in Toronto we are going to get caught up in the troubles they have in the US and that is going to delay out way out of this crisis and eventually push it on to our children and their children.

I think socialists, liberals and conservatives alike can all agree that there are few viable options aside from either cutting spending or increasing revenues.

Every time Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford announces he is looking at ways to cut expenditures, he has always said that; “Toronto does not have a revenue problem”, at which point, up pop the socialists who demand that he not cut anything that they like. They say no to libraries, zoo’s, farms, the TTC, programs, grants… the whole lot. As a matter of fact, I have not heard one viable way to get out of this mess from any of my friends on the left.

I wonder if in 1974 when Riverdale Farm was closed for almost 5 years, if residents blamed the mayor and said that the local government was chasing away tourism or taking the “culture out of Toronto”. I happen to think that the 1.8 million visitors to Riverdale might be better to turn their tourism dollars over to the Toronto Zoo which desperately needs funds too, or is that thinking too far forward? Does the City even need to run the Toronto Zoo? Does the City of Vaughan run Canada’s Wonderland? No, it’s run by private interests. Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, I believe.

Yes there are more Tim Horton’s than Libraries in Councillor Doug Ford’s ward, but there are 3 within a few blocks of each other and that seems like a waste. I know on Avenue Road, there were 3 TD Banks within 3 blocks of each other and fast forward a year later, now there is one amazing state of the art branch and the other 2 locations were sold off and taken as a huge profit to the bank. Why can’t the city do this without getting flack for wanting to destroy the culture of the city. He’s not closing ALL the libraries… He’s consolidating them and putting the city in a better position to upgrade the remaining ones.

My point… Even though some things are done a certain way, it doesn’t make it right. Would you consider moving to a new house without selling your old one? No, because it doesn’t make sense, so keeping old outdated libraries just because Margaret Atwood thinks it is important – as an author – doesn’t mean it makes sense.

I think it’s time we, as Torontonians take her words and the words of others for what they are… Opinions of interest groups. Atwood has an interest in libraries as an author – probably not the same interest she has in selling her books, but she has a cause. As a staunch supporter of the NDP and their policies, it is her requirement to stir the pot at City Hall in order to make the Ford’s look goofy. Much in the same way other interest groups have stepped forward to gain support for their causes. I would never consider Atwood for the mayor of this city, much in the same way I would not look to the Ford’s to write children’s books.

Can anyone truly stand back and watch something they believe in or like be cut for the betterment of all of society? Heck no. I think if Atwood took a step back and realized the dire straights the city’s financial records are in she would give a second thought to all options for reducing expenses and if she has a better solution that cutting waste, then let’s hear it.

I, for one, as a conservative, think that putting our head in the sand and hoping this goes away is the worst approach to take and I do object to increased taxes because I already pay a lot, but if after exhausting all means for cutting expenses, increasing my taxes for a short-term to make ends meet is the only way to balance the books, then sign me up and fast.

As a citizen of Toronto who has participated in this process by being involved in residents groups, considered running for city councilor and helps my community in any way needed, I just want to know that the current mayor has looked under every rock for ways to save money before coming to me for more taxes. Yes, I do pay more because I choose to live in a bigger house in a nicer neighbourhood, and that is my choice. Paying additional taxes to keep 3 libraries open 3 blocks from each other is wasteful and I wouldn’t waste that kind of money personally, nor would I expect my staff or my employer to accept that kind of waste, so why would I tolerate that from the City that I live in.

So my message to you, mayor Ford, is to keep finding ways to save the city money, keep those programs open and keep helping others. If after all your work you still need some additional tax money from me, I will gladly pay it and consider it money well spent, helping those less fortunate.

It’s a welcome change from the previous left-leaning governments who spend, spend and spend without a substantial plan on how to pay for everything.

The last thing we need right now are special interest groups gathering resources to protect their own interests and not look at the big picture. We are one city. One large city in deep financial crisis. If we take the Atwood approach: She had this to say in the Toronto Star; “Expressing contempt for creative people turns people away from Toronto as a venue, and that’s a pretty serious consideration. If you’re thinking of having a convention, you’re thinking of having a concert, you’re thinking of going to a festival, and that’s the attitude? Why wouldn’t you spend your dollars somewhere else.” So she takes the attitude that if getting finances in order means touching anything “cultural” then stay away from Toronto. So she really does not like Toronto if she is that closed minded to want to damage the city she weeks ago cared so deeply for.

“You start with tossing off latte drinkers, gay Pride and bicycle riders and me, what’s the message? The message is: ‘We don’t want you people here.’ I’m sure Hamilton or Burlington or Oshawa would be very happy if some of those festivals and conventions moved there. Why shouldn’t I spend my creative dollar in New York if I’m not welcome in Toronto?” Does she really take herself that seriously that she thinks people are going to stop spending their money in Toronto because a Councillor doesn’t know who she is? Really, Margaret? Does she also think that all the large corporations and organizations in Toronto are going to pick up their people and ship them to Oshawa or Guelph because the City of Toronto wants to cut waste? That has to be the dumbest comment I have ever heard. No wonder the Star carried this story.

Maybe there is a bit of irony in the fact that Ford, as Toronto mayor wants to stop funding non-core items, yet Atwood who has become an opponent to the mayor’s office was busy writing, “in the woods, without electricity,” last week when this all stated. She wasn’t even in the city! So who is she speaking for? The downtown elite, or herself?

I think every time I see someone criticize the mayor’s office for being thorough investigating ways to save money in the city and for looking at core business services they are cutting off their noses in spite of their faces. Is it really so bad that they want to balance the books now… For good, so that your children and your children’s children won’t be saddled with your debt and our parents debt wondering why we didn’t do anything when we had the chance.

I suspect if this was left to fester again, in Miller-like fashion, future generations will be calling us the greedy generation – too caught up in our own self interests to help others.