Roundup: An indefensible communications strategy

If you’ve been wondering what the Conservative communications strategy around the planned changes to private corporation taxation, then it’s your lucky day as VICE got a copy of the talking points and then fact-checked them. In short, it’s predicated on a combination of extreme cases, lies of omission, and misdirection – so pretty much what you’d expect if you’ve been paying attention these past few weeks.

All of this is being further exacerbated by a growing number of Liberal MPs who have become victim to their own government being unable to actually articulate what these changes really mean and who have come up with a communications strategy that is more interested in sloganeering than it is on correcting the active misinformation campaign that has been going on, and which isn’t actually fighting back against said misinformation through a series of pointed questions like “How exactly is income sprinkling the thing that’s spurring entrepreneurship/growth/investment?” like keeps being brought up, or “You read the proposal where reinvesting in the business isn’t being additionally taxed, right?” And while sure, there may be some issues with family farms when it comes to capital gains for passing it on from generation to generation, or with the potential compliance burden to ensuring that any of these ongoing measures are actually above-board, those aren’t what we’re hearing. Instead, it’s this nonsensical braying about how small business “deserves” these tax breaks for “risk” (false – risk was never why these differential tax breaks were introduced, but rather, a lower small business tax rate was introduced in 1972 because at the time, they had difficulty getting bank loans). Braying that nobody is pushing back against, and that’s part of the problem.

Good reads:

  • Here are your fall preview pieces from the National Post and CTV.
  • At the Commons health committee, testimony encouraged the government to move on marijuana edibles regulations now rather than leave it for later.
  • New Brunswick has announced that it will create a Crown corporation to deal with the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana.
  • Canadian Special Forces in Iraq are now out of Mosul and preparing to battle the remaining ISIS strongholds.
  • The government is about to announce an advisory panel for their official apology to LGBT Canadians who suffered from discriminatory policies.
  • Provincial justice ministers are calling for the Criminal Code to be modernized as a way to help combat court delays.
  • The mystery deepens around those sonic attacks at embassies in Cuba, while Cuban authorities cooperate with Canadian and US investigators.
  • DFO lost a new pricey submersible device on its first outing.
  • Omar Khadr had some of his bail restrictions loosened, especially around Internet use, but not when it comes to unrestricted access to his sister.
  • A Federal Court judge has ordered the release of several documents from an Access to Information request related to the four senators caught with expense issues.
  • Chantal Hébert gives her own fall preview, and what she sees may be the surprise reversal of issues that get traction.
  • There are more reminisces of Allan J. MacEachen from Aaron Wherry and Susan Delacourt.
  • Andrew Coyne wonders if the Liberals’ style-over-substance issues will start to hurt them now that they’re at the halfway mark.

Odds and ends:

Former NDP MP Peter Stoffer has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.