Lost in the rush to eviscerate JIm Flaherty for his continued incompetence as Finance Minister was yesterday's story published in the CBC about thousands of working Canadians who purchased stock options from their employers and are now facing tax bills that will decimate the savings of some, drive others out of their homes and for the least fortunate put them into bankruptcy.
"Another former Nortel manager from Toronto, who was let go in 1999, said he will get hit with a $204,000 tax bill on stock he still owns, which is worth $250.00 now. The man, who didn't want his name used, is 69 years old and said he has seriously contemplated suicide to avoid being forced to sell his house."
And Flaherty's response to all of this?
"The tax laws apply to all of us equally," Flaherty said. "There are some remedies that are available through hardship cases, but the reality is that those stock option situations are not uncommon and apply to a large number of Canadians. So, I can't and I won't hold out any hope of any tax exemptions in respect to that."