Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Garth Turner to host Burlington public meeting

MP brings action to restore income trust losses

Voters, taxpayers and constituents of the Burlington federal riding will get a rare chance June 14th to send a message directly to Parliament when outspoken MP Garth Turner hosts a Town Hall meeting in Burlington. While residents are free to raise any topic they wish, the recent Conservative government decision to tax income trusts - breaking a specific promise by Prime Minister Stephen Harper - is likely to spark a hot debate.

The move is believed to have cost more than a million investors, most of them seniors, more than $25 billion in lost retirement savings. That is the greatest private loss ever to result directly from one government action, and came as a shock to voters after Mr. Harper promised repeatedly in the last election campaign that he would never impose such a tax.

MP Turner, ousted by Stephen Harper last fall for his opposition to several Conservative positions, has been a champion of jilted investors, and will bring an action plan to the meeting for those anxious to know what their alternatives are. Turner joined the federal Liberal caucus in February, after sitting as an Independent member of Parliament for four months, for the west GTA riding of Halton.

"I have heard from many people in Burlington very unhappy that their MP, Mike Wallace, has refused to call such a meeting," Turner says. "Mike seems only too happy to hide in Ottawa these days where Mr. Harper has rewarded him with a position on the finance committee. It's a shame how the trappings of power can make a good MP forget who sent him down there."

Turner says Mr. Wallace and Mr. Harper need to explain to area residents not only why income trusts were taxed, but also why so many Canadian companies have been purchased as a result recently by foreign firms. Garth Turner, a noted personal finance author before going to Parliament, says he is also concerned by the government's move to raise income tax and bring in an inflationary budget with record spending that could sell increase loan and mortgage rates later this year.

The Burlington meeting is being sponsored by the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors, a non-partisan, national group representing the interests of individual citizens. It is open to everyone and is free of charge.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 14th, at the Burlington Seniors Centre, 2285 New Street. Start time is 7 pm. For more information, please contact Esther Shaye at (905) 693-0166.

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For a list of all town hall meetings planned click here