Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is Tim Hortons' crowd paying attention?

Some bloggers are hinting that Harper is trying to appeal to the Tim Horton’s crowd (sorry can't find the link but I know I read in a blog with a reference to Tim Hortons' vs. Starbucks' customers).

I don’t doubt these Canadians are Harper’s target but what I do dispute is if the Tim Hortons' crowd is paying attention yet.

When they do turn their attention to the campaign, these Canadians may recall the promises of the last election and try to figure out if they’re better off. As a public service, possibly these figures will help them.

There’s that children’s fitness tax reduction for some of the minivan driving moms. Oh wait, maybe your child’s sport wasn’t eligible for that little tax credit. And that $75 didn’t work out as nicely as the $500 that was advertised in the campaign literature. Um, so much for soccer moms who thought they might be getting a refund of the total amount. They ended up with enough of a credit to buy a round at Timmies for the team but only if they made enough money to pay taxes.

Say, what about the little surprise that the $1200 child tax credit would be taxable in the hands of parents who still can’t find suitable child care? Kind of like being sold a used car that won’t run a week later!

How about the seniors who while away the afternoon between volunteer commitments while enjoying the chatter with their friends? Harper promised he wouldn’t tax income trusts last time. Well, I guess that didn’t work out so well. I’ve heard predictions of losses between $20 million and $35 million leaving the senior crowd wondering if they can support themselves through their retirement. Maybe instead of volunteering in their community, seniors will be working through their retirement at Tim Hortons like their American cousins working as greeters at WalMart.

Then there’s the price of a cup of coffee at Tim Hortons. In January, 2006, you could get a medium double-double for $1.17 plus 7% GST totalling $1.25. Harper cut the GST by 1% in July, 2006 and by another 1% in January, 2008.

On April 7, 2008 the price of a medium double-double was increased by Tim Hortons to $1.22 plus 5% GST totalling $1.28 effectively capturing the room left in your pocket change by Harper and carting the profits off to the US since Tim Hortons is no longer owned by Canadians.

So, the GST cut effectively left the country through the daily purchase of coffee at Tim Hortons (among other purchases) leaving the federal government of Canada at least $12 billion poorer just in time for the impending economic crisis on the horizon. By the way, Tim Hortons profits in 2007 were $1.9 billion, a 14.2% increase over 2006.

Since it’s unlikely a GST increase would be popular for any other political party to get elected on, it’s unlikely we’ll see a real child care program in Canada like the one Ken Dryden had negotiated with the provinces, at least not any time real soon. Of course, it is the intention of Harper to eliminate the effectiveness of a federal government to ever have a new social program or to fund health care any better than it is now. Are these really the goals of the Tim Horton’s crowd now?

Ever the optimist, I have to believe that Harper has suffered the same loss in positive public image that Tim Hortons has lately. Remember the worker being fired (then re-hired after public outrage) for giving a Timbit to a toddler? In my opinion, that one example of many lately at Tim Hortons illustrates the spirit of Harper too – stingy and mean.

Elections are when we measure a government's effectiveness in the past and review all of the party platforms to decide which one most closely resembles our values. What kind of Canada do you believe in?

kudos to blackandred at Mostly Water, Scott at DiaTribes, Garth Turner


Deb Prothero said...

this message from facebook:

tried to post a comment on your new blog re the coffee reference providing this as a possible source but had some difficulty and I don't think it went through.

Deb Prothero said...

try this: