Tyrone Benskin Suspended From Duties as NDP Critic

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jerrym
Tyrone Benskin Suspended From Duties as NDP Critic

Tom Mulcair has confirmed that Tyrone Benskin has been suspended from his duties as NDP official languages critic because of his failure to pay back taxes of $58,000 for the years 2007 to 2011. 

Quote:

Benskin has apologized in a statement.

"In order for our society to be prosperous and fair, each citizen must do their part. I haven't always done mine and I apologize," he said.

"Fortunately, I am working on sorting out my situation with the Canada Revenue Agency. I intend to pay back every last cent of the money I owe, as soon as possible."

He also offered an explanation about why he was so late.

"The life of an artist isn't always easy. I have had lean periods," he said. "I have lived in precarious conditions, not knowing what the future had in store for me, sometimes without a contract for several weeks, or even months. I have had to juggle bills.

"My situation has prevented me from fulfilling all of my tax obligations and I am truly sorry. I recognize that it is my responsibility and I will fulfill it directly and personally."

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says he's happy the MP apologized — but will now be sidelined until he settles his tax bill.

"He has to pay his taxes, like everyone. He will do it. He will do it completely. He apologized — which was the right thing to do," Mulcair told reporters Friday in Trois-Rivieres, Que.

"Until then, I have removed him from our shadow cabinet. So he loses his responsibility in official languages until he pays his taxes."

http://www.canada.com/news/national/loses+role+because+lengthy+history+n...

 

Quote:

Last week Benskin was ordered to appear in court to declare his income, but he didn't show up, QMI Agency has learned.

Things got worse this week for the British-born, Montreal-raised television and stage performer.

Revenue Quebec issued a writ aimed at seizing a portion of the MP's $160,000 annual salary.

ttp://www.torontosun.com/2013/05/24/ndp-mp-tyrone-benskin-owes-nearly-60gs-in-...

Remarkable conincidence (or not) that this occurs as the Cons face their biggest scandal. It takes some of the spotlight off the Cons for the moment, although their scandal is much larger and much more damaging. 

 

 

lagatta

This is utterly different. It is a "crime" of poverty, and very typical of the problems those of use working precariously in arts-related fields go through. Trust me, I know. However, Benskin's error was neglecting to step up and make an arrangement with the taxman once he was elected. He probably owed money to friends and family too, and put them first.

Daniel Breton was forced to step down as Minister of the Environment in the Marois cabinet for similar reasons (and rightwing political pressure).

I'd never stand for office.

Brachina

Yeah, I'm sure he'll get it all sorted out, these things happen, and its not like he's a millionaire, just a poor actor trying to servive. At least with his current income he should get it sorted in a year or two.

Todrick of Chat...

He is just another lying, cheating, stealing politician.

Mikal Sergov

lagatta wrote:

This is utterly different. It is a "crime" of poverty, and very typical of the problems those of use working precariously in arts-related fields go through. Trust me, I know. However, Benskin's error was neglecting to step up and make an arrangement with the taxman once he was elected. He probably owed money to friends and family too, and put them first.

Daniel Breton was forced to step down as Minister of the Environment in the Marois cabinet for similar reasons (and rightwing political pressure).

I'd never stand for office.

 

There's no evidence he was living in poverty, and there's also no evidence he paid back money owed to family or friends before CRA (which is, after all, all of us). Stick to the facts please.

He's just another scummy politician, no different than Duffy, Harb, or Mulcair.

janfromthebruce

There is probably a lot more to this story but I'm pretty disappointed that he has not dealt with this. In my mind's eye arrangements for payback should have been arranged.

And I do understand the artist part but I believe he should have dealt with as since May 2011, he could have dealing with this. And not showing up to court, well. But it shouldn't have come to that.

jerrym

janfromthebruce wrote:

There is probably a lot more to this story but I'm pretty disappointed that he has not dealt with this. In my mind's eye arrangements for payback should have been arranged.

And I do understand the artist part but I believe he should have dealt with as since May 2011, he could have dealing with this. And not showing up to court, well. But it shouldn't have come to that.

I'm also disappointed in Benskin, even while admitting that acting up-and-down incomes can cause financial problems. He had opportunities to deal with it because of his MP income and should have attended court. 

However, Mulcair dealt with it properly and quickly instead of following the Con process of denial, deflect and demean opponents.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

He owes taxes and even after being elected to a hundred grand a year job he still did not take care of his obligations. That is a character flaw not poverty. I know lots of people in the arts who pay their taxes ever year and none of them are rich.  The aspiring artists I know don't pay much for taxes because they are too poor.  The larger the tax bill he owes the more it points to him not being poor but merely a run of the mill tax fraud hiding his income from the taxman.  I also know trades people who make marginal incomes and some of them also don't pay their taxes.  I call them tax frauds as well.

NorthReport

Thank you to the-Mulcair led NDP for walking the talk and suspending him!

knownothing knownothing's picture

I haven't seen him in QP. Is he still around?

How do we check attendance records?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Having worked in a related field (film and television in my case) I have significant sympathy for Benskin. I was always able to make my tax payments, but I also had no dependents (not even a pet) whose interests I had to look out for - I am not certain if Benskin has dependents or not. Since it is almost impossible to qualify for EI in these industries, having tax payments come due during a period between contracts can be something that is beyond inconvenient. That being said, I think the correct way of looking at this is how it is being handled. The "offender" has expressed contrition and is taking steps to resolve the problem, the leader of the party has taken what is essentially punitive action, and neither have denied that what occurred was wrong and that Benskin should have acted otherwise. Then contrast with the latest scandal over in the house that Harper built. This isn't comparing apples and oranges, this is comparing apricots and watermelons. And yes, size counts.

*waves to Maysie*

lagatta

it has happened to me (after being shafted by a deadbeat spouse) and I know many other people struggling in "creative professions" facing similar crap. In France, there is a big struggle ongoing to get employment rights and the equivalent of UI for such workers. I am gobsmacked at the reactionary, judgemental postings here.

Todrick of Chat...

Maybe if he tried to pay his taxes, the posts would not be so judgemental.

janfromthebruce

If he had not completed his income tax returns in years and thus not kept his records up to date this creates a huge problem with filing the following years. I'm not sure one can call it fraud when one has been trying to clear up the mess.

Sean in Ottawa

I have to agree both with the concerns artists face -- my father was an artist and many in my family are. But I cannot support the use of that argument to explain a person owing $58,000 in taxes over that period being labeled as poverty when we have people on this Board who likely made no more than that in total in the same period. Yes, I watched my father battle with Revenue Canada over $6000 in taxes which came from combining income from multiple years received late through no fault of his own. But my father did not end up with an MP's salary and after two years not reduce the debt. This person has had something close to a quarter million in salary in the last two years and you say his problem in not paying his previous debt is about poor artists and poverty? As an advocate both for low income people and artists I find that almost insulting. I could have had some sympathy if he had been paying this down and there was a bit left but to leave a debt like that does not qualify for sympathy or a critic role with the NDP. The NDP champions those who are really low income-- it champions government services-- there is no way it could have one of its own not pay taxes and still have a critic post. The guy is lucky he gets to stay in caucus. He is lucky he gets to be forgiven once he makes arrangements.

When I hear about the terrible housing situation in Canada, the levels of poverty here, I am not sympathetic to a person who owes $58k to the public after two years as an MP. I think most here feel the same and are not looking at him any different than they would a Conservative or Liberal MP who did the same. Someone who pays $58k in taxes over that period is not poor anyway-- and that is assuming he paid absolutely nothing in tax all that time. If he had then just how much did he make to owe that?

That said we must do something to address the situation of artists in this country and it is getting worse not better. There are concrete proposals that can be proposed and considered but letting an artist-come-politician away with unpaid taxes keep a critic portfolio is not one of them.

We can also do much better with respect to deadbeat spouses. Much better. But that is not at issue here. BTW it is nuts that you have so many deadbeat spouses that the government knows where they are and how much they make and protects their privacy from the courts even after judgements stand against them.

Sean in Ottawa

Who is calling it fraud? I think this looks like a question of neglect...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

He was trying to clear it up by not attending a court date?  This is for a five year period and a substantial amount of money.  The reason I call him a fraud is because he didn't try to clear it up and he ignored a court date. He has had plenty of time since he was elected to talk to the taxman and work out a repayment plan.  He didn't do that. Those are not the actions of an honourable person they are the actions of a sleazeball.

Brachina

We assume he's done nothing to battle the debt, but that assumes that it wasn't higher at one point. He's paying it off now and is paying the price for his neglegence, he lost his deputy critic role as punishment for not getting on this sooner.

I'm going to check to see who gets his post.

Todrick of Chat...

I am calling it fraud. Two plus years in a extremely well paying job and no attempt to pay his back taxes. He is no different than Duffy or the others with their sense of self-entitlement.

KenS

It is not fraud. Not even close.

But I agree that his pleas of poverty and duress are at best overdone.

If you stumble into a stable $170K income, and owe $58K, Revenue Canada would be very reasonable in working out how you pay it.

There are LOTS and LOTS of otherwise perfectly admirable people who live hand to mouth, no matter how much their income increases. Even though I watch this at painfully close range, and know the stupid mental games people play n themselves doing it, at bottom I have a hard time grasping the stupidity of it.

But it is all too common.

But gross stupidity, even gross stupidity that effects other people, is still not fraud.

KenS

I dont think there is any question that irregular income exerbates the problems for people who even under the best conditions are not good at handling money.

Lots of us roll with highly irregular incomes.

Then there are the people for whom the spike up periods are just rope to hang themselves with.

undecidedvoter

Yeah, Benskin's been a MP for 2 yrs. You would think that in all that time making a good salary he would have got his financial house in order and paid back the taxes.

KenS

He didnt have to have paid the taxes back by now. If he had an agreement with Revenue Canada, no one would have heard a thing about the affair.

KenS

As to the timing of this coming out- of course it's fishy. Whether or not it happened in this case, this is the kind of thing that parties know about, but save to put into circulation.

But it is still a valid point about doing the dirt diggers job for them: providing them with material, or not, over things an individual has  a lot of control over.

Todrick of Chat...

Ken, I think it is fraud. He is not paying his share of the tax burden yet he is willing to take his salary paid by our taxes. He is cheating his way of out of duties as a citizen.

He is supposed to an elected member of parliament, he is supposed to show leadership and ethics. The NDP claim to be leaders of change yet it just the old shit from our elected officials does not matter what parties is involved.

The NDP has been talking about people and business not paying their fair share of taxes yet there is a least two members of the NDP with over 10,000 dollars of back taxes that owned. Why should I believe in their horseshit anymore?

Disband the senate, I say disband the government. They are all lying cheating SOBs.

Todrick of Chat...

Ken, of course the timing of these announcements are fishy yet all political parties play the same damn tricks. Look at all the NDP press releases, they are all tied into making the other parties look bad.

The NDP has been playing the same game with the veterans and their affairs as a good example.

KenS

You wouldnt believe in what you see as horsehit, no matter what the NDP served up.

autoworker autoworker's picture

KenS wrote:

He didnt have to have paid the taxes back by now. If he had an agreement with Revenue Canada, no one would have heard a thing about the affair.

I believe it's Revenue Quebec who's garnisheed his MP's salary (Quebec collects it's own share of income tax).

jerrym

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

Ken, I think it is fraud. He is not paying his share of the tax burden yet he is willing to take his salary paid by our taxes. He is cheating his way of out of duties as a citizen.

Neither you nor I know whether this is fraud. Fraud is defined as "a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities." Neither you nor I know whether this was his intention or the result of poor control of his finances. I know several people who through lack of impulse control or an understanding of finances have been caught in such a position.

If it can be proved to be fraud during a trial, I would favour giving him a long sentence because, right now, as a white collar crime, fraud artists of all types, including banksters, get slaps on the wrist. Much of senior management on Wall Street should be in jail now as more than 800 were following the Savings and Loans scandal during the Reagan-Bush-Clinton years. Not one is in jail today. 

If he is a fraud artist, he is a very poor one because having been caught he allows his reputation to be severely damaged by not working out a deal with Revenue Canada, making his reelection and future high MP salary very unlikely. Financially, what he did does not make sense if he is trying to maximize his income long-term. I therefore suspect that this is not fraud. 

However, having said that, it would be extremely hard, if not impossible, for me to vote for an MP who in turn votes on the country's finances and who does such a poor job on managing his own finances to the extent that he does not even show up in court over the issue.  

jerrym

You're right. It was Quebec taxes. 

Quote:

An NDP MP has been stripped of his role as official-languages critic after it was revealed that he had not paid provincial taxes for five years and had skipped his latest court appearance on the matter.

Tyrone Benskin, an actor who was elected to the House of Common in 2011, failed to pay $58,097 in taxes between 2007 and 2011, according to court documents obtained by the Journal de Montréal. He has failed to pay the money to the provincial government despite a 2012 judge’s order and his repeated promises to make amends.

His refusal to make good on those promises resulted this week in an order that would allow the Quebec government to garnish Benskin’s wages, which amount to $160,000 annually. That directive was passed on to the House of Commons administration this week, according to the report.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/05/24/new_democrat_mp_tyrone_ben...

 

Sean in Ottawa

how much money do you have to make to end up owing $58k in PROVINCIAL taxes. A fair bit I think-- enough to forget about this poverty thing.

KenS

It isnt "provincial" taxes in Quebec- it is bothe federal and provincial.

And a lot of the $58K would be penalties. [Which in practice becomes a carrot for cooperating with them. If you behave, the degree of penalties isnegotiable.]

So  it isnt as much inclome behind that as you might think. Still not exactly poverty.

But note what I said above about people not good at managing money- which IS a high proportion of the population, and cutting across class lines.

Anyone who has been self-employed knows you can make a bucket of money on contracts, and if it is considerably more than the year(s) before, they are not hitting you up for quarterly payments comparable to what you are now bringing in. Living chronically hand to mouth- as many of all incomes do- what comes in, gets spent. and you dont have to be profligate or have expensive habits for it to just go.

 

So the bonanza money comes. All the long standing dry puddles get filled with water for a bit. The money tree stops shaking.

And then the tax bill comes.

Todrick of Chat...

I highly doubt much of the 58K is penalties. Why hasn't he paid back his taxes in the last two years? He has made more than enough in the last two years compared to years as a poor straving actor to pay his FAIR share of taxes. 

Stockholm

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

how much money do you have to make to end up owing $58k in PROVINCIAL taxes. A fair bit I think-- enough to forget about this poverty thing.

 

Not as much as you think if it was spread over a five year period as seems to be the case here. Someone who is self-employed or working freelance does not have taxes deducted at source and has to pay taxes on their income all at once when they do their returns. You would not have to earn all that much money to owe $10,000 a year for 5 years.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

As far as I am concerned you can either be a tax evader or a tax avoider.  Tax avoiders use the rules to avoid paying taxes. Tax evaders ignore the rules and do not fill out proper tax forms often either under reporting or not reporting their income. A tax evader is a fraud artist.  A sitting MP who has been engaged in tax evasion for over 5 years before being elected and then ignores a court case over the tax bill is unsuitable to be an MP in anyone's party.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

As far as I am concerned you can either be a tax evader or a tax avoider.  Tax avoiders use the rules to avoid paying taxes. Tax evaders ignore the rules and do not fill out proper tax forms often either under reporting or not reporting their income. A tax evader is a fraud artist.  A sitting MP who has been engaged in tax evasion for over 5 years before being elected and then ignores a court case over the tax bill is unsuitable to be an MP in anyone's party.

There is no evidence that Benskin ever misreported or underreported his income. Or even that he was late filing, although he may well have been. All we know is that he has failed to pay the taxes assessed on his returns in a timely fashion. This is not tax evasion, or tax avoidance, it is being a slow payer of bills. You could perhaps justifiably call him a deadbeat, but nothing much worse.

Brian Glennie

Benskin's NDP website says he served 12 years as National Vice-President of ACTRA. I'm assuming that isn't one of those well-paying, senior executive of a national union kind of gigs?

Edit: Benskin's role paid very little.

From ACTRA's Constitution:

Section VI - Honoraria

In consideration for carrying out their duties, the ACTRA National President, Vice President and

treasurer shall be reimbursed actual receipted expenses and receive an honorarium of:

1. seventeen thousand five hundred dollars ($17,500) for the ACTRA National President per annum.

2. seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for the ACTRA National Treasurer per annum.

3. seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for the ACTRA National Vice President per annum.

4. one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for other members of the ACTRA National Executive

per annum.

5. five hundred dollars ($500) for non-Executive ACTRA National Councillors per annum

felixr

What a disgrace. Benskin should have been suspended from caucus immediately. He's a tax cheat and a fraud who avoided his obligations- among them, to appear in court. I wonder how long he has been hiding this. That he would cry poverty when he owes $58k and has been earning $160k for the last two years is an insult to the poor. I wonder if Brian Topp knew this about Benskin when he recruited him. What's more if he didn't report it on his candidate screening form he is a liar to the party as well. I'm disgusted! 

lagatta

No, you don't. I'm familiar with many crippling cases among other freelancers. The penalties, when you have almost no income the following year, are crippling. And terrifying. Denial and suicide seem the only solutions.

Benskin's bill, based on practices enacted in France, would have greatly mitigated this horror. We aren't talking about Guy Laliberté.

By the way, kropotkin, many people persecuted by Revenue Canada are not "fraud artists" but simply people incapable of repaying a debt and terrified of the powers that be. As an anarchist, or whatever, you should show at least some compassion to ordinary people caught up in that state machinery.

One stanza of L'Internationale goes "L'impôt saigne le malheureux".

Yes, of course people who can pay their taxes must. Duh.

 

 

Todrick of Chat...

I looked up his movie and Tv career on IMDb, it is quite impressive. Over a dozen high profile movie, TV and video games spots since 2006. It does not appear he is the poor actor you make him out to be Lagatta.

I am pretty sure he has made more money than I have, yet I pay my taxes on time.

lagatta

Todrick, I have no idea who you are, so I'm not making any accusations. Does seem to me there are far bigger fish to fry.

Many of us have quite the CV, but very little earnings. I'm not saying he is in the right, just suspicious of those jumping on him.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

lagatta wrote:

By the way, kropotkin, many people persecuted by Revenue Canada are not "fraud artists" but simply people incapable of repaying a debt and terrified of the powers that be. As an anarchist, or whatever, you should show at least some compassion to ordinary people caught up in that state machinery.

He is not an ordinary guy. He stood for office to represent his riding and won.  If he was an ordinary guy we wouldn't be having this conversation.

lagatta

Well, the accusations you are making BEFORE there is any judgement are the kind of thing that prevent "ordinary people" from standing for office. I know it was a factor in my turning down such requests.

janfromthebruce

felixr wrote:

What a disgrace. Benskin should have been suspended from caucus immediately. He's a tax cheat and a fraud who avoided his obligations- among them, to appear in court. I wonder how long he has been hiding this. That he would cry poverty when he owes $58k and has been earning $160k for the last two years is an insult to the poor. I wonder if Brian Topp knew this about Benskin when he recruited him. What's more if he didn't report it on his candidate screening form he is a liar to the party as well. I'm disgusted! 

That was a side way smear job on Topp - pretty disgusting for a progressive space I must say.

Slumberjack

lagatta wrote:
By the way, kropotkin, many people persecuted by Revenue Canada are not "fraud artists" but simply people incapable of repaying a debt and terrified of the powers that be. As an anarchist, or whatever, you should show at least some compassion to ordinary people caught up in that state machinery.  One stanza of L'Internationale goes "L'impôt saigne le malheureux".  Yes, of course people who can pay their taxes must. Duh.

Of course they must.  Unlike conscientious objection that provides an avenue of escape from certain responsibilities on the part of a common citizen toward the state, tax evasion is a path that leads ultimately to a prison cell.  No allowance is granted in this respect for people who conclude that nothing is owed in support of the current situation.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

He must have been hiding his tax troubles from the party when he filled out the vetting forms. Owing over $50,000 to the tax man is a red flag for those vetting candidates that I would hope would not have been ignored.

He didn't pay his taxes, he didn't report it to the party and he didn't show up in court to deal with it. He also introduced a Bill as an MP in which he had a blatant and obvious conflict of interest.  He deserves nothing but disdain.

Quote:

Since being elected, Benskin had fought for tax changes in cases like his.

He presented a private member's bill, C-427, which was rejected by the governing Tories. It would have averaged out certain people's earnings over a period of years, so the tax hit would not suddenly spike in an occasionally prosperous one.

He described the bill last year as an attempt to help independent artists who can't access Employment Insurance and struggle with a "feast or famine" cycle.

"This is a deeply personal project for Mr. Benskin, who has been an artist for over 30 years," he said in a statement last year.

"C-427 is born of an intimate understanding of the numerous and pressing challenges faced by contemporary Canadian artists.

http://www.canada.com/news/loses+role+because+lengthy+history+nonpayment...

 

lagatta

Artists have been demanding this reform for many years, in many countries.

As for his tax troubles, we'll see. And of course he has to reimburse what he owes, now that he can.

Brachina

 He was upfront that it was of personal interest to him. I support that bill 110 percent and its not just artists caught in that bind, but anyone who has a large year to year variance.

 

 It happens, its minor and has happened to family of mine and he's not a millionaire, just an ordinary person if more famous.

 

 I forgive him.

 

 

 

felixr

kropotkin1951 wrote:

He must have been hiding his tax troubles from the party when he filled out the vetting forms. 

This alone is reason enough to suspend him from caucus, but I agree with many of your other points as well.

Sean in Ottawa

Actually don't assume I do not know: http://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/a-propos/pen-inter/penalite.aspx

So 17% could be penalties if you max out on penalties.

So those saying it is not as much money as I think did you calculate it?

If you earned $52,000 a year with only the most basic of deductions this would come to about $8320 plus perhaps $3000 in pension payable if you were self employed= $11,320. Since there were 4 years we multiply this by 4= $45,280 per year plus penalties= $52,977 plus interest would come to about the $58,000.

This is if the guy was self employed and all was pensionable income (which is unlikely) and had no deductions. You see the only way you get a bill this high over just four years is minimum earnings average over $50,000 a year while making absolutely no payments. Then two years of earning $160k a year and making absolutely no payments.

There are other ways to get a bill this high but they involve:

a) earning more income still and perhaps paying some but not all tax

b) misreporting over a long period and getting assessed owing an amount like this

c) using sales tax trust funds collecting but not remitting

No matter how you look at it -- you have to make a lot of money to owe Revenue Quebec almost $60k in just 4 years.

It is a bit insulting to the province of Quebec to suggest different in my view. They have tax but are not all medieval about it.

For what it is worth I come from a family of artists who have had tax trouble in Quebec at times so I am not completely ignorant of all this. I have also owed taxes myself but nothing like this kind of number. You have to make a lot of money to owe a lot in tax. That is how the system works.

I also have known poverty and know what real poverty is and the difficulties of poverty among artists and am annoyed that these arguments are being brought to here. Poor artists don't pay this much in tax. Period. This is not about poverty.

There are artists who don't make that much who have income peaks and valleys and can have tax trouble but in these numbers they would not call themselves poor. Given that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of artists making under $20,000 a year this is really a kind of a sad joke. The majority of artists are much, much poorer than anyone who could make this kind of debt. Please do not make their situation a part of this as it diminishes their very, very real problems. OK? And please don't tell me what number I am thinking if I have not put it out there.

ETA: If you owed almost 60k in Quebec taxes your total tax bill would need to be over $100k even accounting for pension (provincial in Quebec), health tax etc. Perhaps some here are thinking of $60k total in tax rather than just Quebec tax at that amount. Also we don't know what the original tax bill was -- just that he still owes almost $60k now after six years two of which would have earned him something close to $300k since the tax issue started.

Now I am not lacking sympathy-- we don't know the facts there could be personal issues that can delay returns or other financial problems. I am merely reacting to the poverty and poor artist stuff and that is an inadequate and in some respects insulting explanation here. He also has only been dumped from shadow cabinet not caucus. I think that is the least that could be done as he simply cannot face the people in 2015 without this cleared up otherwise he will surely lose his seat-- given the recent political news this kind of thing is very unhelpful to the party.

I don't know how the vetting goes but I suspect there was little vetting of candidates that were not given much of a hope either to win or even to get much attention. I would not blame the party too much in these circumstances. The removal from shadow cabinet looks like the right move-- less would be too little and more would do more damage to the party as well as him. He has done some damage and owes the party membership some kind of explanation. Owing $58k in taxes while standing for a party does not give you the right to say this particular problem is private.

 

Sean in Ottawa

I should add-- his income might have to be as "little" as 50,000 per year as the Quebec interest rate is 6%.

Now -- if he has an explanation it might include some reporting error on a high income that could after reassessment come to this but it does not explain the failure to retire the debt after two years of high income or suggest that he was ever low income in this period.

If we think of him as a successful artist earning perhaps three or more times what most artists earn and having trouble I can be sympathetic just so long as we don't say poor artist. As I say I lived with poor artists. Thanks

I'll add another thing here: I presently derive my income from design contracts and understand feast and famine.

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