What you're saying

"I just want everyone in the group to know you have lots of support from those invested in trusts, and we have been working very hard along with you to get the message out. Don't give up, I'm not."  

M. G.

"My wife and I applaud the effort you are doing to correct this horrible lie. My wife and I are retirees and rely on the income to survive.   The government should show us the data they have to back up their claim of leakage.  

Thank you."  

D. M.

Cornwall, Ontario

"We have couriered letters, left phone messages and sent emails to Mr. Harper, Mr. Flaherty and our MP (Rob Anders) voicing our concerns and offering constructive suggestions.  So far we have not received a single reply.  Our elected representatives seem to have abandoned us.

The proposed Tax Fairness Plan is a blatant betrayal of the Conservative Party election promises and an about-face from Mr. Harper’s publicly stated position on the taxation of Income Trusts one year ago.  He attempts to justify the Government’s actions, arguing that the situation changed over the past year as major organizations announced plans to restructure into Income Trusts.  Why then didn’t the Government act to address only what had changed, for example, the trend of corporations toward restructuring as Income Trusts? Instead, under the Tax Fairness Plan, the Government launched a broad-based attack on Income Trusts (i.e. across the board with the exception of REITs) - with dire consequences to individual unit-holders.

We have stressed to Mr. Harper that we absolutely did make investment decisions over this past year based on his word.  This has cost us more than $130,000.00 of our personal life savings.  And since these Income Trust holdings were not in registered (tax-deferred) plans, we were paying the highest marginal tax rate on all distributions.

In our letters, we have suggested alternative actions such as the following:

1. Recognition that Income Trusts have a rightful place in certain business sectors

Just as certain REITs were exempt in Mr. Flaherty's announcement, Income Trusts set up in the pipelines, oil sands, and energy exploration and development sectors also merit recognition for the role they have played in raising capital to foster the development of capital-intensive industries.

2. Extended Transition Period for Income Trusts that were publicly traded on October 31, 2006

Why not allow a longer period (for example, ten years) for transition - as was done in other countries.

3. Increase Withholding Tax on Foreign-held Income Trusts

This would have addressed the tax-leakage issue and could have been tax-neutral to foreign investors assuming tax credit from their own government equal to the withholding tax.  This would have avoided the negative market response.

All that we are asking is that our Government revisit the proposed Tax Fairness Plan, and seek the knowledge, judgment and experience of industry experts and unit holders to arrive at a solution that really is fair to all concerned.

Shouldn’t the goal in a democracy be to serve the best interests of the majority while respecting the individual rights of all?  Singling out individual Canadians to incur significant financial losses for the good of the country is unfair and undemocratic."

G. R. & B. R.

Calgary, Alberta

"I and my investor clients are extremely grateful for all you and your association are doing to hopefully help reason prevail!"

D. L.
Colorado Springs, Colorado

"I am a retired investment analyst and an investor in income trusts. I approve of your efforts to roll back the Flaherty proposals, but I fear your strategy has a flaw. By asking for special treatment, you estrange yourselves from other trusts, and you make it possible for Flaherty to dismiss your plea as that of a selfish interest.

I believe the data used by both Goodale and Flaherty to "prove" a tax drain are fundamentally flawed. They skirt the fact that the tax base on which corporations are taxed is very much lower than the income that trusts distribute and thereby expose to tax. They compare tax rates while always ignoring the true amount of income subject to tax. If I am right, then their approach is not only faulty but unfair and misleading. Fairness is a subject the mass of people can understand, and it is one around which all trusts can unite."

Victoria, British Columbia

"Please consider adding the Yves Fortin article, "Taxation of Income Trusts:  Was It Worth the Cost and Turmoil?" to the news section of your web page.


If you don't put it in the news section, try to find some other way to promote it on your web site, as it is the clearest explanation I have read concerning how the Flaherty tax proposal will do major damage to the Canadian economy."

J. E.
American Investor (for now, at least) in the Canadian economy

"I am dismayed at the turn of events. I personally will survive, but tears come to my eyes when I think of all the retired people (both in the US and Canada) that had 50% or more of their "nest eggs" invested in these trusts and had a late night announcement on October 31st destroy their future. They have no capacity to earn income to replace what they have lost. They are helpless, frightened and bewildered. This is not what one would expect from a mature, civilized, democratic, and principled country such as I always considered Canada to be. While I heard talk of Canadians not liking US citizens, I have always dismissed that idea as nonsense. I have a cabin in Ontario that I have owned for more than 30 years. I have never met finer nor more honorable people than the Canadians I have dealt with over the last three decades. I think of us as friends and neighbors to be trusted and respected.

I understand the necessity of doing something to prevent future tax erosion by large corporations (who probably use extensive tax write-offs as corporations anyway). However, it didn't need to be done in the middle of the night and with such draconian measures. In the US when we changed our policy regarding partnerships, there was prolonged open discussion and input by all the involved parties. Then the law was enacted with a ten year grandfathering stipulation to allow investors a reasonable timeframe to adjust to the new laws without destroying their financial integrity. The current Canadian government should realize that we investors were following the laws and rules of the land when we invested in these trusts. We relied on the integrity of the government and took them at their word. As a "foreign" investor, unless there are changes made to rectify what has occurred, I could never again feel comfortable investing in Canada. I do not believe I am alone in this feeling. If one cannot trust the Canadian government's integrity, it would be unwise for anyone to consider investing future funds in Canada."

M. K.

My wife and I are retired seniors with a total combined pension and old age security income of $22,000. In order to have a decent standard of living, we rely on income we can derive from the savings we have accumulated over the years. Last year we paid $17,000 in income tax. All of our taxable income came from investments in Income Trusts.

Do Income trusts create taxes and benefit the Canadian economy?  YES!

Do the math and see how much taxes the government receives from the millions of other retired seniors who have income from Income Trusts. 

There are also millions of employed investors who are also paying taxes on their returns from Income Trusts as well and they are probably in a much higher tax bracket.

By the way, I did not feel that paying these taxes was a burden; I felt that it was a godsend that I was able to do so.

The Harper gang has done very well at fooling the public, as the majority seems to believe that there are no taxes derived from income trusts. It seems to me that if the total amounts paid out in distributions to unit holders were widely publicized along with an explanation of how much of these distributions go into the tax coffers, it would put an end to no taxes this myth.

G. H.

I have been an investor in Energy Trusts for more then 10 years, and have decided to hold on to my units after the terrible announcement by the Federal Government.

B. K.

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