Reader speaks out against province’s method of taxation

The people of Alberta seem to believe that the province can do anything it likes when it comes to taxes.

Dear Editor,

The people of Alberta seem to believe that the province can do anything it likes when it comes to taxes. Well, the BNA Act states the only source of income it can have is direct taxation on wages. This did expand a little when oil was dis- covered and royalties were instituted.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1950, Lord Nelson Hotel v/s Nova Scotia, that the province could not bring in a sales tax. In fact, they stated that parliament collecting a tax to pay off the war debt had to be ended in 1962 and by then the debt would be paid off.

They also ruled that a sales tax could not be implemented as they can only direct tax. Sec. 92 in the BNA Act states hospitals and charitable Institutions are the province’s responsibility. We then have the province giving oil companies (the right) to develop in Fort McMurray. They have to pay no taxes or royalties until the project is paid for. So in essence who paid for those projects? The oil companies or the people in Alberta?

Also parliament collects taxes for the province which is about 45 cents more on a dollar.

Sometimes we get the 45 cents but usually it’s in the mid to high 30’s. Then they have the nerve to call these transfer payments. Transfer payments came from duty and excise taxes the provinces gave to parlia- ment so they had a source of income to operate. They were reluctant and asked how they could fund pro- vincial needs.

Parliament said they could collect income tax and the provinces said no. So a deal was made where provinces would be given a percentage of duty and excise to operate on. That is what a transfer payment is.

If the province removed parliament from income tax we could drop all the other add ons, double the amount the province collects and people would pay about 30 per cent less in the long run. But to keep stealing out tax money and giving it to other provinces is wrong.

Like (the problem with) our Heritage Trust Fund. Much was loaned out to other provinces and they refuse to repay. Why does Norway have about $1.5

million in the bank for every person that lives there and we owe billions? Why do we have Alberta Blue Cross when it is an Ameri- can Corporation?

Why were natural resources stolen from owners of real property and there was never compensation?

John Chalack, Rimbey