I suspect it is only the very young and the profoundly naive who believe that justice is blind, that all are treated equaly under the law. While a pleasing fiction that governments like to perpetuate, nothing could be further from the truth.
Consider the latest revelations about the Canadian Revenue Agency's shoddy hypocrisy, begun under the Harper regime but showing no signs of abatement under the Trudeau government.
The Canada Revenue Agency offered amnesty to multi-millionaire clients caught using what's been called an offshore tax "sham" on the Isle of Man — a reprieve that was supposed to remain secret and out of the public eye until it was uncovered by a CBC News/Radio-Canada investigation.While this might come as no surprise to many, what compounds this egregious injustice is the fact that the CRA is far less forgiving of ordinary people, many of whom, through no fault of their own, found themselves the victims of very punitive CRA action:
Canada Revenue officials demanded, and offered, secrecy in a no-penalty, no-prosecution deal to high net worth clients of accounting giant KPMG involved in a dodgy offshore tax scheme.
The amnesty allows for "high net worth" clients of the accounting giant KPMG to be free from any future civil or criminal prosecution — as well as any penalties or fines — for their involvement in the controversial scheme.
The clients simply had to agree to pay their back taxes and modest interest on these offshore investments, which they had failed to report on their income tax returns.
Toronto tax lawyer Duane Milot, who represents middle-income Canadians in disputes with the CRA, says his clients are routinely dragged through the courts for years by Canada Revenue.Just how much contempt the CRA feels for non-wealthy people is evident in the first four minutes of the following report:
"It's outrageous," he told CBC News after reading the leaked document. "The CRA appears to be saying to Canadians, 'If you're rich and wealthy, you get a second chance, but if you're not, you're stuck.'"
Will relief for such iniquitous inequity be forthcoming from our 'new' government? In his finely-honed prosecutorial style, Thomas Mulcair asked some hard questions of the Prime Minister in the House. I was less than reassured by the answers he was given:
I couldn't help but note that in the response he gave, Mr. Trudeau sounded alarmingly like his predecessor, deflecting the questions by criticizing the questioner and then launching into some pious platitudes.
It seems that in some ways, our new government is getting old very quickly. Consequently, the CRA's foul practices continue apace.