Recently, Justin Trudeau has come under fire for remarks he made suggesting that some small business owners used their concerns to avoid paying taxes. He did not suggest all, but that didn't stop the media and his opposition from jumping on the bandwagon.
However, leading the charge is a group called the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. (Former president shown above with NDP members, including Brian Topp).
However, in 2011, David Climenhaga exposed this group for what they really are:
Why does the so-called Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses push a far-right agenda that benefits the country's richest corporations and individuals at the expense of independent businesses?
Well, it's not that complicated, really. Like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which doesn't represent the interests of Canadian taxpayers, it's fair to say based on its actual behaviour that the CFIB is a typical example of pure, unadulterated AstroTurf pretending to serve the interests of one group while actually working against them.In 2012, CFIB's president, Christine Swift (above with Topp), was forced to step down because of her involvement in a group called Working Canadians. Don't let the name fool you. This is actually another AstroTurf group, whose primary stated goal is to diminish the role of unions.
Since when were the NDP anti-union? I know in Quebec that Mulcair was, and it is he who suggested that the party move away from them, but still. It's rather odd that they would be backed by an anti-union group, although everything about this party is odd these days.
That would certainly explain why most of their attacks have been against Justin Trudeau, despite the fact that it's the NDP who actually benefit from union support. The only anti-NDP ad is against the B.C. Party, but they have left Mulcair alone.
Maybe it has something to do with this.
The Tories’ latest TV attack ad takes direct aim at Trudeau, ignoring Mulcair. Similarly, a group called Working Canadians, headed by former Canadian Federation of Independent Business president Catherine Swift, and funded mainly by donations from business owners, is airing radio ads attacking Trudeau’s “high-tax, big-government agenda,” but not taking aim at Mulcair—She suggested that she didn't think he would have electoral success, but given past polls, why are they still leaving Mulcair alone?
One of their television ads is eerily similar to those run by the Conservatives. They use the cherry picked "budgets will balance themselves" and a short clip from Trudeau's teaching days.
Swift's replacement, Dan Kelly, is also right-wing and has even called on businesses to boycott the United Way and supports the use of temporary foreign workers.
The Proof is in ... Well the Proof
Ok. So you look at the above and might say that the links between the NDP and CFIB are weak, except that the NDP themselves have admitted to courting their influence.
Last week’s exchange in the House is just one small example of how the CFIB’s influence – with all parties – has grown substantially, particularly the NDP, one expert says. From question period.
“The political parties are looking at the CFIB as the only credible organization that deals with small and medium sized businesses. That’s an approach the NDP has been taking in the past few years,’’ says Gilles LeVasseur, a business and law professor with the Telfer School of Business in Ottawa.
“They’ve been dealing with unions. So now they (the NDP) are shifting toward business people because they see that they’ve missed out on that opportunity. You have to understand that the NDP is doing that because they have to show they can govern the country, and by governing the country you also need to have business on your side,’’ said LeVasseur, who was a member of the CFIB for a year about a decade ago.They've been dealing with unions alright.
So the CFIB and the offshoot Working Canadians are overtly attacking Justin Trudeau with money from "small businesses", and CFIB has an NDP MP as a former member. Did they draft Mulcair's business tax strategy that benefits the rich?
They have set up Justin Trudeau and once again the media has become complicit. Don't you just love the state of our democracy?
Trudeau is right to challenge them. He has heard the ads and he knows the players. He could pull an #NDPTruthTeam on them and ask why the NDP was being backed by a group that wants to stop money going to the United Way. Or is a strong supporter of the Temporary Foreign Workers program. Or wants to diminish the role of unions.
Wait a minute. I think I just did that. Yeah, me. I'm for #RealChange.