Tax-cut mantra is music to ears of the wealthy

Neil Brooks, a professor of tax law at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, notes that the top one per cent of income earners have increased their share of national income substantially, from 7.5 per cent during the post-war decades to 13.6 per cent in the neo-conservative era – a level of inequality not seen in Canada for about a century, wrote the Toronto Star in an editorial March 16. Brooks suggests a higher marginal tax rate, clicking in at $450,000 and $900,000 a year, as well as a tax on inheritances above $3 million, in order to fund more public programs.

Such an approach, which would make Canada more egalitarian, like Europe, might appeal to many Canadians. But it’s completely off the agenda, said the Star. Instead, the public debate remains confined within the narrow limits of neo-conservative theory. Even though the theory has been undercut by the facts, we’re still encouraged to repeat it like a mantra. All together now: Tax cuts benefit us all. Tax cuts benefit us all. Tax cuts benefit us all….

Repeal election night gag law

Now that the Supreme Court of Canada has declared constitutional Canada’s election gag law, despite a lack of evidence of its efficacy, it’s time for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to introduce legislation repealing the law, wrote The Vancouver Sun March 16 in an editorial.

In coming to this conclusion, the majority relied primarily on three sources – the testimony of an expert witness, the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing (the Lortie Commission) and a recent poll of Canadians’ views on electoral fairness. The expert witness, York University political scientist Robert MacDermid, Faculty of Arts, testified that knowing election results before could cause people to change their votes or to stay home altogether.

Writing for the minority, Justice Rosalie Abella came to a very different conclusion, said the Sun. She noted that MacDermid’s comments on voting behaviour only applied to situations where potential voters knew the outcome of the election prior to voting.

Festival adjudicator studied at York

The Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival Association welcomes five prestigious adjudicators to this year’s stage for the 45th annual festival, wrote the Western Star (Corner Brook, Nfld.) March 16. Jehanbakhsh (John) Jasavala (BFA ’87) holds music degrees from York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and the University of Michigan, a diploma in jazz studies from Humber College and a bachelor of education from the University of Windsor. He has an active life as a performer, teacher and adjudicator. Jasavala has held the position of principal trombone with both the Windsor and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestras. He has performed as a freelance musician with several orchestras in Ontario and Michigan. he is the founding member and leader of the Umbrella Brass Quintet.