Harper Fraze’s open letter to prime minister Justin Trudeau sparked a wave of responses — though this wave was markedly less red than the one that got Trudeau elected.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, although one reader said he was disappointed by the piece’s sarcastic tone (he added that he agreed with many of the points).
Several readers, including Warren Holtby of Regina, Sask., asked if we would send the comments to the Prime Minister’s office. While that may be seen as a partisan move by a news organization, readers may email Fraze’s article (or notes of support) to PM Trudeau at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. And, if you want to write him, or your MP, a letter, it won’t even cost you a stamp. The address is:
[Name of MP]
House of Commons
Quite a few of your emails focused on the TFSA changes. Boyd Morris of Kamloops, B.C. agreed with Fraze’s assertion that the TFSA helps lower-income folks. Morris gave the example of two nurses: “They are in the mid-twenties age group, and in the past few years they have amassed enough money in their TFSAs to make a $20,000 down payment on a home. One nurse is now paying into her TFSA again to make enough to renovate the home she purchased. So, from my point of view, these are not rich people, but smart people who are spending the money they earned on a smart purchase, keeping in mind they are paying taxes on all the stuff they are buying. Otherwise, they may still [have been] renting.”
Another reader, who asked to be called “an advisor with all middle-class clients,” also lamented the TFSA cut. “The minute the TFSA was made available, my clients stopped contributions to their RRSPs and we have been using the TFSA ever since,” she wrote. “It will be very unfortunate if the contribution levels are reduced. [And] I couldn’t agree more with the tax comments, especially the maze of tax credits and the fact that single-income earners pay much more tax at the same income level than two incomes. I have been trying to make my clients aware of the fact that, at some time in their lives, one of them will be single and paying more tax than they thought. Investment income has to be restructured to accommodate this in the future.”
A selection of other comments:
“The 1% in Canada are not us making $200,000-plus with kids and working [hard]; it’s the Canadians with $10-million-plus net worth sitting on multi-million-dollar homes with $20,000 in reported income.” – Paul McMillan, branch manager, The Shewfelt McMillan Group, Surrey, B.C.
“Completely agree with your comments. As an accountant, it is like you have read from my playbook.” – Roger Robertson (location withheld by request)
“The letter echoes the sentiments of virtually every Canadian I’ve talked to, no matter what societal strata they occupy. Hopefully Justin gets the letter. Good on you!” – a Manitoba-based advisor