CTT 1999 Campaign

Letter to Paul Martin Re: Tobin tax - April 30, 2002

Hon. Paul Martin, Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Centre Block, 309-S
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

April 30, 2002

Dear Mr. Martin,

On behalf of the Halifax Initiative, I write seeking clarification as to whether and why the Government of Canada no longer supports the Tobin tax. When questioned by Lorne Nystrom in the House, John McCallum, Secretary of State for Financial Institutions said that he "would commend the government for ceasing to support a Tobin tax because I think it is a pretty bad tax." (House of Commons Hansard, 21 March 2002).

July 28, 1999: Vote campaign reports

Here's a brief summary of events since our last update :

The federal government has made no formal effort to act on the endorsement given to it by Canadians and is, in fact, actively downplaying the Tobin tax motion. Although Finance Minister Paul Martin assured Halifax Initiative representatives, at a meeting in Washington in April, that he had raised the Tobin tax informally with Finance Ministers, actions in Canada and abroad reveals a failure of commitment and a betrayal of the democratic process.

Letter to leaders of G7 nations Re: Vote campaign reports - June 11, 1999

June 11, 1999

To the leaders of the Group of Seven nations,

At next week's Summit in Cologne, you will be discussing new directions for public policy governing global markets in order to help prevent or mitigate future financial crises. Measures currently under discussion, including strengthened financial sector supervision, surveillance and transparency, while commendable if adopted, are insufficient to prevent future crises. Similar measures endorsed at your Summit in Halifax in1995 in the wake of the Mexican peso crisis, although not fully adopted, were unable to prevent or even anticipate the South East Asian crash of 1997. Clearly, bolder measures are required.

Tobin Tax Parliamentary Motion - One year on!

ONE YEAR LATER - What has Canada done about the Tobin Tax Motion? NOT MUCH! Write your MP, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister before March 23.

On March 23, 1999, an exuberant Parliament passed a motion to "enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community" with all party support by a resounding 164-83 margin. The motion was a strong message from Parliament that the political must regain control of the financial in the interests of the world's common wealth.

One year later, we have little progress to report. While the Canadian motion has sparked debate in Parliaments around the world, there has been little action at home. There have been no public hearings, no follow-up studies, no meetings of experts, in short, no substantive action to move the agenda forward either domestically or internationally.

February 4, 1999: Vote campaign reports

February 4, 1999
The second hour of debate on the Tobin tax motion was held in the House of Comons on Feb 3. The Bloc Quebecois has proposed that the motion be amended by removing the words "enact a tax on financial transactions" and replacing them with the following: "promote the implementation of a tax aimed at discouraging speculation on fluctuations in the exchange rate." The language is weaker but not seriously so, and if it brings Bloc support (44seats), is worthwhile.

My overall impression of the debate is that some MPs are ill-informed or are being deliberately misleading in their arguments. The taxes hurt  'average' Canadians" myth seems to be the favorite we must debunk as we argue in favour of the tax.

Vote campaign reports - February 1, 1999

February 1, 1999

Citizen's Declarations are pouring in - thanks for sending and sharing them!  Note that the Halifax Intiative site (www. sierraclub.ca/national/halifax)  now has an automatic email sendback for those wishing to sign the Citizen's Declaration on line.

I have included text of two letters recently sent to MPs in this mailout and urge you to use them (if you wish) in your letterwriting to your MP.

The Canadian Labour Congress has just posted its "Put the Brakes on Currency Speculation" campaign on its homepage and from it you can fax your MP directly. Visit the Canadian Labour Congress site and click the FAX YOUR MP icon. Select the "Put the Brakes on Currency Speculation" campaign, type in your name and postal code, and a draft letter(which you can edit) to your MP will appear on your screen. Edit and send!

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