The Supreme Court of Canada says that Ottawa illegally collected employment insurance contributions for three years under the former Liberal government.
The court, though, rejected union claims that Ottawa diverted money from deliberately-over-inflated EI surpluses to balance the federal budget and fund programs.
In a 7-0 decision, the court ruled EI premiums were inappropriately collected between 2002, 2003, and 2005. That's when the Liberal cabinet set EI rates directly without the authorization from Parliament and the employment insurance commission, a violation of the principle of no taxation without representation.
"This means that employment insurance premiums were collected unlawfully, without the necessary legislative authorization," Justice Louis LeBel wrote in the decision.
Now the Liberals are upset about a deficit that is being caused by a world wide recession? This, after they tried to form a coalition government so they could be in control of the spending with the NDP and Bloc?
Chretien raided the EI funds during boom times, 54 billion to be exact. Now in a recession, the Conservative government is spending money on roads and bridges, they are offering unemployed workers the ability to retrain and gain skills, they have a home reno program, all programs aimed at helping Canadians.
The debate over how EI premiums could be used began in the 1990s, when Paul Martin, then-prime minister Jean Chretien's finance minister, brought in new EI legislation.
New rules made it more difficult for laid off workers to be eligible for benefits, but they also brought in new training programs.
Critics had argued the government was raising EI premiums to fund the new programs, while cutting benefits for those out of work.
Well that's Liberals for you, stealing from hard working Canadians (where is that 40 million that went into the Liberal party coffers?), to gain votes.
They are trying it again, fire Flaherty they scream (read the comments, noone is buying it), he is the bad guy they shout, an increased deficit they moan.....DEFICIT! They know Conservatives hate deficits and debt. They know deficit is a dirty word to anyone who is fiscally conservative/liberal, but they fail to understand that a recession changes perceptions.
Run a deficit in good times like the Liberals did until Reform and the IMF clued them in, not a good thing. Run a deficit in bad times, and make no mistake, the media has been telling us this recession is worse than the Great Depression, and people will shrug.
The media is now the Liberals worse enemy, they pumped up the recession so much that Canadians now believe that big spending is necessary. Canadians have seen what Obama is spending in the US, so 34 or 50 or 80 billion spent by Canada just doesn't feel big, after all the US are talking 1.2 TRILLION.
Funny how CTV never covers question period live, but today they were right there covering the first three Liberal questions. Bet the Liberals phoned up their pals in the media and told them they were going to call for Flaherty's head. Too bad that PM Harper made Iggy look like an idiot. How does Iggy respond? He reverts to his American background and calls PM Harper....Nixon? Too funny. Iggy go home to Obama, he has some shoes that need to be shined....oh wait...Iggy was a big Bush supporter, no wonder he is up here now after 34 years. I suspect if you really did the math, Iggy was probably out of the country for more than 45 years of his live, but who's counting?